Wednesday, August 25, 2010

in cold blood

portraits of clutter family murderers dick hickock & perry smith
taken by richard avedon, 1960
image via this isn't happiness

i'm about 70 or so pages out from the end. i told myself i wouldn't look up what perry and dick really looked like till i finished the book. but i just couldn't wait. even though i know i will finish the book later tonight... i couldn't stop myself. these portraits are astounding. i'm undone and overwhelmed and my heart is racing. i had no idea their photos would say so much. i had no idea i would feel so much.
truman capote breaks into the story with measured beats, and though the pulse of his language often gathers into sharp and clear points , it keeps a steady ever-haunting and gripping pace—
5 pages in and capote writes:
but then, in the earliest hours of that morning in november, a sunday morning, certain foreign sounds impinged on the normal nightly holcomb noises— on the keening hysteria of coyotes, the dry scrape of scuttling tumbleweed, the racing, receding wail of locomotive whistles. at the time not a soul in sleeping holcomb heard them— four shotgun blasts that, all told, ended six human lives.
and this is the bit of text that keeps playing over and over in my mind as i look at the photos of dick and perry... i can see and hear and smell those shotgun blasts...those blasts that killed the clutter family of four, and later, and less directly, dick and perry...

1 comment:

Luis! said...

I'm reading the book right now and I know exactly what you're saying. It took me a while to get that phrase and over 50 pages in the book I went back, re-read it and that's when it struck me as marvelous.