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  #1  
Old 12-01-2005, 07:58 PM
Otto Otto is offline
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Decode Capote's "Answered Prayers"

Truman Capote's last great, unfinished work. Although he claimed until the end of his life to have finished it, only three chapters* were ever published. The published material, especially "La Cote Basque," led to Capote's being ostracised by the society that had previously lionized him. He committed the greatest of sins, telling tales out of school, hidden behind pseudonyms.

Except that I don't know who these people are supposed to be. I'm sure the chapters would be ever so much more juicy if I knew who was lurking behind the phony names, so if you know, spill.
















*A fourth chapter, "Mojave," was removed and ended up in "Music for Chameleons"
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2005, 09:40 AM
Otto Otto is offline
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Aw come on, spill, I won't tell anyone I promise!

Eve? You're always good for the dish, where are you?
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Old 12-03-2005, 01:14 AM
don Jaime don Jaime is offline
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Your best bet is to get Gerald Clarke's biography Capote. It's the full life, from someone who knew TC for about eight years, and portions of it are the basis for the recent movie. Capote covers the Answered Prayers fiasco at some length - TC started forming ideas for it before the Clutters were murdered, and was still talking about it as he lay dying in Joanne Carson's house. You really need the book to get all of it. Capote knew a TON of people and the book glosses the ones you need to know to get all the gossip.

I'll try to recap. TC intended Answered Prayers as a modern Remembrance of Things Past, the story of a poor man who rises to the glamorous top of society only to be disillusioned with the people he finds there. The narrator, PB Jones, is somewhat autobiographical. The heroine Kate McCloud is based on a lot of women, including Ann Woodward, Pamela Churchill, Cappy Badrutt, and the main one, Mrs Harrison Williams or "Marvelous Mona." The gossip Lady Coolbirth in "La Cote Basque" is Slim Hayward, later Slim Keith. "Cote Basque" names a lot of names too, including Babe Paley, Gloria Vanderbilt, and the Bouvier sisters, all of whom were familiars of TC. The "Kate McCloud" chapter includes Tennessee Williams as Mr Wallace, a gay john, Katherine Ann Porter as Alice Lee Langman, a sex-obsessed gossip columnist, and Ned Rorem, who is not disguised under an alias. A later unwritten chapter included a real-life male courtesan named Denham Fouts.

But it's the two main scandals in "Cote Basque" that were the bombshells. The first is the 1955 murder of playboy Bill Woodward by his wife Ann, who got off with the help of his mother Elsie. Ann Woodward committed suicide after reading an advance copy of "Cote Basque." The other is a wholly fictional account of how Bill Paley cheated on Babe with a menstruating woman and was nearly caught while washing the sheets in the bathtub. TC was close to the Paleys and his veiled swipe at Bill's philandering pretty well destroyed the friendship and the marriage. The public humiliation of Babe and Bill Paley and Elsie Woodward (no one liked Ann) cost TC most of his high society connections just as he was spiralling into alcoholism and drug addiction. This and the exhaustion from In Cold Blood wore him down to death.
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Old 12-03-2005, 05:02 PM
Otto Otto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don Jaime
Your best bet is to get Gerald Clarke's biography Capote. It's the full life, from someone who knew TC for about eight years, and portions of it are the basis for the recent movie.
I've read the Clarke book (and the Plympton book) and saw the movie last week, which is what's inspired me to re-read AP and other Capote works (and I'm planning on re-reading the Clarke). So I know the backstory of AP, just not all the names behind all the characters.
Quote:
Originally Posted by don Jaime
A later unwritten chapter included a real-life male courtesan named Denham Fouts.
Denny Fouts is featured in the chapter "Unspoiled Monsters."
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