Bobby Beausoleil
September 27, 2013 12:16 PM   Subscribe

Great find! Capote's Oswald story has the distinct reek of BS, but I forgive him for his embellishments, as the man was a born raconteur.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:45 PM on September 27, 2013

This was really interesting. Like Atom Eyes says, it's hard to know how many grains of salt you have to take with Capote's anecdotes. And from there, you have to wonder how accurately he transcribed Beausoleil's words/actions, and how much of his own embellishment he added. The one thing he seemed upfront about, if in a backdoor way, is that he seems to be attracted to Beausoleil. And in turn, he tries to cover up by appearing to be repelled by him.

I like Capote's writing, but I never know how much of it is fiction.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:48 PM on September 27, 2013

I'm not sure I really care how much of Capote's life is fiction. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story and all that. It makes for fascinating reading.
posted by lownote at 1:00 PM on September 27, 2013

If you like this, it is worth reading John Waters' chapter on Leslie Van Houten in Role Models (some details here). He has been friends with her for a very long time and believes not only that she has reformed (she's a model prisoner) but that "reform" is the wrong word for it -- she was caught up in something that was extraordinarily out of character for her and extremely unlikely to be repeated. Van Houten is repeatedly denied parole, mostly because no parole board wants to be identified as having released a Manson gang member.

I think it's Waters' best writing, not only discussing Van Houten as an adult and her relationship with her own past, but his relationship with LSD, his fascination with the Manson story, and how his feelings about the subject have evolved as a result of the friendship.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:29 PM on September 27, 2013 [5 favorites]

I'm getting a 403 on this link now.
posted by Edgewise at 2:21 PM on September 27, 2013

TC: I knew them. At least, out of the five people killed in the Tate house that night, I knew four of them. I'd met Sharon Tate at the Cannes Film Festival. Jay Sebring cut my hair a couple of times. I'd had lunch once in San Francisco with Abigail Folger and her boyfriend, Frykowski. In other words, I'd known them independently of each other. And yet one night there they were, all gathered together in the same house waiting for your friends to arrive. Quite a coincidence.

RB (lights a cigarette; smiles): Know what I'd say? I'd say you're not such a lucky guy to know.

It's a great story now but not so much at the time. RB has been locked up for nearly fifty years now. Don't do the crime &c.
posted by bukvich at 2:25 PM on September 27, 2013

Capote's Oswald story has the distinct reek of BS

Well, TC was correct that -- after his first attempt to immigrate was denied, and he slashed his wrists, and was put in a psychiatric hospital -- LHO was moved into the Metropole. But he seems to have lived in isolated privation for most of the 10-ish weeks he was there, reporting two weeks of dysentery in his diary, for example, and with solipsistic glee that he had once ventured so far into his newly chosen country to buy an ice cream. Much of his social calendar, such as it was, was taken up with visits from "Intourist" and other Soviet officials, as well as a few contact engineered by the US Embassy to check up on him. Reports of his social demeanor suggest he was more reserved than voluble and angry, except during such well-rehearsed events as his dropping into the US Embassy to renounce his citizenship.

So, yeah, I'm gonna rate this one "almost certainly too good to be true, but not entirely impossible".
posted by dhartung at 11:03 PM on September 27, 2013

Actually via Music For Chameleons, which is worth a read

Capote's Oswald story has the distinct reek of BS

It was one of TC's staple conversational gambits
posted by IndigoJones at 4:58 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

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