In Cold Blood

The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call ‘out there’.

For the category Classic with a capital C It took me a while to get into it, but I liked it tons better than my previous Classic, Despair.  I think the very densely printed lines were the biggest struggle to get used to.

As the complete title says, it’s an account of multiple murder. But calling it just a detective, a chronological story of murder and murderers caught, wouldn’t be sufficient, nor complimenting. This is every piece of the puzzle, from the life of the victims to the trails of the murderers, the homes of the police men and the setting of the court.

Truman Capote calmly sets out the pawns and the play-field, sketching a situation only overlay it with ink later. The account is the main character and it all fits needly together. It’s a slow burner that you will keep close after entering the field.

In Cold Blood: a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences, Truman Capote, Random House 1965

Little Birds

Manuel and his wife were poor, and when they first looked for an apartment in Paris, they found only two dark rooms below the street level, giving on to a small stifling courtyard.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Classic. And I don’t expect Anaïs Nin to be on the same high school to-read lists like Jane Austen or Mark Twain, but I’m certain she can be called a Classic (the capital is necessary). So, like with other Classics, I picked the slimmest novel of the author and ended up with Little Birds, a collection of (very) short stories.

Erotic stories. Published after her death, so sadly I’ll never know if she gave a damn about being different like that. Maybe people in the 1940s didn’t give a damn either, the preface of the Penguin Classics version doesn’t touch upon any of it. But besides that, does this author deserve the title of Classic?

That’s not easily said after reading just one piece of work, but Little Birds definitely has a certain appeal. The writing is accessible, there is a certain easy rhythm in the short stories that can almost be put to music. And, very important to erotica, there are barely any (horrible) metaphors for genitals.

And maybe most important: Little Birds made me curious about more Anaïs Nin.

Little Birds, Anaïs Nin, W. H. Allen & Co. 1979