In Cold Blood Essay

956 words - 4 pages

An essay written in 1966 by a Franco-Bulgarian historian named Tzvetan Todorov states that every masterpiece creates a whole new genre, while still obeying the previously valid rules of the genre. In summary, every book institutes the existence of two genres: that of the genre it violates, which dominates the universal literature, and that of the genre it creates. Since its publication in 1965, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood has held an exclusive seat in American literary history. His augmentation to the genre of journalism, which he tagged the “non-fiction novel”, was the first cognizant pursuit to use novelistic devices while sticking to the protocols of journalism to spawn a new literary ...view middle of the document...

His extensive research, which he continued until the killers’ execution in 1965, gives the readers a total and authentic narrative. The timing of the book is also an essential circumstance to its later significance. America circa 1959 was climaxing. It was still soaking in the victory of the Second World War and consequent economic boom. These feelings of confidence and security were more visible in the US heartlands such as Holcomb, which was representative of that small-town togetherness that defined America in 1959.
In Cold Blood is considered an example of “New Journalism,” that Capote instituted in the 1960s and 70s. However, he disapproved of the label and referred to his work as a “nonfiction novel.” Capote expressed that he felt he had written more than an influential book, he had created a completely new form of writing. Capote was quoted as saying the following on this particular subject:
This book was an important event for me. While writing it, I realized I just might have found a solution to what had always been my greatest creative quandary. I wanted to produce a journalistic novel, something on a large scale that would have the credibility of fact, the immediacy of film, the depth and freedom of prose, and the precision of poetry (Malin).
Although the book is in novel form, Capote shapes the real events encompassing the Clutter family murders into a narrative, and many agree that Capote had created a new style . He may not have been responsible for creating a brand new type of literature, but he played a central role in resuscitating it.
We recognize In Cold Blood as a literary document despite its nonfictionality because the strategy used to create the story was so artfully manufactured. Capote’s unconventional uses of language as well as its innovative inner...

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