I start reading the book in the basement of Dymocks on Collins St, Melbourne. Immediately I am taken back to the apartment with Audrey Hepburn, her dressing gown endowing her narrow frame with fluffy curves. Apparently Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe to play Holly Golightly. Perhaps a silk kimono would have adorned her more voluptuous figure. Men knocking on Marilyn’s door would have been slightly different don’t you think? Lighter not in weight but cynicism. Surely they would be drenched in wit and charm, oozing fun and filth, whipping Miss Monroe into a frenzy of squeals. Marilyn would have added a slight (frosting) or icing sugar to the scenes, whilst Hepburn’s angular frame was exactly what the book portrays, this poking and prodding of every character and their traits. Marilyn was probably just too soft and fluffy. I wish I could watch that version alas it will only ever play in my head, not on the big screen.
It hits me immediately as I start to read that Holly was never real, I wonder if Holly is Capote’s anima. Rusty Trawler; is that his version of himself? Do we all paint our self portraits with darker colours than necessary? Perhaps Rusty is someone who betrayed him, or maybe he truly existed. Sometimes the strangest characters are real, sitting right in front of you or even staring back from the reflection in the mirror.
I think this author is my new obsession. I needed to drift away from my Tolstoy/Steinbeck phase and Capote seems to fit the bill nicely. Not dark like Tolstoy, or black and white like Steinbeck. Capote’s writing is sepia, shades and shadows implied and encouraged. Secret scenes and sunbeams occasionally floating through the air.
I can’t wait to carry on reading and find more sides of Capote in his work. In Cold Blood will be my next read, why do writers go looking for dark in others, in ourselves and at the bottom of bottles?
My book Sharks & Lovers is available to download here: