BLONDE: the story of the broken doll or the poem of hope devoured by fear
BLONDE (Alfaguara 2012) by Joyce Carol Oates, the New Yorker writer and Nobel Prize for Literature nominee, tells the obscurities, abominations, squalors, extreme abuse and ruthless exploitation suffered by Norma Jean Baker. Popularly known as Marilyn Monroe, she was one of the American quintessential icons and the most idolized platinum blonde of all times.
Throughout its nearly 1,000 pages, including meticulous documentation, the author draws and blurs the lines of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood; each of the glories and decadences of the actress-objectified, created and exploited by the monstrous Hollywood.
A story in which Carol Oates unravels and openly shows that behind the worshiped Hollywood icon stood a fragile, sweet girl, bereft of love, dignity and security. The delicate and vulnerable Marilyn Monroe was the ever broken doll, forever shattered, perhaps sweet, perhaps naive, almost poetic, and love-starved. The one who would write in her intimate diary:
“Help, help, Help I feel life coming closer when all I want is to die.”
“DESIRE because you desire me I am not”.
Marilyn Monroe voraciously read Stanislavsky, Tolstoy, James Joyce, Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, Freud, Proust, Pushkin, Flaubert and Kahlil Gibran. She was the spectacular doll to whom the world granted
nothing; just conceit, superficiality and the voluptuousness in her curves. She was engulfed by the evilness of Hollywood as if by wolves, coyotes, carnivorous hyenas, birds of prey. Hollywood’s patriarchal industry paints its object of art with the finest brushes, while it slowly fragments this appetizing blonde and sex symbol with mutilating violence into a slow death.
BLONDE, the extensive story, weaves facts and fiction masterfully, giving voice to Marilyn Monroe, the broken blonde doll aborted into the world in 1926, and received by the embrace of her faithful companion, death; in the narrator’s words: “Death, there comes Death, infallible, an impossible Death to deter. A Death that pedaled frantically. A Death in a hurry. A Death chewing gum frantically, with impatience that rings the bell persistently”.
In BLONDE, the reader is immersed and wanders in the current of the narrative voices; some accomplices, others killers, others haughty and ruthless; merging in a written poem with the finest ink, the poem of hope devoured by fear.
›› By María Clara de Greiff