Arthur Miller on Marilyn Monroe: The Ultimate Dream

Arthur Miller
Interview with Author
New York

Life was a persistent challenge, and she believed that study and preparation were necessary for every movement, duty, act. You tell me about William Inge and his fear of moving about his own home, and this was true of Marilyn as well. Every vestige of trust had been throttled, squashed, or scoured out of her. All she trusted was her beauty and her appeal, both of which were formidable, and both of which came to be all she could rely upon. She trusted Chanel and Erno Laszlo and Lee Strasberg, and that's about it. She could see or feel their effects, and she could benefit from them. Everything else took time and trust, and she knew, I think, that she would never have much or any of either.

Like so many of us, she was happy when intoxicated, either by liquor or through fantasy. She would lose herself in books and plays as no one else could. Of course she transformed them all into films in which she was starring, but she had a great ability at forming a narrative line, of cutting the flab, and cutting to her character.

She was happiest dreaming, imagining herself with new friends or parents; new skills; new homes. The goal was to get to the next dream. And I think now she is within all of our dreams--she is, in fact, the ultimate dream. And no one can hurt her, and no one can wake her up. 

All photographs by Ed Feingersh.


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