Answered Prayers (2nd Edition) by Truman Capote

By Truman Capote

Even though Truman Capote's final, unfinished novel bargains a devastating workforce portrait of the low and high society of his time.
Tracing the occupation of a author of doubtful parentage and omnivorous erotic tastes, replied Prayers careens from a louche bar in Tangiers to a banquette at l. a. Côte Basque, from literary salons to luxurious whorehouses. It takes in calculating beauties and sadistic husbands besides such real-life assisting characters as Colette, the Duchess of Windsor, Montgomery Clift, and Tallulah Bankhead. primarily, this malevolently finny e-book screens Capote at his so much relentlessly observant and murderously witty.

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Additional resources for Answered Prayers (2nd Edition)

Example text

If I put myself in the place of my child, and we stand in one thought, and see that things are thus or thus, that perception is law for him and me. We are both there, both act. But if, without carrying him into the thought, I look over into his plot, and, guessing it is with him, ordain this or that, he will never obey me. This is the history of governments” (EL 567). If the force of his argument is subverted by the substitution of one form of authority (parental) for another (political), the salience of the passage remains in its conception of an ethical carrying of others into an imaginative space of shared thought and perceptions that will, in Emerson’s cosmology, eventually lead to a higher plane of consciousness and shared action.

Theirs is a story of how the interplay of culture and personality served to create new versions of Emerson, and how those versions became variously institutionalized as working frames of reference for others. More important, it is a story about the rise of American literary criticism and American Studies, about the way these fields have been activated and defined by efforts to oppose or critique the instrumental hegemony of American modernity. The examples of critics such as Van Wyck Brooks, F. O.

It hardly needs repeating that Emerson’s address has been received by generations of cultural workers as a call to action, a challenge to intellectual complacency, a provocation to more meaningful engagement with the world and the world of ideas—and as such it may be taken for one of the most influential utterances on this theme in American cultural and academic history. The essay’s rapid perspectival shifts, its deployment of unusually coordinated images, even its martial pulse: many have attested to the work’s combinative ability to leave one intellectually breathless and, paradoxically, self-validated.

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