Monroe's diary, poems to hit print

'Fragments' due in Oct. from French, U.S. publishers

PARIS -- Blonde icon. Sex goddess. Glamour queen. Marilyn Monroe was many things to many people, but one thing she was rarely taken for was a writer.

Now French and American publishers have compiled a collection of previously unseen diary entries, jottings and poems which were inherited by Anna Strasberg, widow of Lee Strasberg, Monroe's friend and acting instructor.

To be published by Editions du Seuil in France and U.S. publishing house Farrar, Straus & Giroux in October, the book -- "Fragments" -- reveals Monroe's intellectual side and her frustration with being cast as a sex object.

At a dinner in late 2008, French publisher Bernard Comment learned of the existence of the collection of writings by Monroe which date from 1943 up until her death in 1962.

The impression given by Monroe's writing, he said, is that of a delicate, introspective person whose train of thought could veer all over the page.

"There is a certain melancholy tone throughout the book, and what is very beautiful in some of the notes is the way you see the association between ideas, even if they are quite scattered all over the page," said Comment, editor at Editions du Seuil.

"They go in all directions and it can be sometimes quite difficult to find order within the fragments," Comment told Reuters in an interview, adding that the writing bordered at times on self-psychoanalysis.

Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortensen, personified 1950s glamour and went through a string of high-profile relationships -- including a marriage to playwright Arthur Miller and rumored affairs with Robert and John F. Kennedy.

Among her best-known movies are "The Seven Year Itch," "Some Like It Hot" and "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes."

The final years of Monroe's life were marred by illness and personal problems. The circumstances of her death, at 36, are still the subject of speculation.

It was often in the wake of an emotional event, or when faced with a dilemma, that Monroe put pen to paper, Comment said.

"I think that not only did she enjoy, but she also felt the need (to write), to sort out her life and try to put down the extremely acute feelings that she could have in reaction to certain situations," he said.

The book puts each piece of writing into chronological order, accompanied by a series of photos of the iconic actress. Some of the jottings date from as early as 1943 but most of which were written between 1951 to 1962.

While Monroe's writings shed no light on ongoing mysteries -- such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy, for example -- they do reveal Monroe's misgivings about taking on acting roles which consistently cast her as the "dumb blonde," Comment said.

"(Her writing) helps to illuminate her character and gives her an intellectual and literary substance that many people did not suspect."
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