Truman Capote said he started writing In Cold Blood to test out his theory that a writer could produce a work of art out of factual material.
“This new adventure of mine, the experiment, is what I call ‘the non-fiction novel.’
“A non-fiction novel being a genre brought about by the synthesis of journalism with fictional technique. In other words, the end result of it being this new book of mine, In Cold Blood.
“In Cold Blood is the story about the murder of a family, in a small town in western Kansas. A Mr. Herbert W. Clutter, and his wife, Bonnie Clutter, and their two teenage children. This was an especially strange and brutal murder in 1959, in which the family were shot to death for no apparent cause or motive whatever.”
His experiment was a success, and made Capote perhaps the best known novelist in the world. But it came at very high price, for Capote was never to equal the quality of the writing he achieved with In Cold Blood ever again.
Produced, filmed and edited by Davis Maysles, Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin, this brief film A Visit With Truman Capote (aka With Love From Truman) captures the author at his Long Island hideaway, during an interview with Karen Gundersen from Newsweek magazine.
Part 2 after the jump…