Tennessee Williams & Truman Capote

In the words of David Wolkowsky:

Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams often fell out. One time they weren’t getting along Truman was writing stories for Esquire. These stories would become Answered Prayers, the indiscretions that would bar him from most of polite society. One of the stories was about a doctor at the Plaza Hotel and he had a hustler walking his dog, Tommy, meanwhile the hotel room was full of dog debris. The underlying implication being that this was Tennessee Williams. The truth, simply, was they weren’t friendly at the time.

Truman attacked people with his writing. Tennessee parried in his paintings, difference being Tennessee was having a laugh.

The painting he named A Child’s Garden of Roses is loosely the denouement of a diminutive Capote with a gun in one hand on his self-destructive social killing spree. This was his revenge for the Esquire story.

The couple standing dead center represent all whom he first enthralled and later skewered, especially Babe and Bill Paley, the top of the heap of the swanks.

Tennessee Williams’ intentions for this painting was to show how difficult Truman was. People were intimidated by him. Truman Capote could be impulsively bitchy. He was a compulsive gossip. He strode about as if he had just got off the Pilar!

The painting tells how Truman brutalized his friends to please his pen. There’s mention of the bicentennial, this being 1976, and Tennessee is revealing how Truman, recklessly and with a smile, hurt those who were once loyally by his side.

This is exactly what he did with his friends in Answered Prayers. To his closest girlfriends! He told their darkest secrets. C.Z. Guest was one of the few who did not abandon him. C.Z. had the looks and chic of Grace Kelly as well as a heart and a personality, a real lady.

Tennessee was just playing in his paintings. He was just having fun.