“He was always lugging home wild things. A hawk with a hurt wing. One time it was a full-grown bobcat with a broken leg. But you can’t give your love to a wild thing: the more you do, the stronger they get. Until they’re strong enough to run into the woods. Or fly into a tree. Then a taller tree. Then the sky. That’s how you’ll end up, Mr. Bell. If you let yourself love a wild thing. You’ll end up looking at the sky.”The speech is Holly Golightly’s but the book, of course, belongs to Truman Capote. Actually, it’s a novella, republished last month by Vintage. It’s the 50th anniversary edition of the publication of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The book also includes three rather wonderful short stories: “House of Flowers,” “A Diamond Guitar,” and “A Christmas Memory.”
I was very surprised by Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Much darker than I had expected and with a faintly lurid odor that the film had not led me to expect. And it all becomes clear once more: Capote was almost certainly some kind of kook, but man, could he write.