Journalism as Artistic Expression: The Critical Response to Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood

Sophia Kane Leonard


This review examines and synthesizes the critical discourse surrounding Truman Capote’s “nonfiction novel” In Cold Blood to demonstrate the ways various scholars have historically received and positioned the text within the field, as well as the ways that the novel shapes an understanding of truth in relation to art in contemporary American society. Specifically, this paper identifies primary literary elements of the text, including narrative structure, panopticism, and detailed imagery, that In Cold Blood critics identify as deliberate strategies Capote employs to craft a meaningful, evocative novel that forever changed American journalism and reportage. This literature review demonstrates that with traditional novelistic techniques at his side, Capote created an authentic representation of a murder and its repercussions that ultimately probed the complexity of American society in the 1960s.



capote; english; literature; review

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