After the Fall American playwright Arthur Miller, author of Death of a Salesman and The Crucible, first met Marilyn Monroe in 1950 and they were married six years later. The spectral Marilyn fleetingly inhabits Arthur Miller’s monumental autobiographical text Timebends. At the Marilyn Symposium, Dr Sofia Ahlberg will analyse the poetic means by which Miller offers a highly unconventional rendition of his life and the role played by Marilyn.
Miller’s bending of time, he argues, is more truthful than a chronological account of his life that outlines the influence of life over art. So, anyone who hopes to get an unambiguous take on Marilyn via Miller is bound to be disappointed. In the place of prosaic facts, however, Miller gives his reader a highly stylised account of Monroe. This “Miller Connection” reminds us that celebrity is always a chimerical commodity.
Performers will read excerpts of Timebends where Marilyn appears, as well as her dramatic surrogate in some of Miller’s dramatic work such as the controversial After the Fall (1964).