I Can Hardly Breathe

Truman Capote (Photo: Jane Brown for The Guardian)

… I don’t want to go home until I have finished my Kansas book, and as it is very long (I should think 150 – 200 thousand words) that may take another year or more. I don’t careit has to be perfect, for I am very excited about it, totally dedicated, and believe, if I am very patient, it could be a kind of masterpiece: God knows I have wonderful material, and lots of itover 4,000 typed pages of notes. Some times when I think how good it could be, I can hardly breathe. Well, the whole thing was the most interesting experience of my life, and indeed has changed my life, altered my point of view about almost everythingit is a Big Work, believe me, and if I fail I still will have succeeded.

~ Truman Capote to Newton Arvin
Costa Brava, Spain
25 – 31 July 1960

Truman Capote (1924 – 1984)
American novelist and short story writer

This letter was sourced from:

Too Brief a Treat: The Letters of Truman Capote (2005)
~ Edited by Gerald Clarke
(page 288)

The “masterpiece” referenced in this letter is none other that his grand oeuvre, In Cold Blood
. . .

For more excerpts like this, visit literary morsels
You can find more Truman Capote quotes at I’m a genuis.

Please write to us at viv@mywritinghome.com if you have a literary morsel you would like to share

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