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.