Marlene Dietrich died with nearly two thousand books in her apartment, many of which included notes where she bitched about people


The bigger deal is that she left handwritten notes in many of them. Or her personal and sexually charged (but not consummated) letters with Hemingway. Or even her obsessions with her own biographies.

"Dietrich’s books are full of marginalia. She usually scrawled it in English, and with red ink. Inside a copy of “Love Scene,” a paperback recounting the story of Laurence Olivier and Vivian Leigh, she writes, “this is without a doubt the worst writing I ever laid eyes on.” In the P. D. James novel “Innocent Blood,” she has stuffed another Don’t Forget note, this time writing beneath that phrase, “a bore.” She took her pen to the pages of a book on the Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann: “Who cares anyway?” On the first page of Anthony Burgess’s 1980 novel, “Earthly Powers,” above its notorious first sentence (“It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me”), she wrote, “That’s when I stopped reading.
Would read an entire book of Marlene Dietrich bitchin' on people.

Full New Yorker article HERE
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