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Capote stated that, "In Cold Blood's" purpose was to test the artistic merit of journalism.
Capote himself said that "In Cold Blood's" purpose was to test the artistic merit of journalism." Critics, educators, and others have also found social issues within it, and used it to debate issues like the value of the death penalty. Others have priased praises the novel for its insights into the criminal mind.
...to create an entirely new literary definition, the 'non fiction novel'. To answer another part of 'why?' or more closely 'why me?' (me being Truman) Using sources made available to the public that illuminate or begin to, those portions of Mr. Capote's psyche where an answer to the question may be found combined with something I discovered through subjective thought based, I admit, on a very limited # of those sources yet I answer quickly with 2 words: CURIOSITY, CONFIDENCE. What began a morning in November 1959 did not deviate from the norm until a small picture of a kind-looking farmer and a recap of slaughter below it appeared in his daily newspaper and grabbed hold of what I see as 'genius-curiosity in the throws of confidence', then translated into an urgent yet calmly-delivered phone call to those ones capable of setting the wheels in motion to begin something as huge. The the author knew it or appeared to understand the enormity of a project instantly. With the sort of deep curiosity in looking over a small box where little facts were yet known about a little-known town in the middle of little-known Kansas combined with ego and the matter-of-fact confidence in knowing without a doubt that is a new form were to arrive on the literary shelf, whose hands but his own uniquely capable hands were better equipped to deliver it -- to 1st create it? That's my subjective answer to the question of 'why' and 'why me?' (the same question to a genius I suppose ?)
"In Cold Blood" (the novel itself), his story portrayed on "Biography" (not sure of the year). And lastly, those 1st-hand accounts and stories told to me by those who were around (= adults) when the initial short story was published as an article in "The New Yorker" -- people like my mother Betty, my father Joel, cousins and teachers, aunts, baby-sitters-- and told about the incredible fascination, almost furious frantic wait for the next issue ... that stirred up such public interest that a concept like 'non-fiction novel' could take hold.