Norman Mailer gives a gilded, forensic tour of all things Marilyn.
First, just let the product specifications sink in: Marilyn Monroe (Taschen), by Norman Mailer and Bert Stern, costs a thousand dollars. It pairs ninety-three thousand words Mailer wrote about Monroe in 1973 with more than a hundred shots from Stern’s 1962 four-day photo session with the doomed actress, snapped six weeks before her death.
Who would pay this kind of money for a glorified photo book? A person who wants to own a weighty, flashy object made specifically to call attention to itself (and to the tastes of the person who purchased it). And I must confess at the outset that I am not such a person—which means, in strict terms, I have nothing to say about the actual body in question. Taschen would not relinquish a review copy. So instead of sticking my nose in all of the book’s 278 fourteen-inch pages
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