One exceedingly fascinating literary event in the days gone by was William S. Burroughs' portentous Open Letter to Truman Capote
, veritably cursing Capote with the complete withdrawal of his talent, which he had misused severely.
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My Dear Mr. Truman Capote,
This is not a fan letter in the usual sense -- unless you refer to ceiling fans in Panama. Rather, call this a letter from "the reader" -- vital statistics are not in capital letters -- a selection from marginal notes on material submitted, as all "writing" is submitted to this department. I have followed your literary development from its inception, conducting on behalf of the department I represent a series of inquiries as exhaustive as your own recent investigations in the Sunflower State. Your recent appearances before a senatorial committee on which occasion you spoke in favor of continuing the present police practice of extracting confessions by denying the accused the right of consulting consul prior to making a statement also came to my attention.
I have in line of duty read all your published work. The early work was in some respects promising -- I refer particularly to the short stories. You were granted an area for psychic development. It seemed for a while as if you would make good use of this grant. You choose instead to sell out a talent that is not yours to sell. You have written a dull unreadable book which could have been written by any staff writer on The New Yorker -- (an undercover reactionary periodical dedicated to the interests of vested American wealth). You have placed your services at the disposal of interests who are turning America into a police state by the simple device of deliberately fostering the conditions that give rise to criminality and then demanding increased police powers and the retention of capital punishment to deal with the situation they have created. You have betrayed and sold out the talent that was granted you by this department. That talent is now officially withdrawn. Enjoy your dirty money. You will never have anything else. You will never write another sentence above the level of In Cold Blood. As a writer you are finished. Over and out. Are you tracking me? Know who I am? You know me, Truman. You have known me for a long time. This is my last visit.
Whether or not this curse was effectual in its design is a matter for debate.