From Reading Room/8:

Ojalá Octubre: A Prelude
Juan Cruz Ruiz
Translated by Kevin Krell

Back to the issue 8 page

           Truman Capote was so happy then that he wrote a friend: “I like this month so much I wish it was always October.”
           I read this at the beach house, in El Médano, in the afternoon, and I got up with the book in my hands.
            It was a thick book, heavy, filled with gossip and enthusiasm, with hard white covers like a prayer book, and also a book suffused with that bloody melancholy present in all the writings of Truman Capote, as if he had never known happiness. 
            And yet that October he was happy.
            A white book with weighty covers, a book that resists being read in bed, or on the beach; a book for reading in an armchair or in a library; correspondence, the minutiae of a miserable existence, like when the trash casts the final result of life’s apparent greatness into the sea.  Trash and greatness, combined in a perfect container: books are perfect containers, like recently completed buildings.  Later they become filled with misery, or luxury.
            Nothing, a quagmire; irrelevancies, small tragedies, or major ones, the egoism of writers, envy and its consequences, the minimum degree of vanity, the maximum degree of stupidity.  Ants fighting to reach the summit, and at the top, shit.  Miseries piled up on greatness; humiliations, people humiliated by Capote, people who humiliated him, contradictory anxieties, slippery hands, rich people eating fine pastries for breakfast and gorging on laughter.
           At the end, the result of a life, a tombstone and fame.  Fame behind a tombstone.


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