Truman Capote 1924 – 1984

21 Jan

Truman Capote

“But I’m not a saint yet.

I’m an alcoholic.

I’m a drug addict.

I’m homosexual.

I’m a genius.”

― Truman Capote

(and let’s not forget modest)


Truman Capote
, or Bulldog to his friends (I shit you not), was an author, socialite (boozer) and an all-round controversial fellow (see image).  I imagine he was a bit like marmite and Jeremy Clarkson, only better dressed. He wrote short stories, plays and novels including Breakfast at Tiffany’s, made into a classic film (although he thought it was a bit poop), and inspired a truly despicable song that’s now going to be stuck in my head all afternoon. Grrrrrrr.

He was good friend with Harper Lee (To Kill a Mocking Bird) who helped him research his most critically acclaimed work, In Cold Blood; a non-fiction novel based on the murders of four members of the same family in a robbery at their farm in Kansas.  It’s not a comedy. Capote spent a lot of time interviewing the suspects for research, and when the two men were convicted and sentenced, they invited Capote to their hanging. Given the choice between a night in watching Downton Abbey and an execution, I would have gone with the former. On a scale of one to insane, Capote attended the latter. Honestly. This may have been his turning point into drugs and alcohol. Just a hunch!

Philip Seymour Hoffman tends to play crazy-eyed lunatics and manic depressives. He played Capote in the 2005 film of the same name (Capote). When people say, “If you could invite anyone famous and/or dead to your dinner party, who would you choose?”  My answer would be, “I don’t give a mangy lemming as long as crazy Hoffman doesn’t turn up uninvited”. He looks like the kind of guy who makes a puke face while coughing out half chewed food into his napkin, pretending to be inconspicuous while purposefully making you, and all your guests know that he thinks your food is inedible bilge. I wouldn’t deny that it wasn’t, but that’s not the point. He would also refuse to talk to anyone except the cat. So yeah, he’s not coming to my party. However, he did win an Academy award for his performance as Capote, so congrats.

The important stuff for quizzes and Trivial Pursuit:

  • He was born in 1924
  • His star sign was Libra (flirtatious and self-indulgent, apparently)
  • His life partner was Jack Dunphy (that means he was homosexual)
  • He threw an infamous party and invited lots of film stars and celebrities. Then he wrote mean things about them and they got mad. How we laughed.
  • He became addicted to drugs and alcohol toward the end of his life (standard)
  • He died in 1984 of liver cancer (that would probably be the booze then)

There is a Truman Capote Society on Facebook, so if you would like any more information please ask them. I have a feeling it’s not very big though, so maybe you could also help them improve on their 102 likes.

Harper Lee isn’t one of the Penguin chosen authors (tut tut), otherwise she would be next. Instead I have opted for F. Scott Fitzgerald. I believe he’s a bit of a tosser, but we’ll see.

 

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14 Responses to “Truman Capote 1924 – 1984”

  1. angelajardine January 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    ‘I imagine he was a bit like marmite and Jeremy Clarkson, only better dressed’ … well it wouldn’t be hard to be better dressed than Jessa … possibly a bit trickier with Marmite.

    Loved this and am guessing you are a Brit (in which case … Thank Crust for that! … it gets lonely y’know. Is that racist?)

    Roll on F S Fitzgerald … and yes, he always struck me as a bit up himself too …

    • ahundredauthors January 21, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback, I’m really glad you like it. I am indeed a Brit; well spotted. I don’t know if Jeremy’s ventured abroad yet, but I don’t think any other nation would dislike him as much as his fellow Countrymen.

  2. thebestofdreams January 21, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    What a brilliant idea for a blog. I’ve really enjoyed reading your entries and look forward to the next installment/ author. Thanks for following my blog too 🙂

    • ahundredauthors January 22, 2013 at 9:18 am #

      Thanks for your comment, I really appreciate the feedback and I’m glad you like the idea.

  3. holliequeener January 23, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    One of my very first critical thinking essays came from Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory.” I will have to dig through the ol’ notebook and re-visit.

    • ahundredauthors January 23, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

      Awesome. I imagine he was a great character, with lots of good stories.

  4. gabrielablandy January 23, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    One of my favourites! There’s a wonderful interview with Truman in the Paris Review, which I recommend. You can look it up on their website. He had genius things to say about the art of short story writing.

  5. postmoderndonkey January 28, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    You have a wonderful balance of humor and statement.

  6. malekei February 21, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    I found this really interesting. Thanks.

  7. robincoyle February 26, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    Finding this post was excellent timing for me. I just finished reading “In Cold Blood.” I know, I’m late to the party. I think he did a masterful job describing the town, its denizens, the murderers, their family life, etc. I didn’t expect to enjoy reading a book about cold blooded murder, but there you have it.

  8. nuwansenfilmsen May 2, 2013 at 6:19 am #

    Loved reading your post on Capote. Breakfast at Tiffany’s happens to be my favourite novella, and the movie is part of my Top-5 favourites. I love his shorts as well, ‘A Christmas Memory’, ‘House of Flowers’, & ‘A Diamond Guitar’. I also enjoyed his ‘Other Voices Other Rooms’, which I read early last year.(I wrote about it in my blog). I have ‘Summer Crossing’, but am yet to read it. And enjoyed both the movies based on Capote’s ‘Cold Blood’ research days, ‘Capote’ & ‘Infamous’.
    Thanks for ‘liking’ my blog.

    • ahundredauthors May 14, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

      Thank you :). It sounds like you’ve read a lot more Capote than I have!

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