‘My Side Of The Matter’ by Truman Capote

capote-truman-1945a

My Side Of The Matter by Truman Capote, 1945

The magic trick:

Telling the story from one person’s defensive point of view but tossing out the entire notion of justice or logic by making the entire cast of characters loony

I think it is a safe wager to say a young Truman Capote read a lot of early Eudora Welty. “My Side Of The Matter” captures a lot of the absurdist comi-tragedy one finds in Welty’s brand of Southern Gothic. But even docking points for originality, it’s a very entertaining story. The narrator speaks directly to the reader defending himself – as the title suggests – against the suggestion that he is to blame for the situation he’s now in.

That’s a fairly simple setup, but what makes the story funnier and more interesting than your average point-of-view tale is the ridiculousness of every character in the story. As a result, you’re not just getting a flawed narrator trying to talk his way out of a predicament. He is hilariously flawed, of course. But his wife and her two aunts are no queens of logic and good sense either. The whole thing is a mess. And that’s quite a trick on Capote’s part.

The selection:

Like I say, I’m trying to keep cool in the parlor not bothering a living soul when Olivia-Ann trots in with her hair all twisted up in curlers and shrieks, “Cease that infernal racket this very instant! Can’t you give a body a minute’s rest? And get off my piano right smart. It’s not your piano, it’s my piano and if you don’t get off it right smart I’ll have you in court like a shot the first Monday in September.”

She’s not anything in this world but jealous on account of I’m a natural-born musician and the songs I make up out of my own head are absolutely marvelous.

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

One thought on “‘My Side Of The Matter’ by Truman Capote

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s