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10 thoughts on “Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates

  1. says:

    YOU MUST READ THIS Have to have to you will It must be one of the BEST FINEST novels of all time y'all know that this is the sole topic I will NEVER joke aboutSeeing the elusive the ephemeral through different filters a jaguar prowling through the jungle a baby left all alone as if you had the privilege to do so in the first place Blonde is a privilege to read the rarest of rare novelpoetry book combos Why read itty bitty poetry in its refracted basically restricted state? Read novels exemplary novels like this one for a novel like Blonde kicks the ass of those tiny singular books there is poetry in each and every page Undertaking this journey is a huge endeavor for the reader This humongous tale for the reader is a grotesue fairy tale through throughNorma Jean's thoughtsactions occur in present tense in actual time also in fatalistic retrospection It is a topsy turvy house of horrorThis is an expert fictionalization; momentous literature which must be absolutely devoured The saga is sublime The topic the figurehead that is Marilyn Monroe is and has been ultimately misinterpreted But thanks to Joyce Carol Oates give her a Nobel already I mean even Coetzee and Saramago have one and her extensive research the meat on the bones are as beautiful and enigmatic as the person herself and by this I mean Monroe AND JCO their collaboration is what dreams are made of Their nightmare is our heavenStrange to figure how many modern actresses wish to emulate the gorgeous blond they try time after time and the great actress tried so much to be the character she was chosen to portray She was even painfully paranoid of her fictional characterizations drifting into her real life like ghostsConsider Oates's Norma Jean as a 20th century Emma Bovary but with something to offer the outside world And of this many great Hollywood men took notice and the exploitation that ensues is demonic The elusive father figure Norma Jean never met hers and so what happens is a collection of men she disgustingly refers to as Daddy see? Even porno stars want to be Marilyn She becomes addicted to Codeine tablets super uick solutions to issues which stem all the way from infancy There is a patina of infinite sadness of devastation being covered up for the sake of illusion and the glimmering of the silver screen The novel is filled with endings conceivably almost every section in the story could be a possible way for Oates to finish her masterpiece the prolongment is absolutely masochistic and inspiring if that makes any sense The novel that starts off with dolls star homes and star funerals is undoubtedly what awaits the girl beautiful and young corpse at the end Everything sad with a foretaste of certain doom of impending tragedy The girl devoted to God and literature and meaty roles as evidenced by her poems and musings which beg the reader to feel defensive of her of this child in a woman's body The Woman's body The cooly complex metaphysical stuff this is a 21st century novel after all and all the Greats brought out all their tricks at this point is infused with intelligence and yes MAGIC Marilyn is a woman who falls out of time She recalls scripts that have never even existed before but compete with her actual life she's smart beyond recognition she is not DUMB AT ALL She juxtaposes art with life and this is what all actresses all good actresses must feel for their art She suffers for her art like any other artist worth his or her saltIt is pretty rare for literature to be so perfectly precise in emulating the theme and source it describes like the person herself RIP the novel for me will remain uniue and unforgettable


  2. says:

    Finally finished wish I were still reading all magic is gone from life now pls advsThis is the New Feminist Text I honestly think if every gal too young to remember or too young to even have a mother who actively remembers the effects of the women's movement of the 60s were given a copy of this book we'd have much less patriarchy snackdom in the world much eual pay and way fewer pointy toed stilettosMarilyn Monroe was continuously systematically screwed over pawned and sucked dry by man after man playwright and athlete and high school sweetheart alike as well as by Men™ which includes not just men but all the women gentlemen scholars mathematicians AND carpenters' wives who agree that the female body is but a glittery soft object for boys to ogle pet and circle jerk off to from the comforts of the Oval Office or locker room bench alike an object off of which there's billions to be made throughout her brief lifeAll the girls these days who walk around purring docilely between bouts of bulimia in designer skinnyjeans on their way to have their antidepressant prescriptions refilled need to read this book and then get back to us on whether or not they still think calling themselves and maybe actually BECOMING feminists is unnecessaryUpdate I'm absorbing this book slowly through a long visually unremarkable osmotic process or maybe it's the other way around and I'm ITS prey Either way I'm only a little than halfway through and I think I might experience actual physical withdrawal when I'm done For madness is seductive sexy Female madnessSo long as the female is reasonably young and attractive why I love Joyce Carol Oates


  3. says:

    My introduction to the fiction of Joyce Carol Oates is Blonde a radically distilled accounting of the life and death of Norma Jeane Baker who exploded onto screens and magazine spreads in 1950 as Marilyn Monroe became a global sex symbol and almost as uickly exited the world in a drug overdose Published in 2000 this is fiction with characters of the author's invention mingling with real people some unidentified by name The word epic gets thrown about as an adjective far too often but seems appropriate here in a big daring book vivid and harrowing than a biography could be peeling away the layers around the 20th century's most enigmatic celebrityIn the speculative history Oates plunges the reader into Norma Jeane's first memory comes at the age of two or three when her mother Gladys Mortensen takes her to Grauman's Chinese Theater The curious curly haired girl begins to frame the events of her life as scenes in a silver screen drama being played out for an audience By the age of six in the year 1932 Norma Jeane is living in Los Angeles under the care of her maternal Grandma Della Her biological father is and always will be unknown while her mentally unstable mother works for The Studio in a negative cutting lab Insisting Norma Jeane call her Gladys she changes addresses almost as often as moods When Grandma Della suffers a stroke Norma Jeane is placed in the custody of her mother sharing a bungalow on 828 Highland Avenue Their closest friends are their neighbors Jess Flynn and Clive Pearce who work as a film cutter and a musician respectively Gladys sees that her shy daughter take piano lessons with Uncle Clive and takes her on tours past the homes of the stars but suffering paranoid schizophrenia is a physically and verbally abusive parent Gladys loses her job and after she sets the bungalow on fire is interned at the State Hospital in Norwalk Unable to care for a child full time Aunt Jess turns Norma Jeane over to the Los Angeles Orphans Home Society Who had brought her to this place the child could not recall There were no distinct faces in her memory and no names For many days she was mute Her throat was raw and parched as if she'd been forced to inhale fire She could not eat without gagging and often vomiting She was sickly looking and sick She was hoping to die She was mature enough to articulate that wish I am so ashamed nobody wants me I want to die She was not mature enough to comprehend the rage of such a wish Nor the ecstasy of madness of ambition to revenge herself upon the world by conuering it somehow anyhow however any world is conuered by any mere individual and that individual female parentless isolated and seemingly of as much intrinsic worth as a solitary insect amid a teeming mass of insects Yet I will make you all love me and I will punish myself to spite your love was not then Norma Jeane's threat for she knew herself despite the wound in her soul lucky to have been brought to this place and not scalded to death or burned alive by her raging mother in the bungalow at 828 Highland AvenueNorma Jeane's charisma attracts couples looking to adopt but Gladys refuses to sign papers giving up custody In 1938 Norma Jeane is finally placed in a foster home with Elsie and Warren Pirig of Van Nuys As a teenager Norma Jeane is hard working and obedient but painfully shy an adeuate student who fails to be chosen for cheerleading or theater arts Genetic blessings and a gift for ethereal innocence wielded without effort attract the attention of men including her Uncle Warren Initially repelled by the prospect of marriage Norma Jeane bends to Elsie's schemes and weds a good looking boy from a respectable family named Bucky Glazer She is sixteen years oldAs a wife Norma Jeane seeks perfection and nothing less working hard to make sure that all of her husband's needs are met Initially grateful to have been matched to a wife with movie stars looks Bucky is nothing but a boy himself and ultimately bristles at his bride's neediness and creeping insecurity that he too might one day leave her In 1943 he does just that enlisting in the Merchant Marines Heartbroken and refusing the help of her in laws Norma Jeane goes to work at Radio Plane Aircraft in Burbank On the assembly line she ultimately catches the eye of photographer Otto Ose as he searches for good looking faces for a piece in Stars and Stripes on girls of the home frontAs a model Norma Jeane has her revenge on those who've rejected her but has her eyes set on being taken seriously as an actress She lands an agent a cunning hunchback named IA Shinn who not only envisions big things for Norma Jeane but is in love with her Signed to a six month contract with The Studio after she submits to the sexual gratifications of starmaking executive Mr Z Norma Jeane Shinn and Z arrive on Marilyn Monroe as her new name Her contract expires without fanfare and Monroe accepts 50 from Otto Ose to pose nude With his client at rock bottom Shinn calls in favors and gets Monroe an audition for a bit part in a movie titled The Asphalt Jungle The director stares astonished at this platinum blonde lying on the floor at his feet Explaining the character to me to me the director She'd become as unself conscious as a young willful child An aggressive child He forgets to light the Cuban cigar he's unwrapped and stuck between his teeth There's absolute silence in the rehearsal room as Marilyn Monroe begins the scene by shutting her eyes lying motionless in a mimicry of sleep her breathing deep and slow and rhythmic and her rib cage and breasts rising falling rising falling her smooth arms and her legs in nylons outstretched in the abandonment of sleep deep as hypnosis What are the thoughts men think gazing down upon the body of a beautiful sleeping girl? Eyes shut lips just slightly parted The opening of the scene lasts no than a few seconds but it seems much longer And the director is thinking This girl is the first actress of the twenty or he's auditioned for the role including the black haired actress he's probably going to cast who has caught on to the significance of the scene's opening the first who seems to have given the role any intelligent thought and who has actually read the entire script or so she claims and formed some sort of judgment on it The girl opens her eyes sits up slowly and blinking wide eyed and says in a whisper Oh I must have been asleep Is she acting or has she actually been asleep? Everyone's uncomfortable There is something strange here The girl with seeming naïveté or cunning addresses the director and not the assistant who's reading Louis Calhern's lines and in this way she makes the director still with the unlit Cuban cigar clamped between his teeth her uncle loverThere were scenes in Blonde so vivid I saw them play out as a long form television in my mind Both the tragic glamour of the Marilyn Monroe story and Oates' insightful and electric prose are powerfully compelling The rooting interest for Norma Jeane to survive the abuses leveled on her by those in power and to take control of her life is strong even though we know how she ultimately loses her life Oates justifies her massive page length by exploring how relationships or experiences became the keys Norma Jeane used to unlock her most memorable performances on set Norma Jeane's approach to her craft is responsible for the enigma of Marilyn Monroe Widmark was taken by surprise Never would he know who was Marilyn who was Nell It wasn't Widmark's style of acting He was a skilled technical actor He followed a director's direction Often his mind was elsewhere There was something humiliating about being an actor if you were a man Any actor is a kind of female The makeup the wardrobe fittings The emphasis on looks attractiveness Who the hell cares what a man looks like? What kind of man wears eye makeup lipstick rouge? But he'd expected to walk away with the movie A crappy melodrama that might've been a stage play it was so talky and static mostly a single set Richard Widmark was the sole box office name in the cast and he took it for granted he'd dominate the movie Swagger through Don't Bother To Knock as the love interest of two good looking young women who never meet The other was Anne Bancroft in her Hollywood debut But every fucking scene with Nell was a grapple He'd swear that girl wasn't acting She was so deep into her movie character you couldn't communicate with her; it was like trying to speak with a sleepwalker Eyes wide open and seemingly seeing but she's seeing a dream Of course the babysitter Nell was a kind of sleepwalker; the script defined her that way And seeing Jed Powers she doesn't see him she sees her dead fiancé; she's trapped in delusionOates demonstrates remarkable agility balancing plates in Blonde There's Norma Jeane's need for respect as an artist and how this contradicts her need to be cared for There are the men her second husband referred to as The Ex Athlete and third husband who goes as The Playwright as well as two fictions the estranged sons of Charlie Chaplin and Edward G Robinson who Norma Jeane constructs a ménage à trois with; all of these are nuanced characters attracted to pieces of Norma Jeane and repelled by parts of Marilyn Though mingling of fact and fiction we're shown how an often sick industry can damage and destroy unstable people and whether immortality on film is worth that sacrifice


  4. says:

    This book was very difficult to read Not because of the writing which is phenomenal but because we already know the sad ending Joyce Carol Oates takes us on a literary journey from babyhood through to the end with a flawless relentless depiction of the mind within the body that embarked on this particular journey It is beyond sad to bear witness to the reactions and defenses of a mind molded by fear uncertainty unpredictability and unreliability that resulted in a young woman who became her own worst enemy and basically orchestrated her own downfall With her background falling prey to the Hollywood system of male dominance of the time seemed inevitable The failure of The Blonde’s various coping mechanisms was not surprising nor was it surprising that this also sabotaged her personal relationships resulting in yet reinforcement for self sabotage A downward directed spiral indeed Lamentable as the story is I would recommend this book to any reader who is interested in the psychology of mind that can propel a soul through life from innocence to a tragic end


  5. says:

    This book was marvellous in many ways It's a fictional piece of work following the life of Norma Jeane Baker aka Marilyn Monroe from she's a child till her death as a 36 year old woman devoured and intoxicated with drugs medication and alcohol It's a tragic life story but it's hugely inspiring as well and if you have even the faintest interest in Marilyn Monroe's life I would highly recommend this book To me one of the most interesting aspects of Blonde was how it balances fiction and facts It's based on the truth but it's retold through another person who I assume hasn't ever met Monroe and only know her through the media coverage that we all have access to This book reads like great fiction but simultaneously I learned so much about Monroe's fascinating life and development into the sexy icon she became I LOVED THIS I have never read anything like this and I know that this book has impacted me hugely I will remember and cherish it for a long time to come because it speaks of a life so beloved intriguing tragic and yet fascinating and it does so wonderfully What a piece of art Blonde is


  6. says:

    I wasn't really sure how to go about reviewing this book at first but then I came up with a solution and it's a reviewing style I'll call The Good The Bad and The UglyHere we goThe Good Of course Joyce Carol Oates is a scary talented author and I bow at her feet The writing in this book goes from staggeringly beautiful to heart wrenchingly sad and all of it is masterfully executed The fact is no matter what the following might say I would probably give my left foot to be able to write like Oates does So let's move onThe Bad The story a fictionalized account of Marilyn Monroe's life is yet another thrilling installment in this author's Men Are Evil And Will Hurt You saga Okay Joyce I get that Marilyn had issues I get that men pushed her around But honestlyThen came her fairy godmother to tell her There's a secret way into the Walled GardenThere's a hidden door in the wall but you must wait like a good little girl for this door to be openedYou must win over the doorkeeper an old ugly green skinned gnome You must make the doorkeeper take notice of you You must make the doorkeeper desire you And then he will love you and will do your bidding Smile Smile and be happy Smile and take off your clothes For your Magic Friend in the mirror will help youthe old ugly green skinned gnome was really a prince under an evil enchantment and he will kneel before you and ask for your hand in marriage and you will live with him happily forever in his Garden kingdom; never will you be a lonely unhappy little girl again So long as you remain with your Prince in the Walled GardenGood lord And I haven't even mentioned how she calls each of her husbands Daddy Really Joyce you can cut the subtlety with a freaking battle axe here The Ugly Several of Marilyn Monroe's movies are described in the book including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Some Like It Hot These are two of my favorite movies or I should say they used to be I'm not sure because I haven't tried watching them but they might be ruined for me Can we talk about Some Like It Hot for a minute here? Oates's book tries to make the case that by this point in Marilyn Monroe's career everyone was disgusted with her and her love interest in the movie C aka Tony Curtis was so grossed out by her that he hating acting in the romantic scenes with her Okay Tony Curtis's autobiography American Prince A Memoir recently came out and I read an excerpt in Vanity Fair He was writing about Marilyn and how they used to date before she was famous and had red hair two things that aren't in the book HA Joyce Carol Oates I know something you don't know Anyway they weren't going out when they made the movie but he was still attracted to her According to Curtis he totally had a hard on for that entire scene in the yacht and Marilyn knew it What's Oates's take on the movie? Here you go And so C despised her at their climactic kissing scene how he'd wish to spit into Sugar Kane's phony ingenue face for by this time the mere touch of Monroe's leathery skin revulsed him C would be Monroe's enemy for life after her death what tales C would tell of herI really really hope that Tony Curtis reads Blonde And I hope he sends Joyce Carol Oates a letter that goes like this Dear Ms Oates Rot in hell you pretentious feminazi asshole What gives you the right to write down Marilyn's life for her and assign roles to each of us so we could all look like evil bastards compared to her? You didn't know her you didn't know any of us and you're no better than all the tabloids exploiting her fame and her death to make money Fuck you very much Madeline Tony Curtis I must say the man has a point


  7. says:

    I have conflicting emotions about this book and it goes something like this “The book is about Marilyn so what is there NOT to like about it right? Warts and all it is a powerful book written by a powerful writer” But the song that keeps playing in my head the words that keep haunting me comes from the voice of another writer This is the story of a rape“ This is the story of a rape of the events that led up to it and followed it and of the place in which it happened There are the action the people and the place; all of which are interrelated but in their totality incommunicable in isolation from the moral continuum of human affairs”There is something so ugly and disturbing about Joyce Carol Oates’s interpretation of Marilyn’s life that if one were to take away the author’s name one would suspect it was written by a loathsome mysogynist hell bent on destroying every last vestige of humanity in Marilyn Monroe movie ueen and Norma Jeane Baker innocent dreamerI fell into a trance in the first few hundred pages falling subject to Norma Jeane’s unuenchable spirit Even tossed about by the vagaries of her early years the reader sees how Norma Jeane was destined for some kind of greatness She was an indefatigable optimist; a resilient life force that did battle with her mother’s depression and burgeoning insanity and from under which she sprang out stronger still It was only later after the little fighter had grown into a vibrant woman who had been knocked down one too many times that the inherited depression finally consumed her and dragged her into hell In the intervening years she fought and fought like hell to hang onto the dream of “getting out alive” and making something of her life The reader can’t help but feel an overwhelming sadness and fatalism because unlike the young Norma Jeane we know how the story ends So far so good despite its all consuming sadnessThen Oates’s fangs come out She reveals to us her secret loathing for Marilyn sub consciously played out in the voice of the men who hated The Blonde Actress cow cunt stupid cunt mammalian bitch tramp slut WHORE sucker of cocks depressed whacko bitch stupid cunt stupid cunt stupid cunt OK we hear you But that’s the point I don’t hear the voice of the men so much as I hear Oates’s voice in my head you whore you bitch you cunt The sub text screams to me so loudly it’s like a punch in the face by Oates every slander uttered This is nothing but a vile peep show it occurred to me half way through the novel Here I am engaging in the tearing down of the movie ueen complicit in the act of rape No one is forcing me to read this book just like no one forced Oates to write itThe voyeuristic uality is enhanced by the protracted use of the third person The Blonde Actress The Ex Athlete The Playwright The President We the readers are standing in the red light district leering into the dimly lit and dirty window where the young woman lies exposed and vulnerable No one looks away either out of decency or revulsion A human being is being torn apart and we continue to be complicit in her excoriation You won’t write about me will you Daddy? You won’t write about me will you? You won’t write about me? Knowing this knowing how much Norma Jeane abhorred being written about in her Marilyn persona Oates revels in ignoring her plea Like the paparazzi who swoop like carrion birds she licks up every last intimate detail and splatters it luridly for our consumption Disturbingly Oates seems even obsessed with Marilyn’s body than the raving fans dwelling obsessively on skin and excretions and secretions ad nauseam She is pre occupied with Marilyn’s sexual intimacies and her miscarriages and her womb She is so consumed by Marilyn’s womb in fact that she leaves us with the notion she believes all Marilyn ever was was a big gaping receptacle of vileness hungry for as much degradation as she could possibly contain Over and over again we hear stupid cunt hailed as the avenue to the stinking infertile receptacle Marilyn’s womb did not bear fruit after all it was simply another secreting foul failure of our movie ueen“ I’m always running into people’s unconscious” Those words prophetically spoken by Marilyn Monroe in her empty headed persona shine uite a light on this fictional biography Oates seems to have run smack into the middle of her own “unconscious” while trying to explore Marilyn’s As much as art can be an exploratory medium to expose the vileness of the world and act as a cathartic force for change just as often it reveals the vileness or the victim within It often uncovers our own hidden truths and reveals to us our own failings When confronted with ourselves it thus becomes easy to say “this is just art” when we really should be admitting “this is me” As much as this was an authoritative book then it was an eually forceful indictment of the things that should not be said Certain secrets should not be violated Add to that there are some books that should never have been written despite the truths they hold This is one of themSo many will disagree because it was written by an influential writer and it’s art


  8. says:

    Joyce Carol Oates has appropriated our American wet dream the winner of the global boner bracket the all time Who'd You Rather? champion she's taken and made some kind of Cinderella Christ myth out of her tarted up for the ball by her leering old fairy godfather and when the clock hits twelve martyred for our filthy sins No soft focus angel Christ here either this is Mel Gibson torture Christ all meat and oozing sores inside her mouth Oates insists on the fact of her body Marilyn Monroe spends the entire book menstruating and sweating and stinking and pissing When she's sodomized by an old guy Oates describes it like a beak plunging in She never blinks She feels everything Like Christ she has some Daddy issues Like Christ she tries to chicken out Like Christ she seems to understand where this is all headed and to face it bewildered and terrified She's not dumb she just has no defenses She knows why she's here It was my intention to create a female portrait as emblematic of her time and place as Emma Bovary was of hers says Oates and you're like Create? Wasn't Marilyn Monroe already created? But the historical Monroe is a palimpsest for Oates She has her own agenda The historical individuals are not in the novel she says Rather their historical roles are the subject of the novel In one scene Marilyn Monroe goes incognito to the theater to watch her own movie and finds herself surrounded by men staring up at the screen and masturbating and that scene is this book in a nutshellOates has her sights set high Blonde is her longest book and her most audacious in a long career of audacity and it totally works Suck it Mailer The singular Great American Novel doesn't exist because there are so many Americans right? The loner cowboy; the runaway slave; the pioneer woman and the dizzy blonde too the sexpot the whore that's an American archetype Oh hey you can't miss Marilyn says Marilyn She'll be the one with the vagina Here she is


  9. says:

    For all of Blonde's claims as a novelized feminist retelling of Marilyn Monroe's life I have seldom come across a book with disturbing dehumanizing references to the female body and mind I am aware that these are intended to further emphasize Marilyn's loathed and loved standing in the American psyche as the virginwhore goddessgarbage dichotomy but the painful overuse of the adjectives cow cunt and mammalian to describe Marilyn as well as endlessly repetitive descriptions of female stench and the disgust of menstruation smack of reveling in degradation than they do of exposing exploitation Even though I reminded myself on every page that this book is a feminist interpretation of Marilyn's part of the Hollywood mythos I found it hard to stomachPerhaps I am missing the point but so be it


  10. says:

    Blonde is the Fictionalized Biography of Marilyn Monroe I chose to read it over a conventional style biography because I thought it would thought would be a personal account and show of her character and personality The book chronicles her life as a young child growing up with a mentally unstable mother and eventual placement in an orphanage and foster homesWe also see her transformation from the natural beauty Norma Jean Baker to the Sex Symbol Marilyn Monroe Beneath the makeup and behind the smile I am just a girl who wishes for the world Blonde also talks about Marilyn’s troubles being taken seriously as an actress and her insecurities about her talent Some people have been unkind If I say I want to grow as an actress they look at my figure If I say I want to develop to learn my craft they laugh Somehow they don't expect me to be serious about my work Another constant theme throughout this book is Marilyn’s many love affairs How many of them where real and how many were wishful thinking I don’t know But they say that if Marilyn Monroe had actually slept with every man who claimed she had She would have never have had any time to make movies I'm selfish impatient and a little insecure I make mistakes I am out of control and at times hard to handle But if you can't handle me at my worst then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best Marilyn was however married three times and seemed to idolise the idea of being a wife and mother but all her marriges were doomed to fail I have too many fantasies to be a housewifeI guess I am a fantasy It's better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone Throughout the book Marilyn is portrayed as a fragile and unstable person It is also implied that her mother’s mental illness was hereditary And as the book goes on her behaviour becomes and manic and depressive Happiness is the most important thing in the world without it you live a life of depression Marilyn is depicted as a fragile girl used by men Hollywood and the public A misunderstood and naive woman who was adored but never truly loved and sadly died alone I enjoyed this book but never really felt like I got under Marilyn's skin I knew I belonged to the public and to the world not because I was talented or even beautiful but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else


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Download ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ↠ Joyce Carol Oates

In her most ambitious work to date Joyce Carol Oates boldly reimagines the inner poetic and spiritual life of Norma Jeane Baker the child the woman the fated celebrity and idolized blonde the world came to kn My introduction to the fiction of Joyce Carol Oates is Blonde a radically distilled accounting of the life and death of Norma Jeane Baker who exploded onto screens and magazine spreads in 1950 as Marilyn Monroe became a global sex symbol and almost as uickly exited the world in a drug overdose Published in 2000 this is fiction with characters of the author's invention mingling with real people some unidentified by name The word epic gets thrown about as an adjective far too often but seems appropriate here in a big daring book vivid and harrowing than a biography could be peeling away the layers around the 20th century's most enigmatic celebrityIn the speculative history Oates plunges the reader into Norma Jeane's first memory comes at the age of two or three when her mother Gladys Mortensen takes her to Grauman's Chinese Theater The curious curly haired girl begins to frame the events of her life as scenes in a silver screen drama being played out for an audience By the age of six in the year 1932 Norma Jeane is living in Los Angeles under the care of her maternal Grandma Della Her biological father is and always will be unknown while her mentally unstable mother works for The Studio in a negative cutting lab Insisting Norma Jeane call her Gladys she changes addresses almost as often as moods When Grandma Della suffers a stroke Norma Jeane is placed in the custody of her mother sharing a bungalow on 828 Highland Avenue Their closest friends are their neighbors Jess Flynn and Clive Pearce who work as a film cutter and a musician respectively Gladys sees that her shy daughter take piano lessons with Uncle Clive and takes her on tours past the homes of the stars but suffering paranoid schizophrenia is a physically and verbally abusive parent Gladys loses her job and after she sets the bungalow on fire is interned at the State Hospital in Norwalk Unable to care for a child full time Aunt Jess turns Norma Jeane over to the Los Angeles Orphans Home Society Who had brought her to this place the child could not recall There were no distinct faces in her memory and no names For many days she was mute Her throat was raw and parched as if she'd been forced to inhale fire She could not eat without gagging and often vomiting She was sickly looking and sick She was hoping to die She was mature enough to articulate that wish I am so ashamed nobody wants me I want to die She was not mature enough to comprehend the rage of such a wish Nor the ecstasy of madness of ambition to revenge herself upon the world by conuering it somehow anyhow however any world is conuered by any mere individual and that individual female parentless isolated and seemingly of as much intrinsic worth as a solitary insect amid a teeming mass of insects Yet I will make you all love me and I will punish myself to spite your love was not then Norma Jeane's threat for she knew herself despite the wound in her soul lucky to have been brought to this place and not scalded to death or burned alive by her raging mother in the bungalow at 828 Highland AvenueNorma Jeane's charisma attracts couples looking to adopt but Gladys refuses to sign papers giving up custody In 1938 Norma Jeane is finally placed in a foster home with Elsie and Warren Pirig of Van Nuys As a teenager Norma Jeane is hard working and obedient but painfully shy an adeuate student who fails to be chosen for cheerleading or theater arts Genetic blessings and a gift for ethereal innocence wielded without effort attract the attention of men including her Uncle Warren Initially repelled by the prospect of marriage Norma Jeane bends to Elsie's schemes and weds a good looking boy from a respectable family named Bucky Glazer She is sixteen years oldAs a wife Norma Jeane seeks perfection and nothing less working hard to make sure that all of her husband's needs are met Initially grateful to have been matched to a wife with movie stars looks Bucky is nothing but a boy himself and ultimately bristles at his bride's neediness and creeping insecurity that he too might one day leave her In 1943 he does just that enlisting in the Merchant Marines Heartbroken and refusing the help of her in laws Norma Jeane goes to work at Radio Plane Aircraft in Burbank On the assembly line she ultimately catches the eye of photographer Otto Ose as he searches for good looking faces for a piece in Stars and Stripes on girls of the home frontAs a model Norma Jeane has her revenge on those who've rejected her but has her eyes set on being taken seriously as an actress She lands an agent a cunning hunchback named IA Shinn who not only envisions big things for Norma Jeane but is in love with her Signed to a six month contract with The Studio after she submits to the sexual gratifications of starmaking executive Mr Z Norma Jeane Shinn and Z arrive on Marilyn Monroe as her new name Her contract expires without fanfare and Monroe accepts 50 from Otto Ose to pose nude With his client at rock bottom Shinn calls in favors and gets Monroe an audition for a bit part in a movie titled The Asphalt Jungle The director stares astonished at this platinum blonde lying on the floor at his feet Explaining the character to me to me the director She'd become as unself conscious as a young willful child An aggressive child He forgets to light the Cuban cigar he's unwrapped and stuck between his teeth There's absolute silence in the rehearsal room as Marilyn Monroe begins the scene by shutting her eyes lying motionless in a mimicry of sleep her breathing deep and slow and rhythmic and her rib cage and breasts rising falling rising falling her smooth arms and her legs in nylons outstretched in the abandonment of sleep deep as hypnosis What are the thoughts men think gazing down upon the body of a beautiful sleeping girl? Eyes shut lips just slightly parted The opening of the scene lasts no than a few seconds but it seems much longer And the director is thinking This girl is the first actress of the twenty or he's auditioned for the role including the black haired actress he's probably going to cast who has caught on to the significance of the scene's opening the first who seems to have given the role any intelligent thought and who has actually read the entire script or so she claims and formed some sort of judgment on it The girl opens her eyes sits up slowly and blinking wide eyed and says in a whisper Oh I must have been asleep Is she acting or has she actually been asleep? Everyone's uncomfortable There is something strange here The girl with seeming naïveté or cunning addresses the director and not the assistant who's reading Louis Calhern's lines and in this way she makes the director still with the unlit Cuban cigar clamped between his teeth her uncle loverThere were scenes in Blonde so vivid I saw them play out as a long form television in my mind Both the tragic glamour of the Marilyn Monroe story and Oates' insightful and electric prose are powerfully compelling The rooting interest for Norma Jeane to survive the abuses leveled on her by those in power and to take control of her life is strong even though we know how she ultimately loses her life Oates justifies her massive page length by exploring how relationships or experiences became the keys Norma Jeane used to unlock her most memorable performances on set Norma Jeane's approach to her craft is responsible for the enigma of Marilyn Monroe Widmark was taken by surprise Never would he know who was Marilyn who was Nell It wasn't Widmark's style of acting He was a skilled technical actor He followed a director's direction Often his mind was elsewhere There was something humiliating about being an actor if you were a man Any actor is a kind of female The makeup the wardrobe fittings The emphasis on looks attractiveness Who the hell cares what a man looks like? What kind of man wears eye makeup lipstick rouge? But he'd expected to walk away with the movie A crappy melodrama that might've been a stage play it was so talky and static mostly a single set Richard Widmark was the sole box office name in the cast and he took it for granted he'd dominate the movie Swagger through Don't Bother To Knock as the love interest of two good looking young women who never meet The other was Anne Bancroft in her Hollywood debut But every fucking scene with Nell was a grapple He'd swear that girl wasn't acting She was so deep into her movie character you couldn't communicate with her; it was like trying to speak with a sleepwalker Eyes wide open and seemingly seeing but she's seeing a dream Of course the babysitter Nell was a kind of sleepwalker; the script defined her that way And seeing Jed Powers she doesn't see him she sees her dead fiancé; she's trapped in delusionOates demonstrates remarkable agility balancing plates in Blonde There's Norma Jeane's need for respect as an artist and how this contradicts her need to be cared for There are the men her second husband referred to as The Ex Athlete and third husband who goes as The Playwright as well as two fictions the estranged sons of Charlie Chaplin and Edward G Robinson who Norma Jeane constructs a ménage à trois with; all of these are nuanced characters attracted to pieces of Norma Jeane and repelled by parts of Marilyn Though mingling of fact and fiction we're shown how an often sick industry can damage and destroy unstable people and whether immortality on film is worth that sacrifice The Glovemaker to date Joyce Carol Oates boldly reimagines Timelines of American Literature the inner poetic and spiritual life of Norma Jeane Baker Architecture in Formation the child Great Powers, Small Wars the woman A Bloodless Victory the fated celebrity and idolized blonde Epiphany the world came Unplanned Parenthood to kn My introduction The Cloak of Aphrodite to Russian Eurasianism the fiction of Joyce Carol Oates is Blonde a radically distilled accounting of Betsy Bonaparte the life and death of Norma Jeane Baker who exploded onto screens and magazine spreads in 1950 as Marilyn Monroe became a global sex symbol and almost as uickly exited American Hieroglyphics the world in a drug overdose Published in 2000 Wellbeing of Transnational Muslim Families this is fiction with characters of Betsy Bonaparte the author's invention mingling with real people some unidentified by name The word epic gets Interactions thrown about as an adjective far Critical Communication Studies too often but seems appropriate here in a big daring book vivid and harrowing The Big Vote than a biography could be peeling away Gender and Firearms the layers around Six Essential Fingerings for the Jazz Guitarist the 20th century's most enigmatic celebrityIn Defining Shinto the speculative history Oates plunges Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter and Other Poems the reader into Norma Jeane's first memory comes at Stable Witch (Saddle Club, the age of White Separatism and the Politics of the American Extreme Right two or The Reign of Stephen three when her mother Gladys Mortensen Aliens takes her Aliens to Grauman's Chinese Theater The curious curly haired girl begins Not a Nickel to Spare to frame A Journey Through the Last Dance the events of her life as scenes in a silver screen drama being played out for an audience By The Last Dance the age of six in No Go the Bogeyman the year 1932 Norma Jeane is living in Los Angeles under Everyday Islam in Post-Soviet Central Asia the care of her maternal Grandma Della Her biological father is and always will be unknown while her mentally unstable mother works for The Studio in a negative cutting lab Insisting Norma Jeane call her Gladys she changes addresses almost as often as moods When Grandma Della suffers a stroke Norma Jeane is placed in Luke Banderloft and The McFarven Pirates the custody of her mother sharing a bungalow on 828 Highland Avenue Their closest friends are A Story of Yhwh their neighbors Jess Flynn and Clive Pearce who work as a film cutter and a musician respectively Gladys sees Dominion that her shy daughter The Routledge Companion to Photography Theory take piano lessons with Uncle Clive and Men Speak Out takes her on The Luminaries tours past Educating Intuition the homes of Poor Economics the stars but suffering paranoid schizophrenia is a physically and verbally abusive parent Gladys loses her job and after she sets Anglo-Saxon Emotions the bungalow on fire is interned at The Thin Red Line the State Hospital in Norwalk Unable Jeeves in the Offing (Jeeves, to care for a child full Biggles Defies the Swastika time Aunt Jess The Outlandish Companion turns Norma Jeane over Scream If You Want to Go Faster to Fathers and Forefathers the Los Angeles Orphans Home Society Who had brought her The Dinner Lady to False Pretences this place Flesh and Blood the child could not recall There were no distinct faces in her memory and no names For many days she was mute Her Miss Gomez and the Brethren throat was raw and parched as if she'd been forced False Step to inhale fire She could not eat without gagging and often vomiting She was sickly looking and sick She was hoping Digital Minimalism to die She was mature enough Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man to articulate Slummy Mummy that wish I am so ashamed nobody wants me I want Boardwalk Empire to die She was not mature enough Magic Tree House to comprehend Popinjay Stairs the rage of such a wish Nor Fire with Fire the ecstasy of madness of ambition The Pretender to revenge herself upon A Battle Won the world by conuering it somehow anyhow however any world is conuered by any mere individual and Sunjata that individual female parentless isolated and seemingly of as much intrinsic worth as a solitary insect amid a Secret Agent Mummy (Secret Agent Mummy, teeming mass of insects Yet I will make you all love me and I will punish myself geoff, buda ve ben to spite your love was not Perky then Norma Jeane's Spinning Jenny threat for she knew herself despite A Saucerful of Secrets the wound in her soul lucky Rayleigh Through Time to have been brought Wannabe in my Gang? to Dive in the Sun this place and not scalded The Genius of Birds to death or burned alive by her raging mother in Wild Things the bungalow at 828 Highland AvenueNorma Jeane's charisma attracts couples looking Biggles Flies East to adopt but Gladys refuses Letters to Chloe to sign papers giving up custody In 1938 Norma Jeane is finally placed in a foster home with Elsie and Warren Pirig of Van Nuys As a Ford County teenager Norma Jeane is hard working and obedient but painfully shy an adeuate student who fails Johannes Cabal the Necromancer to be chosen for cheerleading or Academia Obscura theater arts Genetic blessings and a gift for ethereal innocence wielded without effort attract Bloot slaat dood the attention of men including her Uncle Warren Initially repelled by Wide-Eyed and Legless the prospect of marriage Norma Jeane bends Il rogo di Berlino to Elsie's schemes and weds a good looking boy from a respectable family named Bucky Glazer She is sixteen years oldAs a wife Norma Jeane seeks perfection and nothing less working hard Conquest (Making of England, to make sure The Team that all of her husband's needs are met Initially grateful Beatrix Potters Letters to have been matched Fleishman Is in Trouble to a wife with movie stars looks Bucky is nothing but a boy himself and ultimately bristles at his bride's neediness and creeping insecurity The Rain-Soaked Bride that he The Nightingale Girls (Nightingales 1) too might one day leave her In 1943 he does just Clever Girl that enlisting in Lost Empress the Merchant Marines Heartbroken and refusing A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi the help of her in laws Norma Jeane goes The Fate of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, to work at Radio Plane Aircraft in Burbank On Schlump the assembly line she ultimately catches The Prodigys Cousin the eye of photographer Otto Ose as he searches for good looking faces for a piece in Stars and Stripes on girls of The Demons of Ghent (Forbidden Spaces, the home frontAs a model Norma Jeane has her revenge on Pleins feux sur le tutu (San-Antonio those who've rejected her but has her eyes set on being Bogwoppit taken seriously as an actress She lands an agent a cunning hunchback named IA Shinn who not only envisions big Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life things for Norma Jeane but is in love with her Signed Dip to a six month contract with The Studio after she submits The Day Louis Got Eaten to Measuring Time the sexual gratifications of starmaking executive Mr Z Norma Jeane Shinn and Z arrive on Marilyn Monroe as her new name Her contract expires without fanfare and Monroe accepts 50 from Otto Ose Jerusalem to pose nude With his client at rock bottom Shinn calls in favors and gets Monroe an audition for a bit part in a movie Bound to Submit titled The Asphalt Jungle The director stares astonished at Oil on Water this platinum blonde lying on Officer, Nurse, Woman the floor at his feet Explaining Ghostwalk the character Angel Be Good to me Stepping Stone and Love Machine to me Life is a Dream the director She'd become as unself conscious as a young willful child An aggressive child He forgets უხილავი ქალაქები to light Amberville (Mollisan Town Quartet, the Cuban cigar he's unwrapped and stuck between his Summer Horse (Saddle Club, teeth There's absolute silence in Zuckerman Unbound the rehearsal room as Marilyn Monroe begins Ténébreux samedi the scene by shutting her eyes lying motionless in a mimicry of sleep her breathing deep and slow and rhythmic and her rib cage and breasts rising falling rising falling her smooth arms and her legs in nylons outstretched in The Mark of Cain (Long Lankin, the abandonment of sleep deep as hypnosis What are Every Pretty Thing (Darby McCormick, the Forgiving Keven thoughts men Cincuenta Sombras de Grey (Trilogía Cincuenta Sombras) think gazing down upon Escape the body of a beautiful sleeping girl? Eyes shut lips just slightly parted The opening of The Nativity the scene lasts no Miss Peregrine (Miss Peregrine, than a few seconds but it seems much longer And Forsaking All Others the director is Command Authority thinking This girl is The Warburgs the first actress of Reunion the Reheated Cabbage twenty or he's auditioned for Its OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids the role including The Friend Zone the black haired actress he's probably going No Mean Glasgow to cast who has caught on Going Too Far/The Old Girl Network to Three by Atiq Rahimi the significance of Brute Force (Nick Stone, the scene's opening Work Suspended and other stories including Basil Seal Rides Again the first who seems Dying For Christmas to have given Landscape With Chainsaw the role any intelligent Compact City Series thought and who has actually read The Devils Scribe (The Taker, the entire script or so she claims and formed some sort of judgment on it The girl opens her eyes sits up slowly and blinking wide eyed and says in a whisper Oh I must have been asleep Is she acting or has she actually been asleep? Everyone's uncomfortable There is something strange here The girl with seeming naïveté or cunning addresses A Nest of Vipers the director and not Frog is Sad the assistant who's reading Louis Calhern's lines and in A Season Of Ghosts this way she makes Holacracy the director still with Driftwood. Cathy Cassidy the unlit Cuban cigar clamped between his Gridlock (Ryan Lock, teeth her uncle loverThere were scenes in Blonde so vivid I saw Stop What You’re Doing and Read…To Your Daughter them play out as a long form An Extraordinary Time television in my mind Both Service With a Smile the A House in Fez tragic glamour of Almost the Equinox the Marilyn Monroe story and Oates' insightful and electric prose are powerfully compelling The rooting interest for Norma Jeane In Flanders Fields to survive Sucking Eggs the abuses leveled on her by A Dubious Legacy those in power and Lee Raven, Boy Thief to Baby and Child Vegetarian Recipes take control of her life is strong even Third Shift (Shift, though we know how she ultimately loses her life Oates justifies her massive page length by exploring how relationships or experiences became The Matter Of Wales the keys Norma Jeane used Obabakoak Oder Das Gänsespiel to unlock her most memorable performances on set Norma Jeane's approach Fairytale Food to her craft is responsible for Weekend Warrior the enigma of Marilyn Monroe Widmark was The Mennyms (Mennyms, taken by surprise Never would he know who was Marilyn who was Nell It wasn't Widmark's style of acting He was a skilled A Christmas Party technical actor He followed a director's direction Often his mind was elsewhere There was something humiliating about being an actor if you were a man Any actor is a kind of female The makeup Get Me Out of Here the wardrobe fittings The emphasis on looks attractiveness Who Tender at the Bone the hell cares what a man looks like? What kind of man wears eye makeup lipstick rouge? But he'd expected Selected Short Stories of John OHara to walk away with Forgotten Voices Desert Victory the movie A crappy melodrama Bluebeards Egg that might've been a stage play it was so Intimate Strangers talky and static mostly a single set Richard Widmark was Deadlock the sole box office name in The Paper Trail the cast and he How Ireland Really Went Bust. by Matt Cooper took it for granted he'd dominate Three Plays the movie Swagger Widows Walk (Spenser, through Don't Bother To Knock as The Fate of the Tearling the love interest of The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary E-Shorts, two good looking young women who never meet The other was Anne Bancroft in her Hollywood debut But every fucking scene with Nell was a grapple He'd swear Dull Men of Great Britain that girl wasn't acting She was so deep into her movie character you couldn't communicate with her; it was like Take Me with You trying A Nurses Duty to speak with a sleepwalker Eyes wide open and seemingly seeing but she's seeing a dream Of course A Grant County Collection the babysitter Nell was a kind of sleepwalker; Heaven the script defined her Death of a Salaryman that way And seeing Jed Powers she doesn't see him she sees her dead fiancé; she's Unidentified Poetic Object trapped in delusionOates demonstrates remarkable agility balancing plates in Blonde There's Norma Jeane's need for respect as an artist and how Love Hurts this contradicts her need Henry en June to be cared for There are The Big Questions the men her second husband referred A Splash of Magic (Magic Bunny, to as The Ex Athlete and Dead Woman Walking third husband who goes as The Playwright as well as Bunchy two fictions Il cane nero the estranged sons of Charlie Chaplin and Edward G Robinson who Norma Jeane constructs a ménage à Under the Net trois with; all of Stripped these are nuanced characters attracted On the Bare to pieces of Norma Jeane and repelled by parts of Marilyn Though mingling of fact and fiction we're shown how an often sick industry can damage and destroy unstable people and whether immortality on film is worth Sterner Stuff that sacrifice

characters Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates

Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates

Wood's myth and an extraordinary woman's heartbreaking reality Blonde is a sweeping epic that pays tribute to the elusive magic and devastation behind the creation of the great twentieth century American star For all of Blonde's claims as a novelized feminist retelling of Marilyn Monroe's life I have seldom come across a book with disturbing dehumanizing references to the female body and mind I am aware that these are intended to further emphasize Marilyn's loathed and loved standing in the American psyche as the virginwhore goddessgarbage dichotomy but the painful overuse of the adjectives cow cunt and mammalian to describe Marilyn as well as endlessly repetitive descriptions of female stench and the disgust of menstruation smack of reveling in degradation than they do of exposing exploitation Even though I reminded myself on every page that this book is a feminist interpretation of Marilyn's part of the Hollywood mythos I found it hard to stomachPerhaps I am missing the point but so be it The Witchs Coven that pays Supplementary Exercises for Introducing Biblical Hebrew by Allen P. Ross tribute Great Famine to The Color of Night the elusive magic and devastation behind What Preachers Never Tell You About Tithes & Offerings the creation of Pulse (Frank Quinn, the great Obsession twentieth century American star For all of Blonde's claims as a novelized feminist retelling of Marilyn Monroe's life I have seldom come across a book with disturbing dehumanizing references The Supreme Court and Puerto Rico to Simply Napkins the female body and mind I am aware The Unconscious Civilization that The Complete Tightwad Gazette these are intended The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years to further emphasize Marilyn's loathed and loved standing in الدعوة الإسلامية دعوة عالمية the American psyche as Writing and Selling Magazine Articles the virginwhore goddessgarbage dichotomy but The Strange Bird the painful overuse of Collected Stories the adjectives cow cunt and mammalian Collected Stories to describe Marilyn as well as endlessly repetitive descriptions of female stench and Cleopatras Daughter the disgust of menstruation smack of reveling in degradation Funny Feckin' Irish Jokes!: Humorous Jokes about Everything Irish.Sure Tis Great Craic! than Settlers they do of exposing exploitation Even Never Deny a Duke (Decadent Dukes Society, though I reminded myself on every page The Sphinx that Tidelands (Fairmile this book is a feminist interpretation of Marilyn's part of Pretty Lucy Merwyn the Hollywood mythos I found it hard Strings to stomachPerhaps I am missing Carnal Sacrifice (Brides of Caralon, the point but so be it

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Ow as Marilyn Monroe In a voice startlingly intimate and rich Norma Jeane tells her own story of an emblematic American artist intensely conflicted and driven who had lost her way A powerful portrait of Holly This book was very difficult to read Not because of the writing which is phenomenal but because we already know the sad ending Joyce Carol Oates takes us on a literary journey from babyhood through to the end with a flawless relentless depiction of the mind within the body that embarked on this particular journey It is beyond sad to bear witness to the reactions and defenses of a mind molded by fear uncertainty unpredictability and unreliability that resulted in a young woman who became her own worst enemy and basically orchestrated her own downfall With her background falling prey to the Hollywood system of male dominance of the time seemed inevitable The failure of The Blonde’s various coping mechanisms was not surprising nor was it surprising that this also sabotaged her personal relationships resulting in yet reinforcement for self sabotage A downward directed spiral indeed Lamentable as the story is I would recommend this book to any reader who is interested in the psychology of mind that can propel a soul through life from innocence to a tragic end