Despite how brief her time in the world of the living was, Marilyn Monroe has inspired and continues to inspire some of the best things that art and literature of the last fifty years have given us. It is something that goes beyond what Andy Warhol did because the platinum blonde par excellence has been portrayed by the brush of Salvador Dalí or Jasper Johns and his life has been turned into a novel or story by Joyce Carol Oates and Truman Capote. Continuing with this line, Tusquets has had the happy idea of recovering a book by Rafael Reig, originally published in 1992, but now revised by the writer. It is "Autobiography of Marilyn Monroe."
Norma Jeane, as she was really called, had the misfortune of having bad biographers, like the paranoid Robert Slatzer or the fanatic James Haspiel. But he has also had the good fortune to have a rigorous scholar, like Donald Spoto. But what Reig does has nothing to do with all this. It is the writer who tries to reconstruct Marilyn's voice at the end of his life, when the time has come to remember. The protagonist of "The temptation lives up" did get to write an autobiography entitled "My Story", although it was actually written by Ben Hetch, one of the great writers of Golden Hollywood. That volume was a construction of an image based on real events. Rafael Reig is much closer to reality, although from fiction.
Marilyn was not given much time to think about posterity. Surely today she would be appalled at the industry that has been created around her figure. Atrocities continue to be paid for objects that once passed through his life and his current heiress -the widow of his professor Lee Strasberg- achieves juicy profits every year with all the "merchandising" that revolves around his name. She, in spite of the fact that she interpreted frivolous and deranged women in comedies, even wanted to rub shoulders with several of the literary personalities of her time. And he did it in a line that goes from Karen Blixen to Norman Rosten. To some he inspired and wrote about it.
Some inspired her and, after her death, notes were found in which she tried to be a writer herself. They were from the same Marilyn who kept, among other books in his library, a copy of "Poeta en Nueva York".