Dinesen mentioned this to McCullers when they were introduced at a literary function, and Carson said nothing could be easier. She knew Marilyn and there was Arthur Miller at the next table; she would ask a few old friends as well. It was a little disconcerting to learn that "Tanya", as Dinesen preferred being called, lived on oysters and white grapes, washed down with champagne - so perhaps a souffle, too, McCullers told her cook, in case the other guests found that fare meagre.
On the day, the Millers called for Dinesen in their car, late - when was it otherwise with Marilyn? But Monroe did look luscious in her black sheath with the pronounced decolletage and fur collar. Tanya, who weighted eighty-odd pounds, wore an elegantly grey suit, her head swathed in a turban. After lunch, she told one of her tales - about being young in Kenya and killing her first lion and sending the skin to the King of Denmark. It was a hard act to follow. But Marilyn had a story, too, if a less heroic one: she was giving a dinner party, using her mother-in-law's recipe for noodles, but it got late, the guests arrived and she had to finish off the noddles with a hair dryer. Marilyn was always best in comic parts. Then Carson, as she told it later, put a record on the phonograph, and she, Tanya and Marilyn danced together - on top of the black marble dining table, she said.
Blame it on the oysters and champagne. Illusion prevailed that day: Karen Blixen and Norma Jean Baker were submerged in the myths of Dinesen and Monroe. Marilyn had not disappointed Dinesen, who compared her to a lion cub, all unbounded vitality and innocence. There was a natural sympathy between them; McCullers, watching them, even called it loveReuse content