Future Shock with Truman Capote

Photo by Roger Higgins, New York World-Telegram and Sun.

From Lawrence Grobel’s Conversations with Capote, Nail Books New American Library, 1985.

Do you think that man will ever change?


Will we become more and more corrupt? Will the world become more totalitarian? Are we heading toward that?

I don’t know. I think something’s going to happen. I think the world’s getting overly populated. Something’s going to happen in the twenty-first century. Everything’s going to change, so drastically that I’m not quite sure what it is. I feel as though the whole world is going to become one for once. I mean, there aren’t going to be any countries. I feel there’s going to be a terrific war. I don’t know when. There’s going to be a great depopulation in the world, and from that is going to arise an entirely different kind of civilization than we know today.

Do you feel that the works of art and the culture that we have preserved will disappear?

There’ll always be museums. Museums of the spirit, museums of the canvases. But I do feel there’s going to be some drastic change. I don’t feel that it’s very rapidly coming, but I think, within the next hundred years as we look back at today, we’re going to be quite amazed.

Are you happy to have lived at this time, or is there any other period when you would have preferred to live?

I would have preferred to live in the eighteenth century.

In what country?

I would have preferred to live in France and been very rich.

Photograph by Roger Higgins, New York World-Telegram and Sun