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The Boston Globe

Television

Television Review

A new take on Marilyn Monroe, in her own words

Just what we need?

The HBO documentary “Love, Marilyn” is yet another take on the tragic life of the star who has been assigned more symbolic import than a butterfly, or a dove, or a phoenix, or, well, a star. Since her death a half-century ago, in 1962, Marilyn Monroe has been used to represent everything from the predatory nature of Hollywood and the double-edged sword of open sexuality to the vulnerability of women in power and the lonely spiral of public self-destruction. Andy Warhol, Joyce Carol Oates, Norman Mailer, Gloria Steinem, they’re only a few among the hundreds of artists and thinkers who’ve negotiated the tragedy and mystery of the woman who embodied the overused words “icon,” “bombshell,” and “myth.” In death, Marilyn Monroe has been an all-purpose intellectual curio.

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