Southwestern Americana West Coast '57 Shopping Cart Temporarily Closed

The Evidence: Comparing Willa's Masterpieces, Truman's Novella, George's Screenplay and Taylor Swift. It's the caper of the millennium and it's ON.


BY SHILOH RICHTER

15 FEBRUARY 2023


THE EVIDENCE: Comparing Willa’s Masterpieces, Truman’s Novella, George’s Screenplay and Taylor Swift 


Truman Capote didn’t write BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S. Willa Cather did. Truman Capote stole it and Audrey Hepburn knew it. Part III. 

It’s the caper of the millennium and it’s ON.

Breakfast at Tiffany's Movie Poster (1961)
Breakfast at Tiffany's publicity still

Joe Alwyn as George Peppard

with JOE ALWYN AS GEORGE PEPPARD Cast by Taylor Swift as Love Interest in stealing, forcing, and buying NYC Breakfast at Tiffany’s Scenario

1st Printing of Truman Capote's Breakfast At Tiffany’s as a Signet Paperback in 1959. But Truman plagiarized the novella.
1st Printing of Truman Capote's Breakfast At Tiffany’s as a Signet Paperback in 1959.

But Truman plagiarized the novella.
(Photos: semperebooks on Etsy.)

 

 

DINNER AT TIFFANY’S







The Carters
Beyonce
Alicia Keys NYC

Hailey Bieber for Tiffany's

Jay-Z in his Patek Philippe Tiffany Nautilus 2.7.23

Jay-Z in his Patek Philippe Tiffany Nautilus 2.7.23

This is a look at the textual evidence of Willa Cather’s oeuvre, Truman Capote’s raiding and plagiarism of each of her works to pen a dark, pathological version as a novella calling it Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and screenwriter George Axelrod with Audrey Hepburn bringing the cultural spotlight to this in creating the movie and opening back up the spirit and propitiousness of Willa’s writing. This epiphany of Willa Cather’s writing began with my own writing to John Mayer and his artist friends, a trip to see him in concert in NYC in 2010, a screenplay that I had written called Dinner at Tiffany’s, and Taylor Swift’s invasive raiding of others’ lives and works, the plagiarism, and likewise graft and deceit just as Truman Capote perpetuated for abusive fame.

KEY:
Willa Cather, the Original
Truman Capote (Truman’s Version)
Audrey Hepburn, Willa’s Spirit of the Feminine Being
George Axelrod, the Screenplay
Taylor Swift (Taylor’s Version Version)

From Sam Wasson’s Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman:

“Several critics found the novel–and Holly herself–disconcertingly slight, and even shallow. ‘Whenever Capote tries to suggest the inner life of his heroine,’ wrote Alfred Kazin, ‘the writing breaks down. The image of the starving hillbilly child never comes into focus behind the brightly polished and eccentric woman about town in her black dress, pearl choker, and sandals.’ Was Capote fazed? Hardly. He was too busy sunning himself in the spot- and limelights.” 

 

THE SETTING

Truman’s opening: “I am always drawn back to places where I have lived.” 

Willa’s writing is often about traveling back to places where she had lived. My Ántonia begins with meeting paths with an old friend, Jim Burden, them not seeing each other often in NYC, and their common connection being the bohemian girl, Ántonia. 

Apartment description: “For instance, there is a brownstone in the East Seventies [“Coming, Aphrodite!] where, during the early years of the war, I had my first New York apartment. It was one room crowded with attic furniture, a sofa and fat chairs upholstered in that itchy, particular red velvet that one associates with hot days on a tram. The walls were stucco, and a color rather like tobacco-spit. Everywhere, the bathroom too, there were prints of Roman ruins [“Flavia and Her Artists”] freckled brown with age. The single window looked out on a fire escape. [Don Hedger’s apartment] Even so my spirits heightened wherever I felt in my pocket the key to this apartment; with all its gloom, it still was a place of my own [Don Hedger], the first, and my books were there, and jars of pencils to sharpen, everything I needed, so I felt, to become the writer I wanted to be.” [Don Hedger paints in his dark apartment.]

Willa’s opening to “Coming, Aphrodite!”: “Don Hedger lived for four years on the top floor of an old house on the south side of Washington Square, and nobody had ever disturbed him. He occupied one big room with no outside exposure except to the north, where he had built in a many-paned studio window that looked upon a court and upon the roofs and walls of other buildings. His room was very cheerless, since he never got a ray of direct sunlight; the south corners were always in shadow. In one of the corners was a clothes closet, built against the partition, in another a wide divan, serving as a seat by day and bed by night. In the front corner, the one farther from the window, was a sink, and a table with two gas burners where he sometimes cooked his food. There, too, in the perpetual dusk, was the dog’s bed, and often a bone or two for his comfort. The dog was a Boston bull terrier, and Hedger explained his surly disposition by the fact that he had been bred to the point where it told on his nerves.” (5)

Willa’s opening to A Lost Lady: “Thirty or forty years ago, in one of those grey towns along the Burlington railroad, which are so much greyer to-day than they were then, there was a house well known from Omaha to Denver for its hospitality and for a certain charm of atmosphere. Well known, that is to say, to the railroad aristocracy of the time [ . . . ]” (2).

A Lost Lady: “The floor was covered by red carpet, and the walls were hung with large, old-fashioned engravings; ‘The House of the Poet on the Last Day of Pompeii,’ [“prints of Roman ruins”] “Shakespeare Reading before Queen Elizabeth.” (12) [“my books were there, and jars of pencils to sharpen, everything I needed, so I felt, to become the writer I wanted to be.”]

Friend Joe Bell: “Of course this was a long time ago, and until last week I hadn’t seen Joe Bell [Jim Burden] in several years. Off and on we’d keep in touch [“I do not see much of him there.”], and occasionally I’d stopped by his bar when passing through the neighborhood; but actually we’d never been strong friends except in as much as we were both friends of Holly Golightly.” [“our talk kept returning to a central figure, a Bohemian girl whom we had known long ago and whom both of us admired.”]

The opening to Willa’s My Antonia: “Last summer I happened to be crossing the plains of Iowa in a season of intense heat, and it was my good fortune to have for a traveling companion James Quayle Burden--Jim Burden, as we still call him in the West. He and I are old friends--we grew up together in the same Nebraska town--and we had much to say to each other. [ . . . ] We were talking about what it is like to spend one's childhood in little towns like these [ . . . ]”

My Ántonia: “Although Jim Burden and I both live in New York, and are old friends, I do not see much of him there. He is legal counsel for one of the great Western railways, and is sometimes away from his New York office for weeks together.

My Ántonia: During that burning day when we were crossing Iowa, our talk kept returning to a central figure, a Bohemian girl whom we had known long ago and whom both of us admired. More than any other person we remembered, this girl seemed to mean to us the country, the conditions, the whole adventure of our childhood. To speak her name was to call up pictures of people and places, to set a quiet drama going in one's brain. I had lost sight of her altogether, but Jim had found her again after long years, had renewed a friendship that meant a great deal to him, and out of his busy life had set apart time enough to enjoy that friendship. His mind was full of her that day. He made me see her again, feel her presence, revived all my old affection for her.” (2)

Willa: “"I can't see," he said impetuously, "why you have never written anything about Antonia."

Truman: “It never occurred to me in those days to write about Holly Golightly, and probably it would not now except for a conversation I had with Joe Bell that set the whole memory of her in motion again.”

“I can’t say exactly heard from her.”

A Lost Lady: “He had news of her now and then, as long as his uncle lived. [ . . . ] Mrs. Forrester had gone West,--people supposed to California.” [ . . . ] “when he did not know if Daniel Forrestor’s widow were living or dead, Daniel Forrester’s wife returned to him, a bright, impersonal memory. He came to be very glad that he had known her, and that she had had a hand in breaking him in to life. He has known pretty women and clever ones since then,--but never one like her, as she was in her best days. Her eyes, when they laughed for a moment into one’s own, seemed to promise a wild delight that he has not found in life. ‘I know where it is,’ they seemed to say, ‘I could show you,’” [ . . . ] “Neil was destined to hear once again of his long-lost lady. One evening as he was going into the dining-room of a Chicago hotel, a broad-shouldered man with an open, sunbrowned face, approached him and introduced himself as one of the boys who had grown up in Sweet Water. ‘I’m Ed Elliott, and I thought it must be you. Could we take a table together? I promised an old friend of yours to give you a message, if I ever ran across you. You remember Mrs. Forrester? Well, I saw her again, twelve years after she left Sweet Water,--down in Buenos Ayres,” [ . . . ] “‘Do you suppose,’ said Niel, ‘that she could be living still? I’d almost make the trip to see her.” “No, she died about three years ago. I know that for certain.’ After she left Sweet Water, wherever she was, she always sent a cheque to the Grand Army Post every year to have flowers put on Captain Forrester’s grave for Decoration Day.’” (56)

“‘Now the Jap, he asked about her up and down the country. But nobody else had ever seen her.’ Then it was as if he could feel my own sense of letdown transmitting itself to him, and he wanted no part of it. ‘One thing you got to admit, it’s the only definite news in I don’t know how many’--he counted on his fingers: there weren’t enough–’years. All I hope, I hope she’s rich. She must be rich. You got to be rich to go mucking around in Africa.’” (2)

In 1956 a writer, George N. Kates, published an article on Willa called “Willa Cather’s Unfinished Avignon Story.” Kates was “a leading American exponent of classical Chinese culture and decorative arts and the Asian curator for the Brooklyn Museum.” (Truman published his novella in 1958) and this could account for the inclusion of Mr. Yunioshi. 

George Kates writes of the research that Willa did for her final (uncompleted, unpublished, destroyed) work entitled Hard Punishments. Truman would act like he was doing the same thing for his “final” work, calling it the likewise Answered Prayers. In Kates article he writes of Cather’s notes for the book citing: “On page 223 she put a check opposite a mention recording payment ‘for carving four apes of stone in human form to be place . . . over the portal of the palace,’ which we learn served as gargoyles. The creative process is feeling its way.”  Willa was researching Avignon and the Papal Palace.

Truman wrote it as “‘He saw her? In Africa?’ ‘Well, just the statue there. But it comes to the same thing. Read the facts for yourself,’ he said, turning over one of the photographs. On the reverse was written: Wood Carving, S. Tribe, Tococul, East Anglia, Christmas Day, 1956. He said, ‘Here’s what the Jap says, ‘and the story was this: On Christmas day Mr. Yonioshi had passed with his camera through Tococul, a village in the tangles of nowhere and of no interest, merely a congregation of mud huts with monkeys in the yards and buzzards on the roofs. He’d decided to move on when he saw suddenly a Negro squatting in a doorway carving monkeys on a walking stick.” (2).

“‘Anyway, it reminds me: I ought to send Fred some peanut butter,’ The rest of the afternoon we were east and west worming out of reluctant grocers cans of peanut butter, a wartime scarcity [“wherever she was, she always sent a cheque to the Grand Army Post”]; dark came before we’d rounded up a half-dozen jars, the last at a delicatessen on Third Avenue. (17) 

THE NEW NEIGHBOR:

“Coming, Aphrodite!”: “Early in May, Hedger learned that he was to have a new neighbor in the rear apartment.” [ . . . ] Meanwhile [the owner] sub-let her rooms, with their precious furniture, to young people who came to New York to ‘write’ or to ‘paint’--who proposed to live by the sweat of their brow rather than of the hand, and who desired artistic surroundings.” [ . . . ]

 ‘and another voice, also a woman’s, but very different; young, fresh, unguarded, confident.” (6). 

“While Caesar and his master were standing by the fountains, a girl approached them, crossing the Square. Hedger noticed her because she wore a lavender cloth suit and carried in her arms a big bunch of fresh lilacs. He saw that she was young and handsome,--beautiful, in fact, with a splendid figure and good action.” [ . . . ] “[Caesar the dog] stood thus, motionless, while Hedger watched the lavender girl go up the steps and through the door of the house in which he lived. ‘You’re right, my boy, it’s she! She might be worse looking, you know.’” (8).

[George Axelrod puts this back in the screenplay.]

ON THE ROOF, PIANO, AND SINGING:

“Coming, Aphrodite!”: He was the only person in the house who ever went to the roof, and he had a secret understanding with the janitress about it. He was to have ‘the privilege of the roof’ [ . . . ] besides the roof was reached by a perpendicular iron ladder, [ . . . ] So Hedger had the roof to himself. He and Caesar often slept up there on hot nights. [ . . . ] “Up there was even gravel to scratch in, and a dog could do whatever he liked, so long as he did not bark. It was a kind of Heaven, which no one was strong enough to reach but his great, paint-smelling master. On this blue May night there was a slender, girlish looking young moon in the west, playing with a whole company of silver stars. Now and then one of them darted away from the group and shot off into the gauzy blue with a soft little trail of light, like laughter. Hedger and his dog were delighted when a star did this. They were quite lost in watching the glittering game, when they were suddenly diverted by a sound,--not far from the stars, though it was music. It was not the Prologue to Pagliacci, which rose ever and anon on hot evenings from an Italian tenement on Thompson Street [ . . . ] No, this was a woman’s voice, singing the tumultuous, over-lapping phrases of Signor Puccini [ . . .] Oh yes! It came up through the hole like a strong draught, a big, beautiful voice, and it sounded rather like a professional’s. A piano had arrived in the morning, Hedger remembered.” [ . . . ] “He stayed on the roof until all was still below, and finally descended, with quite a new feeling about his neighbour. [ . . . ] Her door was shut, the transom was dark; nothing remained of her but the obtrusive trunk, unrightfully taking up room in the narrow hall.” (10-11). [ . . . ] “For two days Hedger didn’t see her.” [ . . . ] Earlier still, she passed his room on her way to her bath. In the evening she sometimes sang, but on the whole she didn’t bother him.” [ . . . ] “One morning he was coming out of the bath-room at the front end of the hall, having just given Caesar his bath and rubbed him into a glow with a heavy towel. Before the door, lying in wait for him, as it were, stood  a tall figure in a flowing blue silk dressing gown that fell away from her marble arms. In her hands she carried various accessories of the bath.” (12)

Truman: “Also, she had a cat and played the guitar. On days when the sun was strong, she would wash her hair, and together with the cat, a red tiger-striped tom, sit out on the fire escape thumbing a guitar while her hair dried. Whenever I heard the music, I would go stand quietly by my window. She played very well, and sometimes sang, too. Sang in the hoarse, breaking tones of a boy’s adolescent voice. She knew all the show hits [ . . . ] But there were moments when she played songs that made you wonder where she learned them, where indeed she came from. Harsh-tender wandering tunes with words that smacked of pineywoods or prairie. One went: Don’t wanna sleep, Don’t wanna die, Just wanna go travelin’ through the pastures of the sky [Willa is renown for her imagery of the pastures in Nebraska]; and this one seemed to gratify her the most, for often she continued it long after her hair had dried, after the sun had gone and there were lighted windows in the dusk. But our acquaintance did not make headway until September [ . . . ]”

“Coming, Aphrodite!”: “Hedger must be asleep; his dog had stopped sniffing under the double doors. Eden put on her wrapper and slippers and stole softly down the hall over the old carpet; one loose board creaked just as she reached the ladder. The trap−door was open, as always on hot nights. When she stepped out on the roof she drew a long breath and walked across it, looking up at the sky. Her foot touched something soft; she heard a low growl, and on the instant Caesar's sharp little teeth caught her ankle and waited.” [ . . . ] “If you want the place to yourself, I'll clear out. There are plenty of places where I can spend the night, what's left of it. But if you stay here and I stay here — " He shrugged his shoulders. Eden did not stir, and she made no reply. Her head drooped slightly, as if she were considering. But the moment he put his arms about her they began to talk, both at once, as people do in an opera. The instant avowal brought out a flood of trivial admissions. Hedger confessed his crime, was reproached and forgiven, and now Eden knew what it was in his look that she had found so disturbing of late.” (17)

[“Listen, you can throw me out if you want to. I’ve got gall barging in on you like this. But the fire escape was damned icy. And you looked so cozy.”]

THEA’S FRED, STEALING, AND DOING THINGS SHE’S NEVER DONE BEFORE 

In “Coming, Aphrodite!” Eden sneaks and takes up a balloon ride because it is something she has never done before, and in a black evening dress. They have a falling out because of their difference of opinion on what a real painter is, as Holly takes up with Paul the subject if he is “a real writer.”

Truman writes, “But if Miss Golightly remained unconscious of my existence, except as a doorbell convenience, I became, through the summer, rather an authority on hers.” (5).

Willa had written, “Her name, Hedger discovered from her letters, which the postman left on the table in the lower hall, was Eden Bower.” The letters by the door serve as a source of information throughout the story.

Holly tells O.J. “I want you to call him up and tell him what a genius Fred is. He’s written barrels of the most marvelous stories. Well, don’t blush, Fred: you didn’t say you were a genius, I did. Come on, O.J. What are you going to do to make Fred rich?”

This is the source of the falling out between Eden and Hedger: “Eden rose. "I give you up. You know very well there's only one kind of success that's real." "Yes, but it's not the kind you mean. So you've been thinking me a scrub painter, who needs a helping hand from some fashionable studio man? What the devil have you had anything to do with me for, then?" "There's no use talking to you," said Eden walking slowly toward the door. "I've been trying to pull wires for you all afternoon, and this is what it comes to." She had expected that the tidings of a prospective call from the great man would be received very differently, and had been thinking as she came home in the stage how, as with a magic wand, she might gild Hedger's future, float him out of his dark hole on a tide of prosperity, see his name in the papers and his pictures in the windows on Fifth Avenue.” (20)

From The Song of the Lark: “Thea sat down in the chair he had quitted. “It's only poor people who feel that way about money, and who are really honest,” she said gravely. “Sometimes I think that to be really honest, you must have been so poor that you've been tempted to steal.” “To what?” “To steal. I used to be, when I first went to Chicago and saw all the things in the big stores there. Never anything big, but little things, the kind I'd never seen before and could never afford. I did take something once, before I knew it.” 

Fred came toward her. For the first time she had his whole attention, in the degree to which she was accustomed to having it. “Did you? What was it?” he asked with interest. “A sachet. A little blue silk bag of orris-root powder. There was a whole counterful of them, marked down to fifty cents. I'd never seen any before, and they seemed irresistible. I took one up and wandered about the store with it. Nobody seemed to notice, so I carried it off.” Fred laughed. “Crazy child! Why, your things always smell of orris; is it a penance?” “No, I love it. But I saw that the firm didn't lose anything by me. I went back and bought it there whenever I had a quarter to spend. I got a lot to take to Arizona. I made it up to them.” “I'll bet you did!” Fred took her hand. “Why didn't I find you that first winter? I'd have loved you just as you came!” Thea shook her head. “No, you wouldn't, but you might have found me amusing. The Harsanyis said yesterday afternoon that I wore such a funny cape and that my shoes always squeaked. They think I've improved. I told them it was your doing if I had, and then they looked scared.” (178)

“Passing a Woolworth’s, she gripped my arm: ‘Let’s steal something,’ she said, pulling me into the store, where at once there seemed a pressure of eyes, as though we were already under suspicion.” (17). “Holly suggested she run out to Woolworth’s and steal some balloons.” (19). “I caught ‘em outside stealing milk and turkey eggs.” (21).

“He smiled whimsically and dropped the score into the trunk. “You are taking that with you?” “Surely I am. I haven't so many keepsakes that I can afford to leave that. I haven't got many that I value so highly.” “That you value so highly?” Fred echoed her gravity playfully. “You are delicious when you fall into your vernacular.” He laughed half to himself. “What's the matter with that? Isn't it perfectly good English?” “Perfectly good Moonstone, my dear. Like the readymade clothes that hang in the windows, made to fit everybody and fit nobody, a phrase that can be used on all occasions. Oh,”—he started across the room again,—“that's one of the fine things about your going! You'll be with the right sort of people and you'll learn a good, live, warm German, that will be like yourself. You'll get a new speech full of shades and color like your voice; alive, like your mind. It will be almost like being born again, Thea. She was not offended. Fred had said such things to her before, and she wanted to learn. In the natural course of things she would never have loved a man from whom she could not learn a great deal. “Harsanyi said once,” she remarked thoughtfully, “that if one became an artist one had to be born again, and that one owed nothing to anybody.”(179).

“We don’t belong to each other: he’s an independent and so am I. I don’t want to own anything until I know I’ve found the place where me and things belong together.” (12).

“But stylish: she’s okay, she comes across. Even when she’s wearing glasses this thick; even when she opens her mouth and you don’t know if she’s a hillbilly or an Okie or what, I still don’t. My guess, nobody’ll ever know where she came from. She’s such a goddamn liar, maybe she don’t know herself anymore. But it took us a year to smooth out that accent. How we did it finally, we gave her French lessons: after she could imitate French, it wasn’t so long she could imitate English.” (10).

“Coming, Aphrodite!”: “Miss Bower didn’t usually tell the whole story,--about anything. Her first name, when she lived in Huntington, Illinois, was Edna, but Mr. Jones had persuaded her to change it to one which he felt would be worthy of her future.” (19).

“Her name’s not Holly. She was Lulamae Barnes. Was,’ he said, ‘shifting the toothpick in his mouth, ‘till she married me. I’m her husband. Doc Golightly. I’m a horse doctor, animal man.” (21)

A Lost Lady: “Mrs. Forrester was twenty-five years younger than her husband, and she was his second wife. He married her in California and brought her to Sweet Water a bride.” (3).

NAMING AND CHARACTERS

Lucy Gayheart

Holly Golightly

Mr. Will Maidenwood

Mag Wildwood

Fred Ottenburg [For a time like a brother to Thea, she calls on the Dr. instead; she ends up marrying Fred] and Doctor Howard Archie [comes to NYC to help her]

Paul Varjack “Fred” and Doc Golightly [arrives in NYC to take her back “home”] 

“Listen, you can throw me out if you want to. I’ve got gall barging in on you like this. [“Coming, Aphrodite!”] But the fire escape was damned icy. And you looked so cozy. Like my brother Fred. We used to sleep four in a bed, and he was the only one [“The Best Years’”] that ever let me hug him on a cold night. By the way, do you mind if I call you Fred? [The Song of the Lark]

From “Flavia and Her Artists” at a house party: “‘Look my dear,’ she cried, ‘There is Frau Lichtenfeld now, coming to meet us. Doesn’t she look as if she had just escaped out of Walhalla? She is actually over six feet.’ [ . . . ] ‘So this is the little friend?’ she cried, in a rolling baritone.’” (5).

At the house party and her rolling drawl: “She was well over six feet, taller than most men there. Holly said, ‘What are you doing here?’ and her lips were taut as drawn string. ‘Why n-n-nothing, sugar. I’ve been upstairs working with Yunioshi. Christmas stuff for the Ba-ba-zaar. But you sound vexed, sugar?’ She scattered a roundabout smile. ‘You b-b-boys not vexed at me for butting in on your p-p-party?’” (14).

From “The Diamond Mine”: “She was much too American not to believe in good publicity. All advertising was good. If it was good for breakfast foods, it was good for prime donne,--especially for a prima donna who would never be any younger and who had just announced her intention of marrying a fourth time.” [Mag Wildwood and Rusty Trawler]

“Holly came up behind me and caught me reading: Miss Holiday Golightly, of the Boston Golightlys, making every day a holiday for the 24-karat Rusty Trawler. ‘Admiring my publicity, or are you just a baseball fan,’ she said, adjusting her dark glasses as she glanced over my shoulder.” (12).

Mag Wildwood marries Rusty Trawler for herself away from Holly

[Flavia in “Flavia and Her Artists” has married Arthur Hamilton who was closer to Imogen.]

THEA SLIPPING IN BESIDE FRED

The Song of the Lark: “She dropped beside him and slipped into his arms, shutting her eyes and lifting her cheek to his. “Tell me one thing,” Fred whispered. “You said that night  on the boat, when I first told you, that if you could you would crush it all up in your hands and throw it into the sea. Would you, all those weeks?” She shook her head. “Answer me, would you?” “No, I was angry then. I'm not now. I'd never give them up. Don't make me pay too much.” In that embrace they lived over again all the others. When Thea drew away from him, she dropped her face in her hands. “You are good to me,” she breathed, “you are!” (Page 180).

“She patted a yawn. ‘But it’s nothing. Just messages I leave with the answering service so Mr. O’Shaughnessy will know for sure that I’ve been up there. Sally tells me what to say, thinks like, oh, ‘there’s a hurricane in Cuba’ and ‘it’s snowing in Palermo.’ Don’t worry, darling,’ she said, moving to the bed, ‘I’ve taken care of myself a long time.’ The morning light seemed refracted through her: as she pulled the bed covers up to my chin she gleamed like a transparent child; then she lay down beside me. ‘Do you mind?’ I only want to rest a moment. So let’s don’t say another word. Go to sleep.’” (8). [ . . . ] “‘Poor Fred, she whispered.”

HER SECRET

The Song of the Lark: Ottenburg turned to Harsanyi. “What is it, Mr. Harsanyi? Miss Kronborg says if there is anything in her, you are the man who can say what it is.” The journalist scented copy and was eager. “Yes, Harsanyi. You know all about her. What's her secret?” Harsanyi rumpled his hair irritably and shrugged his shoulders. “Her secret? It is every artist's secret,”—he waved his hand,—“passion. That is all. It is an open secret, and perfectly safe. Like heroism, it is inimitable in cheap materials.” (Page 226).

“He tapped ash on the floor. ‘This is a dump. This is unbelievable. But the kid don’t know how to live even she’s got the dough.’ His speech had a jerky metallic rhythm, like a teletype. ‘So,’ he said, ‘What do you think: is she or ain’t she?’ ‘Ain’t she what?’ ‘A phony.’ ‘I wouldn’t have thought so.’ ‘You’re wrong. She’s a phony. But on the other hand you’re right. She isn’t a phony because she’s a real phony.”

A Lost Lady: “She never stopped to pin up a lock; she was attractive in dishabille, and she knew it. She had been known to rush to the door in her dressing-gown, brush in hand and her long black hair rippling over her shoulders. [ . . . ] In his eyes, and in the eyes of the admiring middle-aged men who visited there, whatever Mrs. Forrester chose to do was ‘lady-like’ because she did it. They could not imagine her in any dress or situation in which she would not be charming.”(3) 

NEW YORK CITY, TAXI, AND THE “STREAM OF THINGS”

“Coming, Aphrodite!”: After lunch Hedger strolled about the Square for the dog’s health and watched the stages pull out;--that was almost the very last summer of the old horse stages on Fifth Avenue. The fountain had but lately begun operations for the season and was throwing up a mist of rainbow which now and then blew south and sprayed a bunch of Italian babies that were being supported on the outer rim by older, very little older, brothers and sisters. Plump robins were hopping about on the soil; the grass was newly cut and blindingly green. Looking up the Avenue through the Arch, one could see the young poplars with their bright, sticky leaves, and the Brevoort glistening in its spring coat of paint, and shining horses and carriages,--occasionally an automobile, mis-shapen and sullen, like an ugly threat in a stream of things that were bright and beautiful and alive.

From this “stream of things” George Axelrod brought back in Willa’s stories of “The Enchanted Bluff” and “The Professor’s House” with “Tom Outland’s Story” which take Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn further and to the feminine to bring light to the cultural shift possible. In her “The Enchanted Bluff” the boys dream and talk of going to the bluff, but it is Willa in her own life who went to those high, unknown places like Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park and New Mexico and wrote of the impact of these realizations on the feminine. Axelrod is stepping on Truman’s making Holly into a female Huckleberry Finn character by bringing that to light, for example, in the opening sequence of the movie by making Fifth Avenue appear as a river, and of course, the music in “Moon River” referencing the river and  “my Huckleberry friend” with lyrics by Johnny Mercer.

Screenplay: “EXT. FIFTH AVENUE - DAWN

There is a magic about Fifth Avenue at this hour. An emptiness. A quiet. A moment of limbo as the street lamps fade in the face of the purple onrush of dawn. Presently, on this morning in early September, a lone taxi-cab speeds up the Avenue. It slows down briefly as it passes the International Building with its many air-line windows, then picks up speed again and continues on to the corner of 57th Street where it pulls to the curb and stops.”

From The Song of the Lark: Thea hurried him along, talking rapidly, as if to get it over. “You might have kept me in misery for a while, perhaps. I don't know. I have to think well of myself, to work. You could have made it hard. I'm not ungrateful. I was a difficult proposition to deal with. I understand now, of course. Since you didn't tell me the truth in the beginning, you couldn't very well turn back after I'd set my head. At least, if you'd been the sort who could, you wouldn't have had to,—for I'd not have cared a button for that sort, even then.” She stopped beside a car that waited at the curb and gave him her hand. “There. We part friends?” Fred looked at her. “You know. Ten years.” “I'm not ungrateful,” Thea repeated as she got into her cab. “Yes,” she reflected, as the taxi cut into the Park carriage road, “we don't get fairy tales in this world, and he has, after all, cared more and longer than anybody else.” It was dark outside now, and the light from the lamps along the drive flashed into the cab. The snowflakes hovered like swarms of white bees about the globes. Thea sat motionless in one corner staring out of the window at the cab lights that wove in and out among the trees, all seeming to be bent upon joyous courses. Taxicabs were still new in New York, and the theme of popular minstrelsy. Landry had sung her a ditty he heard in some theater on Third Avenue, about: “But there passed him a bright-eyed taxi With the girl of his heart inside.” (Page 222).

Some details include that Taylor Swift launched 1989 as a reference to the movie Say Anything (1989) that John Mayer spoke of live in NYC (Jones Beach) to let me know he was reading my writing on-line, and I having written him about a screenplay called Dinner at Tiffany’s about life in NYC “after the kiss.”; She plagiarized “Blank Space” from his “A Face To Call Home” lyrics: “I think I might have inked you in” and “Shake it Off” from his “Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey” lyrics: “Shake it off and repeat” for the album as well as his from his social media and to invade what I was writing. She copied his opening from Where the Light Is overlooking LA by releasing a song from the Empire State Building while plagiarizing him while getting a cat and naming it after his “Something Like Olivia”. To get the setting of my going to see John in NYC, my screenplay and of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, she launched with branding as NYC “tourism ambassador” and spent $50 million on apartments one mile from where John played “A Face to Call Home” at Village Underground in NYC in December 2010 and buying locations in Tribeca from a screenplay I had written, Apocalypse of the Heart

Screenplay Final Scene:

HOLLY
You think Sam’s a good name for the cat?
PAUL
A cat by any other name . . . 
HOLLY
What’s that?
PAUL
Shakespeare paraphrased.
HOLLY
Then that’s his name.
(Holds the cat up)
How about that cat? You’re somebody. 
You’ve got a name. Sam Shakespeare . . . Paraphrased.
(She hugs him, hands him to Paul)
Here, Darling - stuff him under your coat.
Paul obeys and as they walk out of the alley:
FADE OUT.




Reese Witherspoon in Tiffany Blue
Selena Gomez Vanity Fair The Hollywood Issue 2023
Alicia Keys, Gorgeous Smile, Starbucks & Empire State Building

Reading Further