Truman Capote proofread “My Autobiography.” It didn’t go well.

Capote, Oona, and Charlie at the Manoir

When Chaplin was writing his autobiography he asked Capote, a Swiss neighbor, to read it and tell him what he thought of it. Capote agreed. “So I went to work on it. In pencil,” he told Carol Matthau, Oona’s best friend. “And I took it down to him. We started to talk about it and Charlie threw me out. ‘Get the fuck out of here,’ he said. I wanted you to read it. I wanted you to enjoy it. I don’t need your opinion.” 1 Among Capote’s criticisms was that he didn’t like the title “My Autobiography.” Chaplin’s response: “What’s so good about Breakfast At Tiffany’s? That’s the silliest title I’ve ever heard!” Privately, Chaplin liked to imitate Capote’s speech when commenting on the autobiography: “That’th not a thententh. It’th not a thententh, and it never will be a thententh.” 3

The story goes that best friends Oona, Carol Matthau, and Gloria Vanderbilt were the inspiration for Holly Golightly in Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

1Matthau, Among The Porcupines, 1992
2Epstein, Remembering Charlie, 1989
3Saroyan, Trio, 1985

1 Comment

  1. Seems kind of pointless to ask for an honest opinion if you're not going to accept any negative feedback, I'm not at all surprise Charlie did that though.

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