LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Remembering Marilyn Monroe

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Back in 1962 I had just arrived in Valencia, Spain, to start medical school. The news that Marilyn Monroe had died took me by surprise.

As if the sunny Mediterranean daylight had suddenly dimmed, I felt the disbelief and the hope that the brightness of that day would return the memory of her living smile.

She, amongst many other movie idols of the era, was special to our generation of ordinary young people, with whom she had created a refreshing emotional bond. To many Americans her presence in movies, television and magazines of the time brightened their existential darkness that followed the times after the Depression and the weakening consequences of long wars.

No other media captured her voluptuous poses and spontaneous seductiveness better than the photography of Bruno Bernard, an immigrant from post Nazi Germany. Marilyn's photos and posters took center stage in hundreds of U.S. military barracks here in the states and overseas.

In real life her exquisitely feminine presence stole the light from her surroundings and from the camera, like Prometheus stole the fire from Zeus. This magical transformation transpired from her beyond the mere theatrical performance, it was an honest representation of feminine charm, poise and beauty.

There is a poem in Spanish glorifying the intrinsic value of a diamond that will shine even in the ultimate darkness of the universe. For many of her audience, poetically speaking, the memory of Marilyn's gaze would have brought light to that universe.

Carlos F. Acevedo
Walla Walla

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