Truman Capote habla de su encuentro con Willa Cather

4 de diciembre de 2008
Parece ser que esta mujer es Willa Cather, magnífica novelista

Muchos de aquellos (que serán pocos) que hayan leído a Willa Cather habrán llegado a ella a través de la senda abierta por Truman Capote, que en más de una ocasión habló de ella como una de sus novelistas favoritos, y a quien tuvo la enorme suerte de conocer.

El siguiente fragmento es de una entrevista a Truman Capote realizada en 1967 por Gloria Steinem, en la que habla de su admiración por ella y del curioso encuentro entre ambos.

"Gloria: Was there anyone who encouraged you
in your writing?

Capote: No, it was still a private obsesion.
Though later on, after my mother remarried and we were living in Greenwich,
Connecticut, I has a high-school English teacher who encouraged me in every way.
Miss Catharine Wood.

There were authors who comforted me, too, and who opened my
imagination a great deal. Beginning at twelve or thirteen I has a idée
fixe about Flaubert. People like Aubrey Beardsley or Oscar Wilde appealed
to me: there's something about them that demands an imaginative response.
Katherine Mansfield, Thomas Wolfe, Maupassant, Chéjov, Turgueniev, Proust - I
read them all. (Though I was never a fast reader, and I'm still not. I can't
skim. I hear every word sounding in my head.) Proust may have had the greatest
effect on me, more as a person than as an artist. I always felt he was a kind of
secret friend.

The trouble was that I had no one to show my stories to,
nobody to use as a sounding board. It was like playing tennis by myself.
When I was about fiftteen and started sending them off to little magazines, it
was only to get some reaction. No one was more surprised than I was when they
were accepted; I really was surprised. One day when I was seventeen, I got my
three first acceptances at once!

That same year, I met a fellow artist for teh first time, and
it was a turning point in my whole attitude.

We had moved East, you see, and I finished high
school -well, more or less: I never really graduated. And I had a job at
the New Yorker. It was during the war, and they were shorthanded, but they
couldn't send me out on interviews, because I looked about ten or eleven years
old at the most. People would have though it was child labor. So they used to
give me little errands, or hand me packages to wrap or research jobs to

Quite often, I would go to the New York Society Library on
Seventy-Ninth Street to do research, and three or four times I noticed this
absolutely marvelous-looking woman. She had a wonderful, open, extraordinary
face, and hair combed back in a bum. Her suits were soft, but rather severe
-very distinguished-looking- and her eyes. Well, her eyes were te most amazing
pale, pale blue. Like pieces of sky floating in her face.

One day about five-thirty, I came out of the library, and
there she was, standing under the canopy. It was snowing hard, and she was
looking this way and that, as if she couldn't decide whether to walk or to wait
for a taxi. I stood there, too, and she said she didn't think there were any
taxis. I said no, I guessed there was no point trying to get back to the office,
I guessed I'd just go home. Suddenly she said, "Would you like a hot chocolate?
There's a Longchamps restaurant jut around the corner, and we could walk

Well, we walked there, and she said she'd noticed me in the
library several times. I told her I was from the South, was working on a
magazine, and that I wanted to be a writer. She said, "Oh, really? What writers
do you like?" We talked about Turgueniev and Flaubert.

Then she asked what american writers I liked. I told her that
my favorite was Willa Cather. Which of her works did I like best? Well, I
My Mortal Enemy and A Lost Lady were both perfect works
of art. "Tha's very interesting", she said. "Why?" So I told her why, and we
talk for a while. "Well," she said finally, "I'm Willa Cather."

It was one of the great frissons of my life! I knew it was
true the minute she said it. Of course she was Willa Cather!

We talked a little more, and when I finally got out in the
street agan, I was so bowled over that I walked right into a lamppost.

Gloria: Did yoy see her after that?

Capote: Oh, yes, we became quite friendly.
She was really one of my first intellectual friends. While I was growing up, I
knew scarcely anyne who read books. Later on, at the New Yorker, I'd met writers
who were talented, even very gifted. But somehow I never wanted to share my
innermost self with them. My interest in writing, in art, was so intense and
out-of-the-blue. It was almost like having a peculiar sex fetish -for doorknobs,
say- that one else could conceivably undestand. Willa Cather was the first
person I'd ever met who was an artist as I defined the term; someone I respected
and could talk to."

Truman Capote: un collage de sí mismo