Truman Capote – friendship and betrayal

The tawdry world of high society gossip is the centrepiece of the tv docu-drama series “Feud: Capote vs. the Swans.” Truman Capote, a feted writer of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the true crime novel In Cold Blood which brought him fame, fortune and friendships with high-society female friends, the wives of New York’s richest and most powerful men whom he nicknamed his “swans”. He lunched with them for two decades; yachted with them, heard their secrets and gossiped constantly.  

  As his career faltered he had the bright idea of turning what he knew into a novel, revealing their ‘dirty laundry’ which proved to be an act of social suicide. Indeed one of his subjects did commit suicide having seen an early version.  The fallout from his betrayal saw him ostracized from New York society and he retreated into an alcoholic and druggy final few years dying less than a decade later.

 Hamartia is the Greek word for the hero’s tragic flaw though Capote was hardly heroic in the first place with later analysis of his In Cold Blood pointing up fabrications and mistakes.

 He was born 30 September 1924 3pm New Orleans and had a fractured childhood, being abandoned to relatives for several years after his parents’ divorce. He wanted to become a writer from early on.  He had a deeply buried 8th house Libra Sun square Pluto, so would be predisposed to unearth other people’s secrets – the 8th house giving him an instinct for what lay below the surface. His Moon Saturn in Scorpio in the publishing 9th house hints at his motherless, unhappy childhood focusing his energy on writing and no doubt giving him an acerbic slant as Scorpio’s sting was unveiled.

   His Neptune Venus in Leo in his 7th opposition a 1st house Mars would attract him to glamour, superficiality and frivolity though with hints at a lack of solid commitment in relationships, amplified by his North Node also in the 7th. Jupiter in his 10th guaranteed success for a time.  Chiron in Aries in his 3rd house suggests a lack of a strong sense of identity and a tendency for childhood hurts to impact on his way of thinking and communicating.

 He grew up near writer Harper Lee who helped him with In Cold Blood though they drifted apart afterwards. Although a Sun Taurus, she had some similarities having a Moon Saturn in Scorpio close to his Midheaven and her Jupiter Mars in Aquarius opposition Neptune.

 Gore Vidal, another Sun Libra with Venus Saturn in Scorpio,  with whom Capote is sometimes linked though they disliked each other and the more intellectual Vidal had gravitas where Capote seemed obsessed with superficial appearances.  

Capote’s 5th harmonic was strong – good at building a successful life but with a tendency to be irresponsible,  self-indulgent, deceitful. More significantly his 10th harmonic is heavily aspected – the wheel of fortune, reaching the heights and then tumbling down.

19 thoughts on “Truman Capote – friendship and betrayal

  1. Just took a look at Marella Agnelli’s chart – in the AstroDB – the Italian noblewoman who was the wife of Gianni, owner (then) of Fiat.

    And voilà, a Gemini rising with a Moon conjunction Venus in the 1st house. No wonder the youthful look (Gemini) and feminine beauty and glamour (Moon conjunct Venus).

  2. Please forgive my lapse of memory. To Kill A Mocking Bird covered the trial of a black man accused of raping a white woman. Too many years have passed since I read it. In the 1930s both would have carried the death sentence in Alabama. And to find him not guilty would never (in that world) have been an option. Again I apologise.

  3. I haven’t read or viewed the Truman Capote work mentioned. I was a fan of To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee, which is in essence about Harper’s own childhood which also covers a murder trial in which her father defends a black man. This takes place in the south, well before the civil rights era.

    Lee and Capote were two very different people and as such maybe helped each other in their shortcomings. She was very shy and reclusive and he was snobbish and pretentious and very full of himself. Some say that In Cold Blood, which he wrote and was supposed to be a factual account of a serial killer, that both were in essence the same story.

    I never could see that myself. Harper Lee wrote a masterpiece. She never wrote another book again till near the end of her life when she wrote a follow up to the first. Alas it was not a success.

    I think the end of their friendship had awful repercussions on their lives. With Lee she retreated into herself and never allowed herself to enjoy her success.

    Of course it was the exact opposite for Capote. Others might have thought him witty. But in reality he was cruel and heartless. Without Harper Lee, he turned into a monster, a man without a conscience.

  4. I’ve watched the 1st two episodes of this show. It’s very entertaining–great acting, interesting re-visit of an earlier time.

    Marjorie–in reading an interview with one of the actresses, I think it was Molly Ringwald who commented that none of the actresses is 22 years old. In an era when it is so difficult for mature women to get great roles you have:

    Jessica Lange, Diane Lane, Molly Ringwald, Calista Flockheart, Demi Moore, Chloe Sevigny and Naomi Watts.

    It might be interesting to see the charts of such actresses. Also Annette Benning, Florence McDermott, Jodi Foster.

    It’s hard for a woman to age in Hollywood.

  5. Here is Capote’s Draconic Zodiac chart superimposed on his Tropical Zodiac chart.
    His life’s career is shown by his Draconic Sun in Aries in his 3rd House of writing.
    Draconic Asc is in critical Virgo on the cusp of his 8th House of research into dark
    His big mistake was his Draconic Pluto, research, taboo subjects, conjuncting
    his Tropical South Node in Aquarius, high society exposes. He didn’t heed the
    warning….”Do not follow your South Node.” High society dispised him for this, and
    his career went downhill after.

    • Martha, how interesting.

      You sound like you know a thing or two regarding the Draconic chart.
      Would love if you could share some basics key points on how to read it with Tropical please if you have time?

      • i would second that, it would be interesting to have a look at king Charles 111’s draconic chart as well as the Vedic one, so many valuable insights from such a gifted group I , for one, would be grateful to you all.

  6. So I’m looking at Truman’s chart and before that I thought How could possibly someone, who surely knew the ways of the rich, think that publishing their private problems would be a good idea?!

    But then my gaze got drawn to that Scorpio Moon. That’s a difficult place for the Moon. We’ve said it many times. It’s resentful. It is a signifier of a wound that probably will never fully heal. It might also denote holding a grudge against or envying (Scorpio) women (Moon). It’s all somehow further emphasized in the gloom department by that Saturn, and somewhere there with that planet of karma and lessons to be learnt might have been the key out of that dreary spot a soul can drift to, often with no return to a happier place or with damaging consequences.

    I keep returning to that talk we all had about fate, and I just have to wonder why someone was born with such a life to be lived, when it was probably known from the start that people are hardly ever capable of transcending their traumas and childhood miseries, and this one was not to be any different. Only a fortuitous sequence of events, maybe the ancient Greeks would say courtesy of god of luck and favourable opportunity and moment, Kairos, lifts some people out of a life badly lived.

    His Pluto in the 6th might have been one of the signifiers of such ill health in life, together with the Moon (ruler of the 6th) conjunct Saturn (hardship, pain).

    A sad story that could have been different.

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