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Truman Capote: an excerpt

From Portraits and Observations: The Essays of Truman Capote. Here, in a piece published in 1959, Capote writes about when he was a young boy and encountered Louis Armstrong. Just an amazing scrap of writing:

“Surely the Satch has forgotten, still, he was one of this writer’s first friends, I met him when I was four, that would be around 1928, and he, a hard-plump and belligerently happy brown Buddha, was playing aboard a pleasure steamer that paddled between New Orleans and St. Louis. Never mind why, but I had occasion to take the trip very often, and for me the sweet anger of Armstrong’s trumpet, the foggy exuberance of his come-to-me-baby mouthings, are a piece of Proust’s madeleine cake; they make Mississippi moons rise again, summon the muddy lights of river towns, the sound, like an alligator’s yawn, of river horns — I hear the rush of the mulatto river pushing by, hear, always, stomp! stomp! the beat of the grinning Buddha’s foot as he shouts his way into ‘Sunny Side of the Street’ and the honeymooning dancers, dazed with bootleg brew and swearing through their talcum, bunny-hug around the ship’s saloony ballroom.”

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