Talking as Performance
and Unfinished Projects
Sometimes …I think about all the dead people who would have loved
54. It's a shame they're not around—people like Ronald Firbank or
Toulouse-Lautrec or Baudelaire or Oscar Wilde or Carl Van Vechten.
“Of course, the truth of it is,” said Capote, replacing his glasses and
sitting up straight, “that the thing I like to do most in the whole world
Wilde's ability to promote himself—his seemingly innate understanding of publicity—allowed him to use the production of his own image as the lens through which all his other critical, creative, and promotional work could be magnified synergistically. Though Wilde criticized the popular press for “the tyranny that it proposes to exercise over people's private lives,” which is “quite extraordinary,” he contrasts the situation in England with “America,” where “journalism has carried its authority to the grossest and most brutal extreme. As a natural consequence it has begun to create a spirit of revolt. People are amused by it, or disgusted