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TRUMAN CAPOTE QUOTES

More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, Answered Prayers

I realized that I wanted to be a writer. But I wasn't sure I would be until I was fifteen or so. At that time I had immodestly started sending stories to magazines and literary quarterlies. Of course no writer ever forgets his first acceptance; but one fine day when I was seventeen, I had my first, second, and third, all in the same morning's mail. Oh, I'm here to tell you, dizzy with excitement is no mere phrase!

TRUMAN CAPOTE, The Paris Review, spring-summer 1957

Certain shades of limelight wreck a girl's complexion.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, Breakfast at Tiffany's

Most of life is so dull it is not worth discussing, and it is dull at all ages. When we change our brand of cigarette, move to a new neighborhood, subscribe to a different newspaper, fall in and out of love, we are protesting in ways both frivolous and deep against the not to be diluted dullness of day-to-day living.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, Summer Crossing

The brain may take advice, but not the heart.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, Other Voices, Other Rooms

A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue. That's why there are so few good conversations: due to scarcity, two intelligent talkers seldom meet.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, Portraits and Observations

All writing, all art, is an act of faith. If one tries to contribute to human understanding, how can that be called decadent? It's like saying a declaration of love is an act of decadence. Any work of art, provide it springs from a sincere motivation to further understanding between people, is an act of faith and therefore is an act of love.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, Truman Capote: Conversations

I invariably have the illusion that the whole play of a story, its start and middle and finish, occur in my mind simultaneously—that I'm seeing it in one flash. But in the working-out, the writing-out, infinite surprises happen. Thank God, because the surprise, the twist, the phrase that comes at the right moment out of nowhere, is the unexpected dividend, that joyful little push that keeps a writer going.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, The Paris Review, spring-summer 1957

death is stronger than life, it pulls like a wind through the dark, all our cries burlesqued in joyless laughter; and with the garbage of loneliness stuffed down us until our guts burst bleeding green, we go screaming round the world, dying in our rented rooms, nightmare hotels, eternal homes of the transient heart.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, Other Voices, Other Rooms

I'd rather have cancer than a dishonest heart.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, Breakfast at Tiffany's

Never demean yourself by talking back to a critic, never. Write those letters to the editor in your head, but don't put them on paper.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, The Paris Review, spring-summer 1957

Let me begin by telling you that I was in love. An ordinary statement, to be sure, but not an ordinary fact, for so few of us learn that love is tenderness, and tenderness is not, as a fair proportion suspect, pity; and still fewer know that hapiness in love is not the absolute focusing of all emotion in another: one has always to love a good many things which the beloved must come only to symbolize; the true beloveds of this world are in their lovers's eyes lilac opening, ship lights, school bells, a landscape, remembered conversations, friends, a child's Sunday, lost voices, one's favourite suit, autumn and all seasons, memory, yes, it being the earth and water of existence, memory.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, Other Voices, Other Rooms

That's the difference between the serious artist and the craftsman—-the craftsman can take material and because of his abilities do a professional job of it. The serious artist, like Proust, is like an object caught by a wave and swept to shore. He's obsessed by his material; it's like a venom working in his blood and the art is the antidote.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, Truman Capote: Conversations

I am a completely horizontal author. I can't think unless I'm lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy. I've got to be puffing and sipping. As the afternoon wears on, I shift from coffee to mint tea to sherry to martinis.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, The Paris Review, spring-summer 1957

Love, having no geography, knows no boundaries.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, Other Voices, Other Rooms

It doesn't bother me to read while I am writing—I mean, I don't suddenly find another writer's style seeping out of my pen. Though once, during a lengthy spell of James, my own sentences did get awfully long.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, The Paris Review, spring-summer 1957

Past certain ages or certain wisdoms it is very difficult to look with wonder; it is best done when one is a child; after that, and if you are lucky, you will find a bridge of childhood and walk across it.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, Local Color

People who are having a love-sex relationship are continuously lying to each other because the very nature of the relationship demands that they do, because you have to make a love object of this person, which means that you editorialize about them. You know? You cut out what you don't want to see, you add this if it isn't there. And so therefore you're building a lie.

TRUMAN CAPOTE: Conversations

At one time I used to keep notebooks with outlines for stories. But I found doing this somehow deadened the idea in my imagination. If the notion is good enough, if it truly belongs to you, then you can't forget it—it will haunt you till it's written.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, The Paris Review, spring-summer 1957

Everybody has to feel superior to somebody ... but it's customary to present a little proof before you take the privilege.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, Breakfast at Tiffany's

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the music the words make.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, Truman Capote: Conversations

Of course there is a Santa Claus. It's just that no single somebody could do all he has to do. So the Lord has spread the task among us all. That's why everybody is Santa Claus. I am. You are.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, One Christmas

It snowed all week. Wheels and footsteps moved soundlessly on the street, as if the business of living continued secretly behind a pale but impenetrable curtain. In the falling quiet there was no sky or earth, only snow lifting in the wind, frosting the window glass, chilling the rooms, deadening and hushing the city.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, "Miriam", A Tree of Night and Other Stories

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, Portraits and Observations

So few things are fulfilled: what are most lives but a series of incomplete episodes.

TRUMAN CAPOTE, Other Voices, Other Rooms


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