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Source: Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019).
"Choosing to write a true account of an actual murder case--was altogether literary. The decision was based on a theory I've harbored since I first began to write professionally.... It seemed to me that journalism, reportage, could be forced to yield a serious new art form: the 'nonfiction novel'." (Plimpton, 1966, January 16)
Turman Capote being interviewed by George Plimpton in the New York Times in 1966.
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Brief, basic information laid out in an easy-to-read format. May use informal language. (Includes most news articles)
Provides additional background information and further reading. Introduces some subject-specific language.
Lengthy, detailed information. Frequently uses technical/subject-specific language. (Includes most analytical articles)
In Cold Blood | Explore more: Articles
Visions and Revisions: Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" (De Bellis, 1979)
"When Truman Capote serialized In Cold Blood in The New Yorker in autumn 1965 no one imagined that his much-heralded "nonfiction novel" was an unpolished work. Yet a comparison of the magazine edition and publication by Random House ten weeks later reveals Capote made nearly five-thousand changes, ranging from crucial changes of fact to the placement of a comma. Since Capote claimed that his new art form contained not only perfect factual accuracy, but "the poetic altitude fiction is capable of reaching," his own intentions did not seem precisely clear." (De Bellis, 1979)
Read Harper Lee’s Profile of “In Cold Blood” Detective Al Dewey That Hasn’t Been Seen in More Than 50 Years
Reprinted here for the first time, the article was published five years before Truman Capote’s best-selling book (Clasen, 2016)
Twice Convicted, Once Executed: A Literary Naturalist's Interpretation of Richard Brooks'sFilm "In Cold Blood" (Adams, 2009)
"Although murder and myster have been a staple of pulp fiction since the early 1900s as well as of Holloywood film noir of the forties and fifties, Truman Capote's 1966 'In cold blood' was seminally 'avant-garde', overnight creating a new literary genre - the oxymoronic "nonfiction novel" that thrives today. (Adams, 2009)
Storytelling and truthtelling: discursive practices of news-storytelling in Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, and John Hersey (Jungsik, 2006)
"Focusing on new-journalistic nonfiction novels by Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, and John Hersey, this dissertation conceptualizes the discursive practices of news-storytelling as a necessary matrix of storytelling and truthtelling activities. Despite the dominant postmodern emphasis on storytelling over truthtelling in such disciplines as literature, historiography, journalism, and legal studies, storytelling-in-the-discipline is also constrained by a set of assumptions and practices about what constitutes professional storytelling. Since news-stories report on events in a public arena where numerous competing stories abound, they are highly aware of other neighboring stories and so relate, compete, and negotiate with other stories to make their stories not merely repetitive but argumentative and re-tellable. As a socially regulated and conditioned discourse, news-storytelling in its enterprise is predicated upon different sets of discursive authorities, material conditions, and audience expectations, where various facts and interpretations are argued, tested, and judged." (Jungsik, 2006)
In Cold Blood | Explore more: eBooks
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Truman Capote and the Legacy of in Cold Blood by
Publication Date: 2011
Ralph F. Voss was a high school junior in Plainville, Kansas in mid-November of 1959 when four members of the Herbert Clutter family were murdered in Holcomb, Kansas, by "four shotgun blasts that, all told, ended six human lives," an unimaginable horror in a quiet farm community during the Eisenhower years. No one in Kansas or elsewhere could then have foreseen the emergence of Capote's book-which has never gone out of print, has twice been made into a major motion picture, remains required reading in criminology, American Studies, sociology, and English classes, and has been the source of two recent biographical films. Voss examines Capote and In Cold Blood from many perspectives, not only as the crowning achievement of Capote's career, but also as a story in itself, focusing on Capote's artfully composed text, his extravagant claims for it as reportage, and its larger status in American popular culture. Voss argues that Capote's publication of In Cold Blood in 1966 forever transcended his reputation as a first-rate stylist but second-rate writer of "Southern gothic" fiction; that In Cold Blood actually is a gothic novel, a sophisticated culmination of Capote's artistic development and interest in lurid regionalism, but one that nonetheless eclipsed him both personally and artistically. He also explores Capote's famous claim that he created a genre called the "non-fiction novel," and its status as a foundational work of "true crime" writing as practiced by authors ranging from Tom Wolfe and Norman Mailer to James Ellroy, Joe McGinniss, and John Berendt. Voss also examines Capote's artful manipulation of the story's facts and circumstances: his masking of crucial homoerotic elements to enhance its marketability; his need for the killers to remain alive long enough to get the story, and then his need for them to die so that he could complete it; and Capote's style, his shaping of the narrative, and his selection of details-why it served him to include this and not that, and the effects of such choices--all despite confident declarations that "every word is true." Though it's been nearly 50 years since the Clutter murders and far more gruesome crimes have been documented, In Cold Blood continues to resonate deeply in popular culture. Beyond questions of artistic selection and claims of truth, beyond questions about capital punishment and Capote's own post-publication dissolution, In Cold Blood's ongoing relevance stems, argues Voss, from its unmatched role as a touchstone for enduring issues of truth, exploitation, victimization, and the power of narrative.