Capote de paseo
He was born Truman Streckfus Persons and took the name Capote from his step-father, becoming Truman Capote. Leading a life now as embellished as any capote de paseo. My recent post A Christmas Remembered included a vignette written by Truman Capote, in which he tells of A Christmas Memory. Now mostly seen as an autobiographical story and his fond memories of one of his cousins, Miss Sook Faulk.
The person to whom she is speaking is myself. I am seven; she is sixty-something, We are cousins, very distant ones, and we have lived together—well, as long as I can remember. Other people inhabit the house, relatives; and though they have power over us, and frequently make us cry, we are not, on the whole, too much aware of them. We are each other’s best friend. She calls me Buddy, in memory of a boy who was formerly her best friend. The other Buddy died in the 1880’s, when she was still a child. She is still a child.
A reader kindly directed me to a television adaptation of Capote’s ‘A Christmas Memory’ .
I remember watching an interview with Bob Geldof following the publication of his Autobiography, remarking on his father saying about a particular incident that “It didn’t happen like that”.
Geldof replied; “But that’s how I remember it“.
Perhaps Christmas is time when we should choose to remember our own versions of ‘the truth’, rekindling those memories which bring us comfort and joy. If we should choose to embellish those remembered truths, or to disguise those unpleasant truths, or simply to recall a wished for version of that truth, then that’s for us to do.
A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote will be long remembered, and any ‘truthfulness’ in the telling will be irrelevant to those who love the story.
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