Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Truman Capote, 1960s
I've been reading and re-reading Capote over the past couple of weeks. What is most annoying in his history is the constant latter-day claims that he was working on his grand opus "Answered Prayers" when in fact he was just doing drugs and drinking. The so-called "Answered Prayers" chapters that appeared in the media in the '70s were just gossipy transcriptions of scenes he'd been around. He hadn't taken the time to (1) internalize his impressions, or (2) organize his impressions. Lazily, he just spat them out.
For instance: Was it so important to Capote that he wrote about Bill Paley (husband of Capote's muse Babe Paley) fucking someone else's wife, who was having her period and left a blood-stain in the bed? As others have pointed out, having sex with a woman having her period isn't that big of a deal for a straight man... but Capote seemed to obsess about it, creating a sort-of demarcation line... A demarcation line for WHAT? Babe Paley, upon reading Capote's public account, chose to stand with her husband. THAT was the demarcation line.