07 May 2010

Capote's mean reds

Truman Capote's novella, Breakfast at Tiffany's , was adapted by screenwriter George Axelrod for the movie version - Breakfast at Tiffany's. The many quotable quotes from this memorable book, and of course the movie are numerous. On any given day, for any mood- just Pick One.

Capote mastered the story, and perhaps-director Blake Edwards and star Audrey Hepburn immortalized it-But  somewhere within the jaunty movie, a more complex novel still stands the test of time. Huge fans of this movie-and I am one- should read the book, and if you have it is time to read it again.


Capote's characters speak:

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?

Paul Varjak: The mean reds. You mean like the blues?

 Mel Ferrer, Audrey Hepburn, Truman Capote

Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you're getting fat, and maybe it's been raining too long. You're just sad, that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid, and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?


  1. No, because I take anti-anxiety meds. I'll tell you a funny story I heard once about Truman. It was Christmas and his doorbell rang. When he answered it, he promptly slammed the door and turned back to his guest with his arm across his face. He said something like, No! No! I don't even want to know anyone who would send me flowers like that. They were poinsettias.

  2. I will have to re-read and then watch the movie when my husband is out of town in a few weeks. Thanks for inspiring me.

  3. Just dropped by to say Hi.
    I certainly hope you are not feeling in any way, this "mean red" way. Today in France is Armistice day, 1945.

  4. Since I can't seem to officially follow you, my only solution is to put you on my "favorites" list where you should have been forever.

    Your blog is beautiful, inspiring, pure joy.

    You have exquisite taste.

    Warm regards,

  5. I think Donna may be on to something...I think to be a great writer you have to have a little sadness and craziness in your life. Poor Truman (and Holly) Prozac would have done wonders for the two of them, but then again, think what we would have missed!

  6. DONNA, a great story, I love these sorts of antidotes- in fact that is much what my blog is about. thank you for dropping by. pgt

  7. sanctuaryhome, look forward to checking your blog out too. it is a movie I have just about memorized. all the right elements. pgt

    Donna-I am heading off to your blog as well!

  8. Debra, oh, how I need to send you off a long email! this Idea expresses that not being able to put your finger on it sort of feeling.

  9. Tish, there should be a bar that above the title header-to FOLLOW. if you can not access that I WILL find another way. thank you for the kind words, much appreciated. pgt

  10. Tish, also- on sidebar see LITTLE AUGURY BY EMAIL and SUBSCRIBE- hope one of these is going to do the trick!! pgt

  11. Thank you for the explanation of the Mean Reds. I understand the lack of understanding how to express a mood that comes out of no where and threatens everything, especially that important sense of gravity. Rather like the AAL's sudden adieu. One does not expect a giant pillar of a world one cherishes to say farewell. The pieces have to put back together again with a gaping hole. And with that, it's off to the nursery. For me, when it doubt, plant something. And so I shall.

    p.s. An early Happy Mother's Day to the mother of LA. You know that 80 year-old blonde woman. Hugs.

  12. Julieta, Yes I agree with this. I did so like Capote, his friendship with Harper Lee (so sane she was), and the tie ins of Capote portrayed as Scout's friend Dill in Mockingbird. A little loose screw or two pervades in the South. pgt

  13. Oh,Home Before Dark~you said a mouthful. Not only about the moods
    that come out of nowhere, but about the need to plant something when in
    doubt. I did exactly that this week, and the worries subsided a bit.

  14. LA;

    Love Capote. Reading his works....

    Enjoyed the screen version of CAPOTE as well.

    A brilliant mind!


  15. There is much insanity in genius and creativity overall, no? Where there is blandness, there is typically found 'normal and uninspired'. It is good to consider the unusual and extremes for ideas and inspiration.

    The Reds? A creative, visually-oriented way of expressing loss or disconnection? Or something else? Red is the color of anger or destruction - it also the color of passion, or love.

  16. Just re watched Funny Face this weekend, ala Audrey (and of course Diana Vreeland in a round a bout mode)...thinking now I need to re read Breakfast!

  17. HOME, AND MR WORTHINGTON, yes, yes yes.

  18. LA MAISON, yes the movie was excellent, fascinating, riveting.pgt

  19. AUTHOR, yes. and red is very symbolic. the creative mind- As in blogging. I think of the blogs that take pages from a domino or lifestyle Style magazine and project themselves into these scenes for their readers-Bland,Utterly boring and lacking any creativity. Give me a bonafide- Fairy tale any day for Creative craziness. I for one enjoy rattling around Elsie's, Truman's or someone elses otherwise stylish closets. pgt

  20. Zhush- yes I agree, and an Audrey Hepburn movie or two as well. pgt

  21. The movie, so lyrical and AH so incredibly lovely, is probably my favourite of all time, but the book.... THE BOOK.....
    It is different, rawer in ways than the movie could portray, but oh, so good, so classic Capote, absolutely succinct, yet thourough and complete.
    I can re-read the book in the bathtub in one sitting, and do so about 3 times a year, wrinkles worth it......



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