A Book Discussion Group at Bernardsville Public Library
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Human Nature, Capote-Style
Yes, we did meet in December, didn't we, and we discussed The Complete Stories of Truman Capote. Our group had mixed feelings about these stories, but that would be natural considering his oeurvre ranged from the 1940's to the 1980's. Capote's understanding of human nature was remarked upon, even though some members thought he dwelt heavily on its darker side, as exemplified by "A Tree of Night." The dreamlike inability of the young character, Kay, to help herself stood out in this short story as Kay rode a night train back to college, forced to share seating with strangely unsavory passengers. Victims abound in his stories, many of them young, but Capote also made the victimizer a young person in "The Walls are Cold." The group enjoyed the ease of Truman Capote's southern storytelling and admired his literary style very much. The sentimental favorite "A Christmas Memory" and the charming "Jug of Silver" counterbalanced more deeply imagined character explorations in such stories as "Master Misery" and "Children on their Birthdays."