Harper Lee’s Editor On the New Book

Harper Lee’s Editor on the New Book and What People Get Wrong About Her

By David Marchese 

Harper Lee - Writer 2005. Has a New Book

Harper Lee – Writer 2005. Has a New Book

This article Originally from VULTURE.

The upcoming arrival of Harper Lee’s second novel, Go Set a Watchman, came as just as much of a shock to people in the publishing industry as it did to the rest of us. Even Hugh Van Dusen, Lee’s editor at HarperCollins, didn’t learn about the book’s existence until Monday.

Van Dusen, who’s been working with Lee for years, spoke to us about the new book, the author’s current life, and whether or not she’s been able to put some recent legal skirmishes behind her.

When did you learn the book existed?

I learned Monday. Other people have read it at Harper, but I haven’t yet. The book had been a deep secret here, even to me.

Do you remember your reaction in the moment?

Amazement. It’s absolutely stunning. To find a complete and apparently very good book by a writer of this caliber? To Kill a Mockingbird sells more copies in this country than any other classic novel. No one is really sure how many copies it has sold since publication, but the number is huge.

I’ve seen a 40 million figure.

It’s more than that, but roughly in that neighborhood. I’m trying to find out exactly. It sells about 750,000 to 800,00 copies a year, which is much more, for example, than The Great Gatsby or Salinger—you name it. Maybe not more than Huckleberry Finn, but we’re talking 20th-century novels.

Why is this book finally showing up now, after all these years?

The version I was told was that the book was in either a safe deposit box or a bank vault, and it was wrapped in a manuscript of To Kill a Mockingbird and nobody noticed it for all these years. I don’t know this for a fact, but one must imagine that Harper Lee — we call her Nelle—just never told anybody about the book and then forgot it existed. Her lawyer, Tonja Carter, who is also Nelle’s very close friend, was apparently looking through this safety deposit box and found [Go Set a Watchman]. I guess she then went to her friend said what it is this? Nelle said, and this is all public knowledge, that her editor at the time at Lippincott, the original publisher of To Kill a Mockingbird, said to her this isn’t what you want to write; you want to write something about Scout when she was a girl. So Nelle went back and wrote a new book: To Kill a Mockingbird.

Get Set a Watchman has been described as a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. It sounds like that’s not accurate, right?

It’s actually more of a prequel. She wrote it before To Kill a Mockingbird, but the new book takes place after the events of the book that was published.

Harper is a famously private person. Does she have any ambivalence about the fact that the publication of the book is going to result in a lot of new publicity?

I don’t think so. In our press release she says, “After much thought and hesitation I shared [Go Set a Watchman] with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear they considered it worthy of publication. I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years.”

Has the book been edited? Or is what will eventually be on bookshelves untouched from what was in the safety deposit box?

If it has been edited, nobody’s told me. It’s the novel she wrote and showed to her editor at Lippincott, who didn’t think it was the book Nelle should be writing. So Nelle wrote another book. I don’t know this for a fact, but I doubt very much that anyone at Harper has edited it. My understanding is that it will be exactly what she wrote in the mid-1950s.

So what does it mean to be Harper Lee’s editor today?

I first met her about eight or nine years ago. She actually had a stroke about eight years ago, and I met her a couple of months before that at a Harper function. I’d never met her before. We had lunch and had a very good time, so she then came to dinner at our apartment in New York, with my wife, who’s also in publishing. After she recovered from the strokes, she went back to where she’s from in Monroeville, Alabama, to live, and she’s in a nursing home there now. She’s getting progressively deafer and more blind, and that’s where things stand. I don’t hear from her. There’s no reason why I should, because we don’t need to do anything. I write her notes now and then, but I haven’t heard anything back and I wouldn’t expect to. But I can give you my impression of her, if you like?

Yes, please do.

There’s this rumor about her that’s been prevalent for decades that she’s a recluse, which is absolute nonsense. She’s not a recluse. When my wife and I went to visit her in hospital after the stroke to see her, the room was filled with wonderful women friends of Nelle’s who were all caring for her and helping her and comforting her. She’s not a recluse at all. She just doesn’t like publicity.

There’s that famous Thomas Pynchon line about “recluse” being code for “doesn’t talk to reporters.”

That’s a perfect description of both him and her.

All this time, you never had the slightest inkling that Harper had written another book?

No. Never. The one thing I learned very early on was that you never asked her what she was writing or working on. She would have not reacted well to that. Nobody knows whether she was writing over the years. She may have been writing something else, but no one knows. I’m not suggesting she has been, of course.

Has there been any direct contact about the book between Harper and HarperCollins? Or is it all done through intermediaries?

Are you asking if we’ve been in touch with her directly?

Specifically about the release of this book, yes.

I don’t know, but I don’t think so, only because she’s very deaf and going blind. So it’s difficult to give her a phone call, you know? I think we do all our dealing through her lawyer, Tonja. It’s easier for the lawyer to go see her in the nursing home and say HarperCollins would like to do this and do that and get her permission. That’s the only reason nobody’s in touch with her. I’m told it’s very difficult to talk to her.

Is there any link between the book appearing and all the legal problems surrounding the To Kill a Mockingbird copyright having died down?

No. Everything is calm. All the legal issues, I believe, have all been settled. Her lawyer Tonja Carter discovered this manuscript, which nobody knew had existed and Nelle thought had disappeared. I’m sure that’s what happened. I’m told that all those legal problems are settled now. And those problems have nothing to do with this publication. I promise you that’s true.

It’s easy to be skeptical about her willingness to publish a book that had been forgotten for 55 years.

You mean was she unwilling to have it published? No, no, no, no. We would never do that. She’s too valuable an author to fool around with that way. It would never happen. We wouldn’t dare do that.

Is she still living in the nursing home?

Yes.

Is she doing okay?

From what I hear, yes. Her sister, who was a lawyer in Monroeville, died last year. I should know the exact age, but she was something like 104. So there’s obviously longevity genes in the family. [Lee is 88 years old.]

Is it fair to say that Harper won’t be talking to the media now that she’s got a new book out?

I don’t think anything there’s going to be anything more revealing than what’s in the press release.

The Decline of Harper Lee

Harper Lee Is Just ‘Happy As Hell’ About Go Set a Watchman

Your Elusive Creative Genius

tell me a story
Your Elusive Creative Genius

TED Talk: Elizabeth Gilbert

Post Created by Jennifer Kiley

Reposted from July 2013 

RePost Thursday 9th October 2014
 

PURE CREATIVE GENIUS IN ELIZABETH GILBERT’S TALK. IT’S FUNNY. AMUSING. INFORMATIVE. INSPIRATIONAL. EAT PRAY LOVE. SET A SPELL & BE PREPARED TO LAUGH. MS. GILBERT SPEAKS QUITE WELL FOR HERSELF. ENJOY!!! jkm


Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius

“Eat, Pray, Love” Author Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.

*       *       *       *       *       *       *

Private Writings: Chapter #33 — They Shoot Movies, Don’t They?

private writings to a psychoanalyst (c) Jk 2013

Private Writings — Chapter #33: They Shoot Movies, Don’t They?

Written by Jennifer Kiley
Illustrated by j. kiley
Introduction & Chapter #1
Published on March 19th 2013
Published Early Tuesday AM
Posted 5th November 2013

WARNING: ADULT LANGUAGE AND CONTENT.
NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN.

ALL CHARACTERS ARE FICTITIOUS.
ANYONE RESEMBLING ANYONE LIVING OR DEAD
IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL.

Crypticistic Synopsis:

private writings to dr. annie haskell, psychoanalyst extraordinaire,
my choice in form of storytelling is using letters with dreams, thoughts, poems, images,
music, art, describing my scripts, recent one ‘brief sacrifice,’ film is waiting for release,
psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, inspirations, reflective comments, the inner & outer workings
of the mind, soul, body, emotions, and bipolar—prefer mentally creative, or interesting,
or a brain misfiring; in the mix are abuse, crashes, near drownings, illegal drugs presently,
hallucinations, hypersexuality, time warps, finding answers to unsolved mysteries, infatuations,
imagination, fantasy, the never ending need to discover my self, my soul, my eternal serenity, my bliss

see you down the rabbit hole.
namaste! madison taylor

Private Writings — Chapter #33: They Shoot Movies, Don’t They?

Tuesday, 29th April 2008

Dear Annie,

You want to know how I met Hunter Marx. It was one of Scottie’s wild industry parties. Anyone who was anyone was invited. And our casting director was asked to invite potential actors of both sexes, who might be right for the roles in my new screenplay. This was back on 2000. I wasn’t wary of this party. In fact, I welcomed it.

It was when I first saw Hunter. She was sitting motionless across the room. I watched her for a while. She was strikingly sensual. Her mystique resonated with me. My feelings told me she was different. I believed in my first impression, which I felt was positive. I trusted it. I was greatly mistaken. Now she haunts me. She gets inside my mind. What once I thought was the beginning, of something special turned into a nightmare. The feelings of closeness we shared disappeared. She was a mirage. What I felt existed was smoke and mirrors, signifying nothing.

I was working on the script tonight and now, the pages are filled with memories of times spent with Hunter. If she could only know what she did to my life, what she made me feel. I cannot believe she wanted me to be so tortured. Coming back into our lives, knowing how she ended it. When I listen to what was our song “Come What May,” from Moulin Rouge. The line that kills me, “I will love you til my dying day.” I still feel her arms holding me. Her eyes looking into mine, mine searching deeper into hers. I missed her so much, simply because I loved her, even after she deserted me.

I was nearly destroyed until I realized exactly what she had done. I was used by her and what I felt meant nothing to her. Her desires were to get close to Scottie and I gave her my blessing to steal everything that was mine. From the beginning, her mind was set on the role. Seducing me, the gullible writer, would convince Scottie to give Hunter Marx the part. Scottie was the wise one, she didn’t want Hunter. Because of me, she did get the lead in our film, anyway. That was her goal, at any cost, She never wanted me, my friendship, my love, but a role I created and the bitch is it made her. Now she gets anything she wants. She fucked with me to get my character that I created. It made her famous and what she is today. A bitch who gets what’s coming to her.

And now she is back. Scottie cast her in my new screenplay, “Touch of the Spirit.” I begged Scottie not to cast Hunter. She just didn’t understand back then or now, why I didn’t want her near either one of us, then or now. Poison, not blood ran in her veins, and a touch of evil lingered around her soul.

Scottie knew I had a crush on Hunter. I was always flirting with the women in our films. Nothing meant to go anywhere. It fed my muse. But with Hunter, the strength of the feelings she brought up inside me, I never expected her to have such a magnetic draw on me. I think I became a touch obsessed, which scared the shit out of me. My attractions didn’t bother Scottie. She knew I was innocent. Scottie always worried I would be hurt but she knew they were an inspiration for my muse. My muse loved the feelings the flirtations created, even if they were innocent with no intent on action. Hunter didn’t understand the rules. She was relentless with her intentions and they were not honest.

A strong physical attraction developed with Hunter. Stronger than anything I had felt in a long time. It was in early 2001, when Scottie finally decided she was going to cast Hunter Marx for their first film together. Hunter’s first major film as the lead. It was still an innocent enough time in the world before the impending insanity that descended and overwhelmed the world.

I did have someone to turn to when I needed to talk outside of therapy. Jonathan Stephens was my long-distance friend. We started chatting years before that time. It was primitive compared to having Skype now, which we both converted to. Chat rooms were weird and I never felt really comfortable using them. But after finding Jonathan, it became okay. With Skype, though, we can hear each other’s voice. Jonathan lives in Paris and has a flat in London. An artist by trade, doing mostly painting, but occasionally, enjoys writing, jumping around in various areas, from poetry to prose, to opinion commentary. It all supplements his income, to that of being an internationally known artist with a strong following. Exhibitions, selling his work on both sides of the Atlantic, Collectors follow him around the world. And then those who buy his art because they love his work and to have the pure pleasure of hanging a painting of Jonathan Stephens on their walls. Those are the people he absolutely adores. Yes, he makes a good living from the collectors, but to them he is not an artist but an investment. If he could, he would refuse them any pieces of his work.

I love what Jonathan paints. His art is predominantly in Abstract, which is my favorite style. My favorite artists after Jonathan are Jackson Pollock, Kandinsky, Vincent van Gogh and a great Monet. Claude, of course. I must say I use to get Monet mixed up with Manet, not because of their art but their names being so similar. I was young and more naive then.

Jonathan knows every detail about Hunter. All the excruciating pain she caused me to feel and the whys. I even told him how she seduced me and made me hide my feelings for her in front of other people. Also, my hidden pleasure, mixed together with confusion, huge amounts of emotional anguish, and her convincing me I was delusional. That I had imagined everything that went on between us. She denied we ever had a relationship. That is why Scottie thought I made the whole thing up about Hunter using me.

Jonathan was the only person who knew the truth. How my soul was filled with joy from the kindness and love Hunter showed me. I felt it was real. It only demonstrated to me the evil content of Hunter’s soul. The treachery and manipulation that surfaced after it was over. Her coldness set in and froze me out. All I could feel was total loss and abandonment. I told every minute detail to Jonathan. My witness to what Hunter did and how it made me feel crazy. The Bipolar mood swings flying me higher and lower. Her presence in my life practically destroyed everything inside of me.

This was the beginning, when the agoraphobia made its strategic hit and thoroughly immobilized my life. Between Scottie, Jonathan and a therapist I saw for a short time. A long story, but the short version, she couldn’t handle the combination of pot and lesbians and a gay man all at one time. She had some kind of cleansing conversions during the therapy sessions. Plus she had to make house calls. It freaked her out being in a lesbian couple’s house all alone. She may have thought or felt being around us lesbians and Jonathan’s gay image on a computer screen was far too contagious. We paid her a small fortune, so it wasn’t the money. Well, after her, there entered Dr. George. We all know how that turned out. Of course, at first, I thought he had an open mind and was a relatively good Psychotherapist. He got me out of the house again, sort of, I would, at least, go to his office.

Tomorrow is Scottie’s wild cast party, before heading over the France. I am still really nervous about the flying. But, at least, I got some of my anxiety out on paper about Hunter. Our first head to head will be at the party. Oh, give me strength. I don’t ever watch her films. I would close my eyes during her scenes in my screenplay. I, so, did not want to see her. I don’t know what I am going to do if I react badly to seeing her near Scottie. And what if she tries to say anything to me? What then?

I promise I will behave and bring this letter to you next week, our last session before flying to Paris. It is going to be hard to go, more because I’ll miss you. I know we are going to be doing Skype sessions and you will make sure I have all the scheduled appointment times for the whole month I am away. That is a really long time. I will write to you. It will center me. And I finally will be in the same city as Jonathan. You may wonder why we have never met in person before now. I will explain that when I see you next week.

I am exhausted and need to stop, Writing about Hunter has really messed with my brain.

Thank you for listening and being there. I already miss you.

I will keep you in the loop in the new film and I promise to catch you up more on “Brief Sacrifice” in my next letter. Too much is going on right now to think about it. I will leave you a quote from my last letter to hold you.

“Time can be folded and joined with all elements in all places as the one ultimate moment when time is all at once. In this place everything happens on a continual loop following into a continuum of time forever into infinity. In the “Silver Box,” there is contained the ability to draw time into itself and create the perfect infinite moment.”

I will end this letter in the moment of now.

Fondly,
Madison

© madison taylor 2008

Finale Moulin Rouge I Will Love You Til Our Dying Day

Annie Haskell --- Madison Tayler's Psychoanalyst's Office

Dr. Annie Haskell’s Office as a Psychoanalyst

Somewhere In Time – John Barry

red_flower_garden poppy field sunrise  pwRed Flower Poppy Field at Sunrise

rain in garden gif

Heart Break
Thrice Haiku
By Madison Taylor
6th May 2008

Heart break broke in two
Repairs are like Frankenstein’s
Stitching strings will pass on death

Electric circuits
Strikes lightning’s power preferred
Surging force toward love’s purpose

Awakens beauty
Life less in silence ending
Kissing’s spark brings breathes return

© madison taylor 2008

the red dragon black fire abstract robert-r  pwThe Red Dragon — Artist Robert R.

“A Dream
The beginning always starts out
With a dream.
It is all a dream
In our own nightmares”
— Madison Taylor

jonathan stephens imaginary framedJonathan Stephens is Madison Taylor’s friend in Paris, France. 1st time meeting. Skype.

Patrick is our Bengal cat in tree. He loves Scotties. They are buddies.   1612x1212 Patrick-our Bengal cat up in his tree-Scottie’s buddy

Havana Brown Kitten  Madison and Scottie's kitten One of the Two   800x600

Havana Brown Kitten Madison & Scottie’s. This cutie is Toker. He has a twin brother Mikey

actresses-with-long-hair-hairstyle frenchHunter Marx [taken 7 years ago in 2001 year Hunter & Madison met]

play is not just play meryl streep

Private Writings: Chapter #27 — Getting to Know You

private writings to a psychoanalyst (c) Jk 2013

Private Writings: Chapter #27 — Getting to Know You
Written by Jennifer Kiley
Illustrated by j. kiley
Published Introduction & Chapter #1
On 19th March 2013
Published Early Tuesday AM
Posted 24th September 2013

WARNING: ADULT LANGUAGE AND CONTENT.
NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN.

ALL CHARACTERS ARE FICTITIOUS.
ANYONE RESEMBLING ANYONE LIVING OR DEAD
IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL.

Crypticistic Synopsis:

I am writing to Dr. Annie Haskell. My form of storytelling is through
letters containing dreams, thoughts, poems, music, describing my script
“Brief Sacrifice,” already made into a film but not yet released, psycho-
therapy, inspirations, reflective comments, the inner workings of the mind,
soul, body, emotions, and bipolar. I prefer mentally creative, interesting, or
having a brain misfiring. Included in the mix are childhood abuse, car crashes,
near drownings, drugs [the illegal kind at present], hallucinations, hypersexuality,
time warps, finding answers to unsolved mysteries, infatuation, imagination, fantasy,

and a need to discover my bliss.
See you inside.
Namaste! Madison Taylor

Private Writings: Chapter #27 — Getting to Know You

Tuesday 25th March 2008

Dear Annie,

Last week, I told you I felt your participating with Dr. George in pulling off his coup, to get me into a closure session with him, which I swore I would never do, he used you like a pedophile uses candy. It appeared to me after the fact, you both had conspired. After I heard in my head my accusation, I realized you were above his manipulations. I am truly sorry for even giving any credence to anything so outrageous.

It was so difficult to tell you I made a mistake. Saying I am sorry. Not my favorite choice word to use or do. Usually, if someone fucks up, they are gone from my life. No second chances. With you, I realize it has to do with my mother. She fucked my mind up with her sadist games. Made me the Apologizer.

I don’t want to behave in reaction to the way she made me feel, which was beaten down and pushed away. Inside of me, I felt I needed her. To get her back on my side, it was important I apologize until she forgave me. Groveling was the pattern. No more. I will not kneel like a slave and endure her form of humiliation.

Love is not meant to be as she made me feel it was. Something perverse and punishing. You don’t hurt someone you love by beating them into submission. To make them afraid of you. If they wanted your love, you had to obey them. Follow their orders and never stand up for yourself. Everything was in their control. My mother controlled everything. What I was allowed to know. I had to go to her just to get the basic things I needed to function as a human being.

I wasn’t supposed to know anything about my body. She tried to prevent me from attending a learning session about sex and reproduction at our school. I was too young to understand what I would be learning because she never told me a thing about sex or life or love. She was just abusive.

Her abuse, I have figured out over the years since I left my family and her behind, was grounded in sadomasochism. She was my master or mistress. There are supposed to be safe words to make the dominant person stop. We didn’t have one. She would beat me or whip me. It often was whip to naked flesh. It ripped my skin and made me bleed. There was no pleasure. I gave no consent. It was all her.

Never was there preparation for her abuse. She would corner me where she found me. We were always alone in the house whenever this would happen. The weapon of choice for any given day was always in her hand, prepared to strike. Her yelling accompanied the blows. When she stopped, it was never the end. I would be crying. This made her turn the beatings more violent. Her threats would come in shouting the words, the same words over and over. I knew them by heart.

“If you don’t stop crying, I will give you something to cry about.”

It was always the same. What more could she give me to cry about that would be worse than what she was doing to me. Humiliating me. It was often and always when no one else was expected to be around. No one would have protected me anyway. They were all abusers. I was their slave. My place was arranged so I would be there for them whenever they wanted something from me.

The detail are too difficult for me to write down. I will just say, my body did not belong to me. It was used by everyone. I hated it. I didn’t like what it made me feel or what it made them do to me. Inside of me are stored memories I have buried deeply. In my nightmares, symbols of the abuse are alive and haunt me when I attempt to sleep. It is why I avoid sleep as long as I am able.

My honesty, I hope does not turn you away. It is awful to feel and to say the words to you, the descriptions makes me ill. I can’t eat. Putting anything into my body repels me. Nourishing myself is keeping me alive. When I am alone, I think of death. Some would find my thoughts to be crazy but I am not. If the feelings come back, and I begin to cry, I will never cease. Life will pour out of me in the tears and the ground will absorb my energy. Dust is all that will remain.

Losing love is like death. Losing life is less painful. I want love but I am afraid to feel it. It will cause me pain for a moment of joy. My emotions flip over so quickly. They take me by surprise when I am feeling happy and so suddenly, I just want to die. Feeling suicidal is sweet. It is not as horrible a place as most believe it is. Being held in the arms of your guardian angel, protecting you, so you are not totally alone in the darkness set upon your soul.

It makes me think of the group member who was murdered. I feel she was even if no formal announcement has been made. Dr. George could well have done it. She was a bitch and possessed with her power to seduce. I think she was a bit of a sex addict. It wouldn’t surprise me if I had the same problem. So many people I have had sex with, no love involved. It wasn’t even enjoyable. And believe me when I say, I have no idea why it happened. Other therapists have told me it is a manifestation from the abuse I endured.

Why am I telling you this? It is so fucked up. Why would anyone want me? I am a broken toy, not even able to be played with, just used up and thrown away. Why shouldn’t I want to throw myself away as others want to do? It seems a trend. No one wants to take the time to make things work. It is a throw-away world. We are all cast aside and if not, we are forgotten where we are supposed to feel love.

I am depressed so quickly. Maybe it hides and tricks me into believing everything is alright, when it isn’t at all. The world has fallen apart. “The End Is Nigh.” That I what the signs say. They carry them around in all the big cities. Everyone waiting for the world to end or be bombed to death. No one knows how to get along.

Some know love and share it. It is something I want to do. To be loved and to love in return. To feel music when I am kissed. To be able just to feel the kiss, the touch of lips touching gently together. Is that too much to desire? To know what an honest, loving touch is without wanting to back away. I wonder what that is like.

I shouldn’t say I’ve never felt it. it isn’t true. There was someone, I felt extremely close to. We would sleep together without any expectations. No one touched, unless it was accidental. But what a lovely accident it would be. It allowed me to be free. No pressure was put on me to experience anything I didn’t want.

I never learned how to say stop and have it mean anything at all. With her, I wanted to learn how to say, “Don’t stop.” Now, that is a scary two words to think or to say out loud. I never learned how to do that either, I wish I could have told her how I felt and what I wanted. She knew but was as shy as me. People frightened her as well with all their demands on her. She was so beautiful and popular.

What does popular mean? It seems a strange state to be in. These are very heavy issues. So much to talk about and to learn. I wish I had someone like you as my mother. You speak so softly and calmly. I didn’t even mind when your hand touched my shoulder. It happened the time we met for our first session. You came out and I was so far away inside my mind. The music led me beyond the clouds. Maybe I was on the way to Neverland to escape facing you. All the time I wanted to have time alone with you to speak privately. My secrets are too dark to share with other people around me. Even alone, I am terrified at saying aloud what I just finished writing. It is too embarrassing and I feel so ashamed.

I know you are going to ask the questions and you are going to want to know the answers. They don’t exist in my conscious mind. My unconscious mind, however, it quite fertile with depths of secrets it holds for me. The secrets live in the dungeons of my deepest, darkest labyrinth. Hiding around a corner I have found yet.

You need to hold my hand and walk me ever so slowly through the dark. Until we meet each secret separately. When we talk about them, we must find a way for me not to lose myself inside. I fear I would be lost forever.

This is the beginning of the extremes of my confessions. Time to change directions.

Speaking of time, a brief update on my film script. The Friends of Nikola Tesla need to guard his secrets carefully and their own identities as well. There is an organization who are in pursuit of the secrets as well. They know the secrets are hidden and intend to find them and when they do, they will be destroyed. On the side of good, the Friends are in constant danger of discovery. The holder of the place where the secrets are held, each one separately. Tesla was not about to put them all together. He spread them out, in different locations. But there is more to where they are hidden then just knowing that piece of information.

Carter McLeod holds the key. But she has no idea what it is yet. Soon she will find out. When it is time, I will reveal what I know to you. It has to be kept between us. It would spoil the film if it ever got out. I’ve told you way too much already, but feel the secret will be safe with you. Being my therapist, aren’t you sworn to hold what I say to you in confidence? It is the only reason I would be able to share this with you. Not just the script but the secrets of my life I don’t wish anyone to know.

I kept my family a secret from the world and the rest my life, also. There are so many buried stories, it would make a priest want absolution after hearing my confession. Or is it really a confession? It’s more confessing for the sinners rather than the sinned upon.

It’s time for me to stop. We have far too much to sort through already. I will bring this letter to our next session. It should blow the lid off somewhat, and the light can set fire to the sins. Next, after a break, I want to write you a poem. It may hold within its words an understanding I really do not see at this moment of honest clarity.

I bid you a great week, as I sift through what may have been jarred loss by my writings tonight.

I am so amazed you are finally my therapist or analyst. Whichever you prefer.

Fondly, your client in need of you,

Madison

Annie Haskell --- Madison Tayler's Psychoanalyst's Office

Dr. Annie Haskell’s Office as a Psychoanalyst

Somewhere In Time – John Barry

calla lily bouquet framed

rain in garden gif

Heartbreak Deep
Written by Madison Taylor
25th March 2008

Heartbreak touches deep
Expectations protection
Never abuse foreseeing

Kneel down forgiveness
Wall impossible to scale
Borders blocked denied entrance

Wait hear not sorry
Disappear rather than stay
Closed doors rejection complete

© madison taylor 2008

Antaresheart --- Explosion of the heart

Antaresheart — Explosion of the heart

“A Dream
The beginning always starts out
With a dream.
It is all a dream
In our own nightmares”
— Madison Taylor

Patrick is our Bengal cat in tree. He loves Scotties. They are buddies.   1612x1212 Patrick-our Bengal cat up in his tree-Scottie’s buddy

Havana Brown Kitten  Madison and Scottie's kitten One of the Two   800x600

Havana Brown Kitten Madison & Scottie’s. This cutie is Toker. He has a twin brother Mikey

English Country Gardens Chateau de Rocher framed English Garden Chateau de Rocher

play is not just play meryl streep

Special Edition: Niamh Clune—Orange Petals in a Storm

special edition day any

orange petals in the stormOrange Petals in a Storm
Written by Niamh Clune
Post Created by Jk the secret keeper
Posted On Wednesday 18th September 2013
SPECIAL EDITION

april thomas  ascension artist group

Check the above site out. April Thomas Blog “Ascension Artist Group” feature authors. Particularly, look for the post featuring Niamh Clune, talking about her foundations in life and her desire to write. The book she is featuring is “Orange Petals in a Storm.” A fantasy of a young girl who loses everything when her mother dies. At the beginning of the book she is running through the rain to reach the home she lived in with her mother.

From there the adventure goes back in time to recall all Skyla McFee had to endure and the magic she discovered in her imagination which helped in a huge way to help her cope with the situation she found herself stuck in. Read the book to find out what materializes from within Skyla McFee’s imagination. It will surprise you, delight you, and hold your attention to the very last page.

I have followed the author, Niamh Clune, from the first day I became aware of her genius in the use of words and language. Five stars, I give to all her books. Another of which is “The Coming of the Feminine Christ,” a book of truth, an amazing confrontation with an angel in the middle of a Virgin Forrest, [she wasn’t alone when she witness the materialization with the Angel ], it was profound for all, but a message was transmitted into Dr. Clune’s mind, a message meant for all of mankind. We need to change our ways or all will be lost.

There are many more offerings in this amazing book, which will open up your mind to other understandings. “The Coming of the Feminine Christ” is right up there with “Orange Petals in a Storm” as a Five Star Book.

Niamh Clune is a brilliant writer and poet, excelling in everything she sets her mind to and oh, what a brilliant mind. Her soul and heart shine through in all that she writes and all she does.

Do check out this site and search out the post on the author Niamh Clune. It, also, gives you locations where you can purchase these marvelous books. Also, see below for those link.

We all need “Orange Petals in a Storm” and “The Coming of the Feminine Christ” in our reading collections. Once you have read them once, you will want to repeat the experience. Written by Jennifer Kiley — Jk the secret keeper

Behind The Books Featured Author: Niamh Clune [Find Here]
Niamh Clune: Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 12:59 PM

You will find Orange Petals In A Storm Find Here

The Coming Of The Feminine Christ
Find Here

And my children’s books are on the plum tree books web-site

Private Writings: Chapter #25 — Private Dancer

private writings by jennifer kileyPrivate Writings: Chapter #25 — Private Dancer
Written by Jennifer Kiley
Published Introduction & Chapter #1 On 19th March 2013
Published Early Tuesday AM
Posted On 10rd September 2013
WARNING: ADULT LANGUAGE AND CONTENT.
NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN.

ALL CHARACTERS ARE FICTITIOUS.
ANYONE RESEMBLING ANYONE LIVING OR DEAD
IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL.

Crypticistic Synopsis:

I am writing to Dr. Annie Haskell. My form of storytelling is through letters containing dreams, thoughts, poems, music, describing my script ‘Brief Sacrifice,’ already made into a film but not yet released, psychotherapy, inspirations, reflective comments, the inner workings of the mind, soul, body, emotions, and bipolar. I prefer mentally creative, interesting, or having a brain misfiring. Included in the mix are childhood abuse, car crashes, near drownings, drugs [the illegal kind at present], hallucinations, hypersexuality, time warps, finding answers to unsolved mysteries, infatuation, imagination, fantasy,

and a need to discover my bliss.
See you inside.
— Namaste! Madison Taylor

Private Writings: Chapter #24 — Private Dancer

Tuesday 11th March 2008

Dear Annie,

What do I say to you about our first day of private therapy.

If you could imagine my waiting for you to come out to get me in the waiting room. My insides were flipping over. The chair could have floated out from underneath me, I was ascending to the ceiling so often. Then it came. Your hand gently resting on my shoulder. The electric current woke me from a trance. My ear buds were in. Music was high, playing ‘Everything I Do, I Do It For You.’ I’m sure you’re familiar with Bryan Adams.

You touched me. It was the first time. So unexpected but I didn’t flinch. Your hand felt so safe. No touch does from people. Why, then was it okay with you? Therapy began in a moment I never will forget.

I didn’t say anything. Just followed you to your office. It was exactly how my mind imagined it. There is a photograph in my head. Your office is exactly identical. I have been seeing the future again.

What did we talk about? I was in a daze. Being alone with you was overwhelming. After the long wait of wishing for just this day. It seemed like being inside of a dream I’ve been dreaming forever. You have been buried, living inside my mind. You are the one.

Explaining what I mean is beyond human words. It is buried in memories outside of time. A recurring sense of familiarity without any connection till now. It is of times past. Other lives. Reincarnation. Having been together before now. We knew and lived in other times together. What I am writing sounds certifiable to most. Look how people tease Shirley MacLaine. People believe but are embarrassed by believing in such seemingly bizarre, other dimensional phenomena. I do believe mostly, but have doubts when others question the strength of my beliefs.

I am so easily influenced. What I believe floats with the breeze and seems too easily changeable as is the direction of the wind. It is not because I don’t belief what I do belief, it’s my need to question everything. Which leaves me feeling confused, as though I stand on the solidness of quicksand most of the time.

Everything in life confuses me. In a moment I will believe in something being as real as anything can be. In a flash the connection is broken. Reality turns into a nightmare of chaotic brainwaves of disbelief. A crumbling of my reality into a collection of delusional thoughts, a puzzle where the pieces don’t fit together any way you try to make sense of them.

I lose track. Stop knowing what to believe. Testing anything becomes too frightening. The fear, is my reality is false, and my delusions are true. What does one do when thinking and feeling like the world is alien, which trips back and forth at will, no control from within me.

I think it is why I like fantasy. Watching movies. Reading books. Writing outrageous fiction. Creating cryptic poetry. The abstract is more acceptable. It can be whatever it wants to be. Change when it wants to. It is simply accepted. A true shape-shifter. Maybe I am one. Never the same. Always someone different.

Will you be able to help me. I need a complete internal make-over. Inside of me lives a very fucked up mess. Filled with fear. Wanting to love but retreating as soon as it feels too close. Reaching for it. Shutting down when it is given. I would say I am really screwed. The up part I let it be cut off. Most of the time I don’t feel up. When I do, it drives everyone crazy except me. I don’t live outside my body. I don’t notice the extreme agitation and rage. I become fixated and driven. I have no idea why I feel the way I do, except most of the moments when I am awake I chase after the muse to keep up. Exactly like Alice with her White Rabbit. I fall down the Rabbit Hole on a regular basis.

The Mad-Hatter is a really great friend, if one can be friends with someone as crazy as you are. Actually, maybe it is easier. Is there a direction we can take to relieve the pressure? The urges to want out of this world. Oh, yeah, the state of suicidal thinking is a regular visitor in my head. We are co-operating companions. I won’t let her harm me, she knows it is true, so the deal is, I let her exist as long as she lets me have my moments of being in my bliss or high, so I can write and create. She even helps sometimes find those hidden meanings and depth I find so elusive. She knows the secret passageways to memories. Knowledge one can’t find in the wide awake world. Too much bright light can hide the views of the darkness. The answers lie in the darkness. The ones I am seeking.

So what did we talk about. I asked you to tell me who you were. Not using those words. You told me you had a daughter in high school, ninth grade I believe. She wants to be an actor. The plays and musicals she’s been in, all were as the lead. See if my memory fails or leads me to the correct answers. Memory failure is common with me. To begin with, she played Maria in West Side Story. Let me think, she was Juliet in Shakespeare’s modernized production of my beloved ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ Marvelous play. Such an ending, an example of extremely bad timing all around for all those ending up dead. Quite a high number but not as severe as Hamlet.

Which brings me to Hamlet. Her school switched things up a bit on Elizabethan rules, had a lady playing a young man in the way of Hamlet. Your daughter was the lucky one to win the sweet role. The sheer fact at her age to succeed at doing a shortened version of Hamlet or any version is extremely difficult. But you told me she always received excellent write-ups in the local paper and school paper, on all her performances. Which makes me feel and think I would like to meet her someday. Make an attempt to write her the perfect part in one of my screenplays. We will discuss this. If she has aspirations toward being a professional actor, Scottie, my partner in life and career, is a director. We have our own production company, ‘Infinite Imaginations, Inc. III.’ If you would like and she agrees, we could arrange a screen test, see how she appears through the eye of the camera.

If you help to fix me, I would be overjoyed to help you with your daughters future in the world of film. It would, actually be my pleasure. You would know she’d be safe with Scottie watching out for her. And I’d write her an Oscar winning role. Not over-confident, am I?

This leads me right into my favorite part of writing to you. I love telling you about my work and particularly my latest script, ‘Brief Sacrifice.’ We left off with Carter pursuing a lead, following the trail of the Magic Silver Box without any seams and impossible to open. Carter needed the input of her three companions, Jasper, Jax, and James, her Savannah Cats. James’ specific psychic ability was the best way to sort things out but they must follow the trail of its origin.

The first destination was the Estate where Carter purchased her Treasure. Hopefully, they could provide information as to the origins or name of the deceased whose Estate was being sold. If Carter had that name, it could lead to other connections.

After arriving, they found the caretaker. He directed Carter to the lawyer’s office who managed the deceased estate. The firm was hired by Jackson Sharp, to take care of closing out the estate. They directed Carter to where she could locate him.

When she found Jackson Sharp, he invited her in, as though he was expecting her. After the amenities, he asked her and her companions to make themselves very comfortable, for he, Jackson Sharp had a story to tell them.

He started out his story as follows: “The deceased was the Leader of the Organization: The Friends of Nikola Tesla. He managed the Friends of Nikola Tesla since shortly after his, Tesla’s, death at a young age . He died penniless after creating amazing inventions. He worked for Edison, whom he had no affection for but was fortunate to have acquired the support of an extremely wealthy entrepreneur in Morgan and later joined by another wealthy benefactor.”

“Tesla was moving forward with his inventions until he came upon a way for everyone in the world to have free electricity by simply putting a specially devised pole in the ground. The best part is the power from these sources would not only make electricity free, it would eventually create absolutely no need for the use of fossil fuels. Oil that is, Texas gold.”

“Well, his wealthy benefactors did not want this invention to ever see the light of his invention. They buried him. Withdrew their financial support. No one was ever going to see his dream in action. It did sneak into the invention of the Tesla Electric Car, which is doing very well.”

“After Tesla’s death, the U.S. Government absconded with all his possessions where he was living, and hid them away. Did they get everything, though? I believed in Nikola Tesla, myself, once I heard the story from the old man who died. I’m sorry I cannot tell you his identity, it was my promise to never reveal his secret.

“Tesla was brilliant. Did anyone believe he would not have secret locations where he would hide his own secret inventions. Especially after all which had been stolen from him. He was sure to want to leave a legacy for the future where he hoped there would be those who would understand his genius and his amazing capabilities. I am privileged to those secrets. During the remaining years of his life, the old man, with a group of secret individuals of like minds, protected Nikola Tesla’s answers to the future of humankind.”

“These secrets are set to be passed down through generations until humankind is worthy of the powers Nikola Tesla put into his work and dreams. Even the powers of electricity free for all is well hidden away until the world can rid itself of the parasites who live off the energy of the masses. Who cast them aside as though they meant nothing. The .01% of the population are those parasites who are starving the world as they destroy the beauty in nature and make slaves of the majority of humankind. Their day will fall. They will disappear for good.”

“On that day, all the secrets will be revealed. Humankind will make a change. All will be new. The world will be recreated. This is Nikola Tesla’s dream and what Friends of Nikola Tesla are protecting until the time comes for his Dream to be put into full action.”

“All of this is contained in a special Silver Box filled with Magical abilities. This Magic has the capability to alter the world enough so that Change and Truth can be revealed. If I am not mistaken,” Jackson Stark said. “You are in possession of this Silver Box ?”

“Yes, that is correct, but how did you know?” Carter said.

“It was meant to belong to you. You were chosen. I will explain, but let us rest now. I will have arrangements made for you, Carter, and your companions to stay here for while. It’s just for your own protection.”

“What protection? Why do we need protection?”

“The contents of the Silver Box is being searched for as we speak. Many extremely dangerous people will not stop ever until it is found, those who have knowledge of it and those who are in possession of it, are all destroyed. What you hold in your possession is truly Magical, with powers you will find very difficult to understand. It is too soon to get into what it is. The time will be soon enough.”

“Now let me show you to your suite, where you can make your selves comfortable. I will prepare a delicious meal for everyone. Don’t worry Jasper, Jax and you, too, James. I know James, you are the Special One with all the psychic talents. It’s rare to find a cat who matches up with a companion who understands his ability. You can, can’t you, Carter! You have the Magic, also. That is partly why you were all chosen. But there you are. I am getting ahead of myself. I will leave now. Get comfortable. You will find snacks for all in the small refrigerator over against the wall, just over there. Now, I take my leave. Dinner will come shortly, I promise. I will ring you on the intercom. Rest. You will need it for what’s ahead.”

He disappeared. They did as he said and all rested.

And I will stop there. Leave you wanting more.

What a day. A dream comes true. Fear is rising. But telling you my tale of Magic calms me down.

I know I didn’t say anything about the group. What I would have to write would take away from the specialness of having you all to myself today. I don’t want to think about group anymore. I wish it would just end. Be done with it. The only reason I still go now is to see you. Now I can do that on my own. I will leave group at saying there is little I will miss. The past too many years have only been a disaster I should have ended long ago. But I know now, why I didn’t. It was meant for me to live through, till the day came I would meet you, Annie. Serendipity. Maybe. Sometimes what leads up to it can be extremely painful. I needed to learn what I didn’t need, to discover what I do need, and want. Enough from that lesson. Let it be over now. Enough!

Time to stop.

Until I see you next time.

Fondly and Gratefully, I sign off with much appreciation to you, Annie.

Always Want To Know You,

Madison

Annie Haskell --- Madison Tayler's Psychoanalyst's Office

Dr. Annie Haskell’s Office as a Psychoanalyst

Somewhere In Time – John Barry

Forget-Me-Nots

Forget-Me-Nots

rain in garden giftrusting
written by madison taylor
monday 10th february 2008

trusting the newness
memories overturning
in graves their awakening

arms pull warmth to me
body’s touching silky skin
caressing gently my dreams

feeling hands inside
flesh responds in still silence
open wanting pleads let go

© madison taylor 2008

a matter of time --- artist katherine patrick

a matter of time — artist katherine patrick

Nothing Out There — Soundcloud — Soundtrack ‘Brief Sacrifice’

“A Dream
The beginning always starts out
With a dream.
It is all a dream
In our own nightmares”
— Madison Taylor

Patrick is our Bengal cat in tree. He loves Scotties. They are buddies.   1612x1212

Patrick-our Bengal cat up in his tree-Scottie’s buddy

Havana Brown Kitten  Madison and Scottie's kitten One of the Two   800x600

Havana Brown Kitten Madison & Scottie’s. This cutie is Toker. He has a twin brother Mikey

Chateau de Rocher Art Gallery  999x752

Chateau de Rocher Art Gallery

play is not just play meryl streep

Fav Top 10 Films #5: When Audrey Hepburn Won Marilyn Monroe’s Role

Breakfast-at-Tiffanys-Poster

Favorite Top Ten Films of All Time [#5]
Breakfast at Tiffany’s: When Audrey Hepburn won Marilyn Monroe’s role
List Created by Jennifer Kiley
Illustrated by j. kiley
Movie Trailers by Jk the secret keeper
Post Created on 21st August 2013
Posted On Friday 23rd August 2013

FILM FRIDAY
dedicated to roger ebert film friday5 stars

Favorite Top Ten Films of All Time [#5]
List Created by Jennifer Kiley

#5th — Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Breakfast at Tiffany’s: When Audrey Hepburn won Marilyn Monroe’s role

How Truman Capote’s novella became a great Hollywood film by Sarah Churchwell

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Audrey Hepburn the perfect Holly Golightly in the film of Breakfast at Tiffany’s

This is a fascinating review. I do not agree Audrey was miscast but I do agree that she was perfect for the role of Holly Golightly. It is a moving, complicated, sad, romantic, thought provoking, amusing film, I feel one of Blake Edwards’ and Audrey Hepburn’s masterpieces. The review coming up by Sarah Churchwell was brilliantly thought out. And tells the tale well of Breakfast At Tiffany’s and the rebirth of two people who have had it rough in their lives. A worthy film to watch for enjoyment but also to find compassion for two lost souls and the learning to love and to feel like you can belong to something and someone. Not in a way that smothers but in a way that sets you free so you are able to love.

I must mention my two favorite scenes in the entire film, not that I didn’t love every scene. But there is a scene out on the fire escape when Holly is playing the guitar and singing Henry Mancini’s “Moon River,” it is so vulnerable a moment. If you are familiar with this song and have seen the film you understand why. The other scene is during a rainstorm, and Holly and Paul aka Fred are searching for something very precious. It makes you frantic and sad and angry all in one moment, through an entire scene. If you see the film for the first time, remember to look for these two scenes. There are plenty of other scenes that move you but not the same as these two.

All Marilyn Monroe fans will be interested in reading this review, also. It seems Truman Capote wrote the novella with her in mind to eventually play the role of Holly Golightly. I love Marilyn but somehow after seeing Audrey Hepburn imprint herself on this role. I cannot imagine Marilyn doing it at all. It doesn’t seem to fit in my mind. It would have been interesting to see her do it on the stage. That would have been a treat if I had been old enough back at the time Marilyn was alive. A note I found out after writing this is that Marilyn rejected doing the part because her coach felt the character was of ill repute and it wasn’t a good impression to make playing someone who people would see as a “whore.” Of course, the way Audrey Hepburn plays the role, one only sees Audrey being her admirable self in a character who is carefree on the outside and heartbroken and terrified of too close a relationship and commitment with anyone, man nor beast.

So enjoy reading a unique approach to Breakfast At Tiffany’s. I will leave you the words, it deserves to be on my Favorite Top Ten List of Films. I feel if you take the time to see Breakfast At Tiffany’s, you will feel the same. It is a delight to watch Audrey develop into a butterfly during the course of the film. Enjoy reading the rest of the review, the photographs, posters, movie trailer(s), interviews, and film clips, and a documentary on the making of Breakfast at Tuffany’s and in the documentary, the joy for Blake Edward fans, being able to see and him talk about a film he was extremely proud to be part of and his delightful in being the director. From my impression, Audrey and Blake had quite the interesting relationship.

I know that Blake’s wife Julie Andrews became friends with Audrey and the ordeal over Jack Warner choosing Audrey to play Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady was never really a problem between the two of them. In fact, Audrey told Julie she wouldn’t take the role if Julie didn’t want her to. But then she discovered that Jack Warner was never going to give the role to Julie ever. In fact, he went on to give the role of Guinevere in Camelot to Vanessa Redgrave. For those who don’t know Julie played both the roles on Broadway. So Audrey decided that if Julie was never to get the role then why not her play the role. She really wanted to do it.

Of course, once Audrey began the part, they decided not to let her sing. To me that is so bizarre to cast someone who can’t sing at the level the part called for seems rather ridiculous. If it is a a singing part, you hire an actor who can really sing. [I only say that now. I am grateful that Natalie Wood played the role of Maria in West Side Story but didn’t get to sing either. It was usually Marni Nixon who dubbed for most of those females who couldn’t do it.]

Now, I use to be so upset with Audrey until I discovered this information and that Julie was truly alright with Audrey playing Eliza. Now I am over it but I really would have liked to see Julie playing Eliza. If she had then what would have happened with Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music? I’m sure she would have done those roles but the timing would have been so off. Instead she gets an Oscar & Golden Globe for Mary Poppins and a nomination for Maria in The Sound of Music and best picture also. And she became the number one star for the 70s. Take that Jack Warner.

And now onto the intriguing review of Breakfast at Tiffany’s written in 2009 by the British Journalist for The Guardian, Sarah Churchwell. Introduction by Jennifer Kiley

Production year: 1961
Country: USA
Cert (UK): PG
Runtime: 115 mins
Director: Blake Edwards
Adapted from Novella Written by Truman Capote
Cast: Audrey Hepburn: Holly Golightly (money for the powder room)
George Peppard: Paul Varjak (kept man-writer-based on Truman Capote except that Truman was gay & Paul is not)Holly calls him Fred
Patricia Neal: (Paul’s designer/keeper)
Buddy Ebsen: Doc (Holly’s Husband-robbed the cradle-Holly ran away from that life)

Sarah Churchwell
The Guardian
Friday 4th September 2009

It doesn’t take much these days for a tale to be described as a “Cinderella story”: anything resembling a makeover, however superficial, will usually suffice. But Breakfast at Tiffany’s really is a variation on the Cinderella theme, the tale of a young girl who escapes a dangerous adolescence and transforms herself through aspiration – a sheer act of will – but who may not live happily ever after. Like Cinderella, it is a story about struggling to escape. And it is a story about self-fashioning. Breakfast at Tiffany’s suggests to every woman – and many of the men – in the audience that they could reinvent themselves, liberate the golden girl hidden beneath ordinary, even debased, trappings.

audrey-as-holly-in-sleep-mask_with cat on back

Much of the writing about the film of Breakfast at Tiffany’s acknowledges that when Hollywood bought the rights to the story, Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe to play Holly Golightly. Most accounts treat this as yet another of Capote’s many idiosyncracies, if they consider it at all – who could imagine Monroe instead of Audrey Hepburn in one of her most iconic roles? But for anyone familiar with either Monroe or the novella, it’s not really that much of a stretch
.

Breakfast-at-tiffany-s holly singing moon river

In fact, as many of the film’s first critics observed, Hepburn is entirely wrong for Holly, a character who turns out to be a vagrant from west Texas whose real name is Lulamae Barnes. It is difficult to conceive of a woman less likely ever to have been called Lulamae, let alone “a hillbilly or an Okie or what” (as Holly’s agent OJ Berman refers to Lulamae) than Audrey Hepburn. She could be an ingénue, a naif, anything French you like. But a redneck? A hick from a Texas dirt-farm? That’s even more implausible than Cary Grant as an Oregon lumberjack in To Catch a Thief some five years earlier. Every inch of Audrey Hepburn exudes aristocratic chic.

breakfast-at-tiffany-s-after stealing the maskz as a joke with g.p.

Monroe, by contrast, whom Capote knew well, though raised in California rather than Texas, was originally named Norma Jeane (with an E, like Lulamae), and her parallels with Capote’s Holly do not end there. She was a depression-era orphan who was both exploited and saved by older men. As an adult she would allude to childhood molestations (when reckoning how many lovers she’s had, Capote’s Holly dismisses “anything that happened before I was 13, because, after all, that just doesn’t count”). She has an upturned nose, tousled, “somewhat self-induced” short, blonde hair (“strands of albino-blonde and yellow”) and “large eyes, a little blue, a little green”.

Breakfast-At-Tiffany-s-audrey-hepburn-being woken from sleep

She is befriended by an extremely short, powerful Hollywood agent who recognises her potential and helps her reinvent herself, renaming her and providing her with access to education and a more sophisticated veneer. She runs away to New York just as success in Hollywood seems assured – although Holly, unlike Monroe, knows she doesn’t have it in her to be a star, because she lacks the drive that precisely characterised Monroe (as Capote understood). Like Monroe, Holly is in it for the “self-improvement”, as she tells the narrator. She’s been around the block, for which she never apologises, and she ends as an icon, a fertility symbol (the narrator sees a picture of Holly carved as an African fetish). Most of all, Monroe, like Capote’s Holly, “is a phony. But on the other hand . . . she isn’t a phony because she’s a real phony”. The novella’s Holly, her agent knows, is “strictly a girl you’ll read where she ends up at the bottom of a bottle of Seconals”. Mind you, the novella was published in 1958: four years before Monroe ended up at the bottom of a bottle of Nembutals. It’s a fable about a Monroe manqué, who lacks her ambition – and may thus escape her fate.

[I do not agree with the statement Marilyn ended up at the bottom of a bottle of Nembutals. There are many theories which do not support that conclusion. It is possible some found Marilyn asleep after taking something to help her drop off. But I believe the Nembutals were introduced into her system in a manner where they would dissolve long enough to disappear from her system before an autopsy could be done. There were no Nembutal found in her system. Yet, she supposedly died from an overdose. Nothing she took herself. The amount which would have killed her she couldn’t have taken without passing out before all the pills were swallowed. A curious dilemma, and also, her body had been moved from the location where she died and she was placed into her bed. She was found lying in the wrong position for the way the evidence was recorded. So, I object to the making of a comment about Marilyn “ending up at the bottom of a bottle of Nembutal.” She didn’t and I still believe someone took her life. There were too many reasons for others to have done it than for Marilyn to have been able to succeed at taking the lethal dose. My opinion by Jennifer Kiley]

Breakfast-at-Tiffany-s-audrey-hepburn-looking tearful

Blake Edwards’s film adaptation was released in 1961, a little less than a year before Monroe died. And much to her disappointment, she didn’t win the part that had been written for, and about, her. Holly could have been the performance of a lifetime – as it would have been the performance of her lifetime. Moreover Holly, despite being blonde, is decidedly not dumb, and Monroe was desperate to escape being typecast.

Hepburn, Audrey (Breakfast at Tiffany's) with g. peppard

But Hepburn won the part, and in retrospect it is easy to see why. Hepburn, far more than Monroe, had become indelibly associated with the transformative Cinderella makeover. Although Holly, like Monroe – and like Capote, in fact – all sprang from a Platonic conception of themselves (in F Scott Fitzgerald’s famous phrase), for them the fissures between the earlier self and the public persona always showed, and threatened to split them apart. Hepburn was the only one whose stardom seemed to reflect her authentic self – as if she were not an actor but a true princess, an authentic queen.

holly at door with mask up on forehead

In one way, Capote was certainly an authentic queen. But he was never able to shed his sense of belonging on the margins. The neglected child from Louisiana, the prodigy who transformed himself into a celebrity, never believed that he belonged in the castle. As he wrote of his own alter ego, the unnamed narrator of Tiffany’s, he lived perpetually with “his nose pressed on the glass”, wanting “awfully to be on the inside staring out”. Capote, who was born Truman Parsons, was himself an aspiring Cinderella; like Holly he was renamed, reinvented, and left eternally waiting for the right fairy godmother.

holly hanging with g.p.

Cinderella was not, originally, a poor child raised to the rank of princess. In the stories of Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm, Cinderella begins life in privilege and wealth – in earlier versions she’s even a princess – who is wrongly deprived of her rightful status by those who envy her power and beauty. It is less a story of metamorphosis than of revelation: the transformation only reveals the original self. On screen, we never saw Norma Jeane become Monroe: we knew her only after the fall. But for Hepburn, every definitive role leading up to Breakfast at Tiffany’s – and continuing to My Fair Lady – featured her being transformed, the butterfly emerging from the chrysalis. And unlike Monroe, who was always seen as having transformed into something artificial, Hepburn was only ever transformed back into her own luminous, immanent self.

holly singing moon river with guitar playing in arms

The story of our culture’s subsequent love affair with the film of Breakfast at Tiffany’s – and not with the novella, which may be admired, and certainly has the cachet of its author, but is hardly well-beloved, much less well-read – is really about our love affair with Audrey Hepburn, the movie star. The persona she consistently projected was of authentic, intrinsic refinement, of chic sophistication that was never brittle or cold, of an instinctive stylishness that reached its epitome in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The moment when Hepburn first emerges in the film still ranks as one of the great screen makeovers of all time.

The title credits roll over a scene of condensed, symbolic wishing: Hollywood as dream factory. Hepburn is standing, very slim, in a long, black column dress with a glittering, enormous collar necklace and the trademark black sunglasses that Jackie O would adopt a few years later. (Jackie O’s supposedly iconic looks markedly resemble Hepburn’s from a few years earlier.) The camera encourages us to gaze longingly with her through the Tiffany’s window at diamonds and other jewels; and then she strolls up the street, munching the doughnut that we know is probably the only doughnut Hepburn ever ate in her life. But it is precisely these little touches of normality, of the ordinary, that humanised Hepburn’s image.

holly with cat in apt with unopened boxes

The next time we see her, she is asleep, wearing an absurd eye-mask and dangling ear-plugs with little blue tassels. She groggily awakes and pulls on a man’s tuxedo shirt – one of the film’s few insinuations that she may entertain “gentlemen callers” overnight – and, hair awry, opens the door to George Peppard, playing Capote’s alter ego: straightened, masculinised and elongated (Capote was just 5ft 3in). Paul Varjak – as the film arbitrarily names the writer who will be cast as Holly’s obligatory love interest – is locked out; Holly lets him in and realises that she has an appointment. A frantic rush to get dressed ensues, as Holly hunts for alligator pumps, brushes her teeth, puts on an enormous hat, and emerges from the bedroom as – voilà! – Audrey Hepburn. The camera lingers lovingly on a close-up of her dazzling smile as she asks, half-coyly, half-sweetly: “Surprised?” “Amazed,” responds Varjak – and so are we, the transformation is so quick, so easy, so absolute. Or we would be amazed, if it weren’t for the fact that we were always waiting for it.

walking around NYC trying to look for something to do thats illegal

One of the things that makes this transformation so effective is its apparent effortlessness. All she needs are the right hat and a little black dress (it was Hepburn who turned the Little Black Dress into the wardrobe staple it remains today) and there she is, like magic, with the wave of a fairy godmother’s wand. From Now, Voyager to Pretty Woman, Hollywood has sold stories that centre on metamorphosis, when ugly ducklings become beautiful swans or streetwalkers become homemakers. The appeal of transformation is the appeal of self-improvement: some women are born beautiful, some have beauty thrust upon them – but Hollywood promises that beauty can be achieved. The romance of Breakfast at Tiffany’s is not really with Peppard (in the only leading role he’ll be remembered for) but with Hepburn herself, with the fantasy of artless sophistication she embodies. Hepburn (again, unlike Monroe) never appeared to try too hard.

Holly Golightly at Tiffany's Windown in Blake Edwards Breakfast at Tiffany's

Holly Golightly at Tiffany’s Windown in Blake Edwards Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Hepburn’s iconic transfigurations extend back to her first, Oscar-winning, starring role in Roman Holiday in 1953 (the same year, incidentally, of Monroe’s breakthrough role in Niagara). In a kind of inside-out Cinderella story, Hepburn, as Princess Ann, has one perfect day in Rome, riding around on the back of Gregory Peck’s moped, before the clock strikes midnight and she returns to her duties, without Prince Charming, but secure in the knowledge of his love. And part of her metamorphosis comes when she crops her hair, trades a few accessories, including her shoes, rolls up her sleeves, unbuttons her collar, and instantly achieves the insouciant gamine look that would become her trademark.

Breakfast-at-Tiffanys-Poster-4

Hepburn’s next film, Sabrina, featured a more prolonged transformation, again from pony-tailed adolescent into pixie-cropped personification of soignée style. Sabrina added a fairy godfather in the form of a French baron so old that his intentions – and hence her morals – are never in question. Soon after came Funny Face, and another makeover, the first that the story represents as requiring an army of fashionistas and photographers (but only because it takes that many to overcome her character’s resistance to being objectified). Eventually, with My Fair Lady, Hepburn would play the ultimate transformed object in Eliza Doolittle, a woman who is initially not at all the author of her own transformation. When Hepburn started playing the Princess, she stopped being Cinderella – for good. It was almost as if she didn’t have to, because her definitive persona had been fixed. The princess had emerged.

The film of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, like Capote’s novella, sees Holly as half-Cinderella, half-Pygmalion – Doc, who saves her, and begins to educate her, however primitively; like a female Huck Finn, lights out for the territories, escaping the confinements of “civilization”.

Audrey-Hepburn-in-Breakfast-at-Tiffanys

But Hollywood would never release Hepburn into the wild – not least because she so patently doesn’t belong there. The film also has a romance with New York, which it doesn’t want her to leave. So along comes the final Pygmalion, the writer Paul Varjak, who finishes domesticating Holly. Capote’s Holly is too mobile and erratic for a Hollywood just emerging from the 1950s. She is a vagrant playgirl; her only permanent state, as she prints on her calling cards, is that she is “Miss Holiday Golightly, Travelling”. And it means something very different for a woman to be a tramp than for a man.

full-breakfast-at-tiffany's-poster

This is why, for the story to work as a romance, Holly’s indiscretions need to be cancelled out, as it were, by those of a lover who has also fallen prey to the lure of sexual economics, who has also sold himself. It is not just that Hollywood has to inject a love story wherever it finds a beautiful woman (although that is certainly the case) but that the man must ultimately redeem her, and himself, from a life of sexual opportunism that she describes in euphemistic terms as receiving money “for trips to the powder room”, and he describes as “having a decorator”.

Audrey Hepburn wiht George Peppard

Audrey Hepburn wiht George Peppard

Like Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is fundamentally a story of the American dream. Capote’s novella, if not about nightmares, is certainly about the costs of the dream. The film – like most Hollywood movies – is determined to view dreams as wish-fulfilment. And by no coincidence it took a European movie star with aristocratic heritage to bring the American dream to life in all its sentimental romance, because the American dream is, in part, a dream about being the real thing, about belonging. Like Holly Golightly and Monroe, Jay Gatsby is a real phony. But Hepburn was a dream of authenticity rather than imitation, of success rather than failure, of security rather than escape.

looking cat in the rain b.a.t.

You can call it sentimental, even cheap and manipulative. Capote certainly did, and many critics followed suit: an early review declared that Hepburn was “viciously, pathologically miscast” as Holly. This is undeniable – but it is also why the film works on its own terms, and has become so culturally distinct from the novella. Despite how much of the story and even of Capote’s dialogue it keeps, it is a fundamentally different tale because its tone and mood is so at odds with Capote’s. The film is, in a word, sunny; it is full of hope. The novella is full of shadows and terrors.

Found Cat in the rain near where holly let him out of the car

Found Cat in the rain near where holly let him out of the car

In the end, though, shadows are no truer than sunlight. Edwards’s film is unquestionably escapist, and it eagerly encourages us not to think about how sordid and sad its characters and story actually are. That’s what romance is. And in fact Capote’s novella is rife with its own sentimentalities, in love with a romantic notion of loss and escape. Capote’s Holly is essentially a variation on the hooker with a heart of gold, and the novella is dominated by a kind of willed cynicism, a veneer of sophisticated experience belied by the ending, in which the narrator sighs over his unconvincing hope that this “wild thing” has at last found a home. The film Breakfast at Tiffany’s is dominated by a willed innocence, a romance with romance itself. But in fact the innocence of Capote’s Holly is willed, too – which is what Hollywood gets right. As she tells the narrator in the novella: “I haven’t anything against whores. Except this: some of them may have an honest tongue but they all have dishonest hearts. I mean, you can’t bang the guy and cash his checks and at least not try to love him.” The morality lies in the effort to have an honest heart, genuinely to feel the emotion: and the film shares this moral code. Hollywood has always pandered to us, selling a vast, vulgar and alluring but false beauty. The makers of the film are, metaphorically speaking, banging Holly; they’re exploiting her story, selling her out, maybe even corrupting her – but they are also trying very hard to love her, and they want us to love her, too.

Inky Cherie — Moon River — Composed by Henri Mancini for Breakfast at Tiffany’sA very delicate rendition of Moon River. A Beautiful voice with very little accompaniment.


Breakfast at Tiffany’s Trailer


Audrey Hepburn – Moon River


Andy Williams — Moon River — Clips from Film


Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Paul says “I love you” – Library Scene


Documentary on Breakfast at Tiffany’s Movie – Blake Edwards & others discuss the film