About Me

My photo
To listen to my latest recording, view my complete profile and then click on "audio clip" under "links"

Monday, January 29, 2018

Completism Run Amok

Being able to eliminate an author's name from my list because I've read all their work fills me with compulsive glee. When the author has been gone long enough that no more posthumous stuff is likely to surface? Sweet, if ghoulish.

Though I may have read Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" many years ago, I can't be 100% sure; my book journals are a fairly new habit. But after recently completing that  - to help me decide if I'll use it as a modern-day "classic" for my book club - I way-too-carefully examined Capote's catalog. His oeuvre looks substantial, but I soon discovered significant overlap among the books listed. Many titles are simply collections of earlier pieces, all of which I was pretty sure I'd read. Turns out, Capote was less prolific than many of his peers. And the closer this obsessive completist got to scratching a name from his list, the more unhinged he became.

Still, even after satisfying myself that I had read all of Capote's work - the complete short stories, the novels and novellas, the non-fiction, even the "unfinished" and supremely bitchy roman-a-clef "Answered Prayers" - I didn't rest. Inside my own copy of "In Cold Blood" was an insert I'd saved, a new introduction written by Mark Singer, issued when the Book Of The Month Club used Capote's 1959 masterpiece as a selection in 1986, two years after his death. The insert mentioned Lawrence Grobel's 1985 book - "Conversations With Capote"- unread and staring at me from my bookshelf. What could I do?

Suggestions for medication?

No comments:

Post a Comment