Truman Capote's In Cold Blood as Literary Journalism

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In an article written in 1966 for The New York Times, Eliot Fremont-Smith discusses the squabbles that occurred in the literary world over Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, squabbles that continue today. He wrote of Capote, "The author is now concerned that In Cold Blood be taken as an example of a new literary form, 'the non-fiction novel'"(8). The debate of what constitutes a novel and what constitutes non-fiction. Fremont-Smith argues that the mixing of the two genres is irrelevant: It is too bad, because this fine work raises questions and offers insights that are far more important and, God knows, more interesting than technical debates over the definition of a new or possibly not new literary form. (Book, 8). Fremont-Smith discusses "the dichotomy between the moral judgment of an act and the moral judgment of the person who commits it"(10). He contends that thinking about this is both "frightening and difficult to retain in mind," but that people must keep the act in their minds if they want to come to terms with viciousness of the crime, sorrow for the victims...

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