Alison Clement

observations from a novelist who sometimes wants to say something small and see it published immediately

reading about Artemis


I’m in a coffee house and a man is sitting across from  me, carrying on a lively conversation with himself.  He is looking in my direction. For a while I nodded and made small exclamatory statements, but then I realized he wasn’t really talking to me. I’m reading Jenny’s story about Artemis, but I’m also trying to hear what the man is saying.  Earlier today someone said that Truman Capote practiced paraphrasing so he became good at remembering dialogue and could forgo a pad and paper when conducting interviews. I used to be able to recall long conversations, but now I can’t. I like what Norman Mailer said about Truman Capote: that it took so much courage for him simply to be himself, yet he never pretended to be anything but who he was. I heard Truman Capote speak once in Bloomington, Illinois and he had a panic attack, but then he started reading his Christmas story and calmed down.   I read In Cold Blood when I was twelve and it ruined my adolescence, which I suppose means it’s good.


Categories: books, writing


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