17 January 2010

The Last Paragraph in the Farewell Letter Willie-May Writes to Perry upon His Release from Jail

 from In Cold Blood, Truman Capote's masterpiece I started reading Friday night:

"You are a man of extreme passion, a hungry man not quite sure where his appetite lies, a deeply frustrated man striving to project his individuality against a backdrop of rigid conformity. You exist in a half-world suspended between two superstructures, one self-expression and the other self-destruction. You are strong, but there is a flaw in your strength, and unless you learn to control it the flaw will prove stronger than your strength and defeat you. The flaw? Explosive emotional reaction out of all proportion to the occasion. Why? Why this unreasonable anger at the sight of others who are happy or content, this growing contempt for people and the desire to hurt the? All right, you think they're fools, you despise them because their morals their happiness is the source of your frustration and resentment. But these are dreadful enemies you carry within yourself--in time destructive as bullets. Mercifully, a bullet kills its victim. This other bacteria, permitted to age, does not kill a man but leaves in its wake the hulk of a creature torn and twisted; there is still fire within his being but it is kept alive by casting upon it faggots of scorn and hate. He may successfully accumulate, but he does not accumulate success, for he is his own enemy, and is kept from truly enjoying his achievements."


eunuch said...

WOW Cory! Thanks.

I was a 21 year old Army Private in advanced training when I first read In Cold Blood as it was serialized in the New Yorker in 1965. I didn't take note of this passage but was taken aback by the strange but wonderful reporting of this bizarre episode. Of course that was nearly 20 years before I began myself to come to terms with some of the demons we share. It now has an eerie resonance I suspect we also share.

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Christopher said...

Hi Cory,

I read the passage from "In Cold Blood," and after reading the past few entries of your blog, I remember myself a long while ago. Medication has helped me keep moving forward, but it hasn't solved the original pain. I think that's the norm.

You are smart and literate. You may think of your activities as "ho", but your intelligence goes beyond that.

Your intelligence will uplift you to the heights you imagine, if that's what you want. And your emotions will fight against stability.

I'm saying a lot of big shit, but I understand the struggle.


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