Quotation by Diana Trilling

Of Ernest Hemingway, for example, I feel much as I do of Marilyn Monroe, that he was unable to marshal any adequate defense against the painful events of his childhood, and this despite his famous toughness and the courage he could call upon in war, in hunting, in all the dangerous enterprises that seduced him. He was an innocent man, not a naive man, though not always intelligent. Marilyn Monroe offers us a similar paradox. Even when she symbolized an extreme of experience, of sexual knowingness, she took each new circumstance of life, as it came to her or as she sought it, like a newborn babe. And yet this was what made her luminous—her innocence. The glow was not rubbed off her by her experience of the ugliness of life because finally, in some vital depth, she had been untouched by it.
Diana Trilling, U.S. educator, critic. "The Death of Marilyn Monroe," Claremont Essays, Harcourt Brace (1964).
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