intraspace: the review lounge

Saturday, June 09, 2007

the complete stories

the complete stories, by truman capote

you may not know this - i hadn't clicked - but truman capote wrote 'breakfast at tiffany's', which was turned into a classic film starring audrey hepburn. a classic film which, while i'm mentioning it, you should watch. all this, by the way, really doesn't have anything to do with this review, except as a piece of trivia about truman capote.

reading short stories is probably a good way of getting a taste of an author. from a literary study point of view they also often reveal the development of an author, because short stories are sometimes written as a kind of primer for novels.

out of this book i discovered for myself that capote had an extraordinary gift for description, and wrote prose that flows beautifully. unsurprisingly, when you know that he wrote the book 'in cold blood' (which the film 'capote' is all about), many of his stories have a dark edge - something which is known as 'southern gothic' in american literary studies.

the stories date from 1943 to 1982 and find a series of characters in odd situations of 'everyday' life. the characters themselves are usually unsettled to some degree. towards the end of the book capote writes about three autobiographical stories which are quite touching - especially the last one - a perfect ending to the book i thought - all about a visit he made as a child to his birth-father's house in new orleans. this carries added poignancy when you consider that the story was the second-to-last thing of capote's that was published during his lifetime.

i think i'll be reading more by capote in the future. highly recommended.

warandpeace-o-meter: 600/981 (volII, bookX, chapXVI)

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