Like Marilyn with Ulysses.

Thomas Rasmussen

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It’s hard not to think about Marilyn Monroe. And when discussing design research, minds start wandering. To Marilyn, in movies and magazines. In fiction. To Marilyn singing “Happy Birthday” to President Kennedy.


And minds wander to the famous photo of Marilyn, pictured outdoors with bare feet while she reads the last pages of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses.

Joyce boasted that the novel contains so many riddles that it would keep professors busy for a hundred years arguing about what he meant. While history will prove him right, it will be a cold comfort. He died long before Norma Jean became Marilyn Monroe.

It is almost an impossible meeting. The meeting between an inaccessible intellectual fortresses and the starlet of the century. Marilyn should be stupid like a shoe. She should be shallow, the very symbol of shape and seduction. Design, actually...

ISSUE 0 | July 2006 | 07/10 | Past Radical Propositions