Thursday, September 30, 2010

In Memoriam: Truman Capote

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How to put all the pieces of Truman Capote together so they fit...

That the beautiful brazen youth who started writing three hours a day when he was 11 could be so knowing in his early works is a testament to his precocity; that the adult Capote could be so comfortable in his sexuality at a time when most of his fellows still conducted their lives in shadow makes him a kind of paragon for those of us who are openly ourselves today.

But for all that he's a paragon, surely he's also a cautionary tale; as booze and drugs took his beauty, bitterness crept in, leaving behind a brittle, bitchy parody...

Oh well, at least his talent went last, leaving in it's wake a dozen masterworks of fiction and reportage, including a sublime fairy-tale of New York City in Breakfast at Tiffany's, and In Cold Blood, which represents no less than an entirely new genre (now rather dully called creative nonfiction) which is so omnipresent these days I may be doing it now without even knowing it.

Born on this day in 1924, Truman Capote died in August 1984 following a long battle with both alcoholism and an even greater monster: himself.
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3 comments:

royalsyn said...

Don't forget his awesome role in Murder by Death! He certainly was a GREAT man and writer! Thanks for this post!!

Seumas Gagne said...

"as booze and drugs took his beauty"

You do realize that it's actually time that does that, don't you? When is the last time you saw a hot 80 year old?

michael sean morris said...

One thing: he was only sixty when he died, and his looks were ruined long before then.

Also, I have seen hot sixty year olds. In fact, I hope to be one.