Adam, Arthur, Marilyn And Me
In his essay above Mr. Kirsch argues that Marilyn Monroe somehow destroyed Arthur Miller’s genius. This presupposes that Miller ever had genius which I deny. In my previous essay, Adam Kirsch Talks About Arthur Miller, I posited that Miller was inspired by a movie, The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse, and a play, The Ice Man Cometh. The influence of Ice Man was expended with Death Of A Salesman while Miller learned a subversive technique from Dr. Mabuse.
At the heart of Miller’s infatuation with Monroe was a key story from Timebends that Kirsch relates. In 1915 William Fox (the Fox at the end of 20th Century-Fox) was looking for financing and approached Miller’s father for a 50,000 loan. Big money for those days, I might add. The loan was refused; Fox went on to briefly have the most successful of the movie studios. He was out foxed by the NYC Jewish financiers who robbed him of his company transferring control of the industry to MGM. As Miller notes, if his father had made the loan he would have grown up in total opulence in Hollywood with a starlet on each knee. I believe this is the real Arthur Miller.
In the meantime he became a major success on Broadway while Marilyn Monroe in actual fact became the most desirable shiksa in the the entire world. If Miller didn’t grow up with starlets on his knees he could now obtain the most desirable movie star in the world. In her day Marilyn was probably more reported than Presley and the Beatles combined.
That Miller wanted her as a wife shows how deluded he was. In the Hollywood tradition of considering all women whores she had been awarded to various celebrities for use over the years. She was also coming from a divorce with Joe Dimaggio. By 1956 Frank Sinatra was on his way to dominating the Hollywood scene. He was able, in fact, to call women from their husbands beds in the middle of the night to go to him to give him blow jobs. It isn’t necessary to point out his shameful treatment of Monroe over the years. I consider him responsible for Monroe’s suicide.
Sinatra gave Miller fits which he mentions but doesn’t go into detail.
He may not have been aware that Elia Kazan screwed Monroe in the back seat of a car with a driver in front but Kazan relished telling the story in his own autobiography that Miller probably read. Up yours, 30 years after.
So, really, one would have to question the sanity of anyone wanting to marry this woman because of her history let alone that she was on every front page. Nude photographs, you know, the works. When she married Di Maggio Bob Hope cracked the joke: Did you hear Marily Monroe got married? All the men in America are flying their shorts at half mast. So who would want to walk a mile in DiMaggio’s shoes. Well, maybe a mile would be OK.
Here was a woman then requiring careful attention and treatment. You’d have to be a master psychologist was well as a man among men. The divorce occurred when Monroe absented herself for a few days and Miller thought he was deserted. When Monroe returned to the empty house she couldn’t understand why Miller left.
What kind of genius is this guy supposed to have?
During the marriage he read Albert Camus’ novel; The Fall. This trivial piece of crap had a profound effect on Miller. He became a judge-penitent in his own mind turning out trivial holocaust junk like Incident At Vichy as well as a whine about his marriage appropriately titled: After The Fall. His work remained subversive following the lessons of The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse.
Miller’s ‘genius’ was shot after Death Of A Salesman. there was nothing of significance left. Marilyn Monroe had nothing to do with it.