«Never love a wild thing, Mr Bell,» Holly advised him. «That was Doc’s mistake. He was always lugging home wild things…But you can’t give your heart to a wild thing: the more you do, the stronger they get. Until they’re strong enough to run into the woods. Or fly into a tree. Then a taller tree. Then the sky. That’s how you’ll end up Mr Bell. If you let yourself love a wild thing. You’ll end up looking at the sky.»
This is my favourite passage from Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s (to those who didn’t know it was a book before a movie, shame on you). Mr Capote came to my attention a few years ago when a movie about him came out, starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I was hooked immediately – I went out and bought the biography (by Gerald Clarke) on which part of the movie is based and spent years searching for a copy of In Cold Blood, which I eventually found in vintage form at Collector’s Treasury.
Capote’s life reads like the most bizarre fiction; you really have to remind yourself that you a reading a biography. Sometimes it is hard not to dislike him – he was often manipulative and difficult, but always brilliant.
It has been a few years since I read the biography, and I really hope I have an opportunity soon to read it again. To those of you who love reading biographies, this one is a must. To those who are unsure, it is perfect too, because you hardly ever feel like you’re reading a biography anyway.