Writing can be an x-ray into the soul. Truman Capote led a troubled life. Oh, what sensitive gorgeous stories resulted!
His “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was made into a movie starring Audrey Hepburn.
That photo, along with Hepburn at the prime of her iconic gorgeousness, are the best part of the movie. What drivel that movie made of Capote’s genius novella! It boiled Capote’s nuanced character study of love between a straight woman and a gay man into nonsense — a chain of cliches, the worst being Andy Rooney’s bigoted portrayal of a Chinese landlord.
Ah – but now I’m getting off track from telling you about Capote’s succinct mini-masterpiece, “A Christmas Memory.” The short story, featured in numerous short story anthologies, premiered in 1956, in Mademoiselle Magazine.
The essay is Capote’s gift to us about his own childhood experiences, after his parents divorced and gave him up to live with relatives. Capote makes me feel better for the very reading about his lush-hearted somewhat simple distant cousin, and how the two of them celebrated a handful of Christmases together.
The video at the start of this post features a bit of Capote’s own uniquely southern narration. As well done as the production is in terms of following Capote’s writing, nothing rivals how his printed version earns residence in one’s heart.
Each year, Christmas stories become exponentially abundant, churned out at an equally increasing rate of smarminess. In contrast, Capote’s holiday story is populated by realistically complex characters. Capote forgoes easy one-dimensionality. He shows how holidays are neither good nor bad. People, their everyday generosity of spirit, are what comprise a celebration-worthy life.