Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
June 15, 2013 § Leave a comment
He was a middle-aged child that had never shed its baby fat, though some gifted tailor had almost succeeded in camouflaging his plump and spankable bottom. There wasn’t a suspicion of bone in his body; his face, a zero filled in with pretty miniature features, had an unused, a virginal quality: it was as if he’d been born, then expanded, his skin remaining unlined as a blown-up balloon, and his mouth, though ready for squalls and tantrums, a spoiled sweet puckering. But it was not appearance that singled him out; preserved infants aren’t all that rare. It was, rather, his conduct; for he was behaving as though the party were his: like an energetic octopus, he was shaking martinis, making introductions, manipulating the phonograph. – Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s
A gorgeous lost genius or a seriously mentally ill child, who was Holly Golightly? If ever a label was chosen accurately, Holly – a social butterfly, no one could deny was a perfect label for her. A masterpiece in writing, I cannot describe it in any other way. Imagine my sadness when I noticed the % bar on my Kindle going up in huge jumps on the day I started reading it – a novella, how come I did not know?!
Two days of reading and I was craving for more, I wanted to see, I wanted to continue peeking through the keyhole but of course it seems appropriate for the reader to get a brief, intoxicating glimpse into Holly’s sad and lonely life filled with unappreciated and unsolicited love, the cocktails, the parties, the men, Holly’s show of love, which no one saw as love, and then know nothing of it for years to come.
In the timeline of our lives, we all have probably had a moment of spotting someone on the street which made us turn around and take a second look and left us wondering for days or years to come – who were they? what made them this way? where do they come from? This uncontrollable desire to be around someone as fragile as Holly, with her tousled blond hair and her shades, and her graceful body, this effortless ability to slip into everything ‘glamour’, I can very well understand…I would fall hopelessly in love with a girl like Holly and like Fred, would spend years roaming the city trying to see her again. Why? Why is Holly Golightly such a vital part of American literature? Why has she become such an important literary figure? It seems to me no beauty is beautiful without the tragedy at the core of it, no love is real without the effort running through its veins, no power is permanent without followers. Holly was a woman with a child’s appreciation of the exhilaration of the moment, and a child with a woman’s strength to endure pain. This, I believe, installed her as one of the most powerful female characters in literature ever.