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Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood as Literary Journalism

In an article written in 1966 for The New York Times, Eliot Fremont-Smith discusses the squabbles that occurred in the literary world over Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, squabbles that continue today. He wrote of Capote, “The author is now concerned that In Cold Blood be taken as an example of a new literary form, ‘the non-fiction novel'”(8).

The debate of what constitutes a novel and what constitutes non-fiction. Fremont-Smith argues that the mixing of the two genres is irrelevant:

It is too bad, because this fine work raises questions and offers insights that are far more important and, God knows, more interesting than technical debates over the definition of a new or possibly not new literary form. (Book, 8). Fremont-Smith discusses “the dichotomy between the moral judgment of an act and the moral judgment of the person who commits it”(10). He contends that thinking about this is both “frightening and difficult to retain in mind,” but that people must keep the act in their minds if they want to come to terms with viciousness of the crime, sorrow for the victims…

Bible Essays – Pain and Suffering in Homer’s Odyssey and the Gospel of Matthew

Pain and Suffering in The Odyssey and the Gospel of Matthew

In the “great works” of ancient Greece and of Christianity, suffering alone is portrayed as something to be feared. Both Homer’s Odyssey and the Gospel of Matthew contend that suffering is virtually unbearable when the sufferer has not outside support. If, however, the tormented can find support from others, these teachings continue, suffering becomes more tolerable. Both agree that we wish to find supporters when we are tormented. Unfortunately, these sources diverge on how one finds such support. Homer teaches that one can find support by knowing that all of mankind suffers together, ultimately tormented by the gods. The Gospel of Matthew, however, teaches that by placing faith in God, the tormented can find support from God. More, it teaches that God hears the calls for help from humans and, if asked in true faith, will give support to all sufferers.

To illustrate the teachings of these two works, one short passage from each is sufficient to give the kernel of the respective teachings on this subject:

Rag of man that I am, is this the end of me?

I fear the goddess told it all to wellÄ

predicting great adversity at sea

and far from home. Now all things bear her out:

he whole rondure of heaven hooded so

by Zeus in woeful cloud, and the sea raging

under such winds. I am going down, that’s sure.

How lucky those Danaans were who perished

on Troy’s wide seaboard, serving the Atreidai!

Would God I, too, had died there—met my end

that time the Trojans made so many casts at me

when I stood by Akhilleus after death.

I should have had a soldier’s burial

and praise from the Akhanians—not this choking

waiting for me at sea, unmarked and lonely. (Homer V.309-323)

“He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said ‘I am God’s Son.” The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.

From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink.

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