The Michigan Daily-Monday, November 30, 1987- Page 9
The Unfinished Novel
By Truman Capote
During his career, Truman Capote
achieved what few other authors
have ever been able to match -
simultaneous public and critical
From the time his first novel
Other Voices, Other Rooms ap-
peared in 1948, he was a figure in
the American literary society. He
worked in almost every conceivable
area of literature, from travel writ-
ing to the novel to the screenplay.
His 1966 book, In Cold Blood, is
considered a masterpiece of criminal
fiction. It was also in 1966 that
Capote began his most ambitious
work. He conceptualized it as a
contemporary equivalent of Marcel
Proust's classic, Remembrance of
Things Past - a recounting of all
of his experience with the cafe
society of Europe and the United
States' east coast.
Finally now, after the death of
Capote in August 1984, the much-
publicized Answered Prayers has
The novel is the personal story of
P.B. Jones, an orphanage escapee
ican expatriate. Amoral and hope-
lessly sex-starved, he travels Eu-
rope, brushing against international
celebrities while trying to make
something of his meager skills as
For the reader, Answered Prayers
can be a dizzying experience - a
sandstorm of names, places, and
closed-doors affairs. With Jones as a
guide, one is admitted to the most
elite of social circles and becomes
privy to compromising information
about the contemporary celebrities
of the Western world.
Montgomery Clift stumbles into
a dinner party after insufficiently
sleeping off a hangover. Upon see-
ing "Jackie" Kennedy in a French
restaurant, one hears about a rather
embarrassing incident concerning
one of the Kennedy brothers and a
certain girl who stayed with the
family for the night. William
Faulkner, Marilyn Monroe, and
Leonard Bernstein, to name only a
few, appear at parties. All in all,
the book becomes something of a
social power trip as the reader
glimpses the heights of society that
few people ever achieve.
Besides being a book for the as-
piring social climber, Answered
Prayers plays with the voyeurism
that it expects its readers to have. It
trips lightly over dozens of bawdy
affairs, both straight and gay, with
a matter-of-factness that can make
the most jaded of readers blush.
Jones treats his own bisexuality
in a viciously funny way.-Early in
the novel, he remembers hitchhik-
ing away from the orphanage and
being picked up by man who
"wouldn't want to corrupt the
morals of a minor." According to
Jones, this friendly motorist arrived
a bit too late for that, since
"starting at an early age, seven or
eight or thereabouts, (he'd) run the
gamut with many an older boy and
several priests and also a handsome
Negro gardener. In fact, I was a kind
of Hershey Bar whore -there
wasn't much I wouldn't do for a
nickel's worth of chocolate."
Answered Prayers may be an in-
triguing book, but it is also an in-
complete one. Capote originally
conceptualized the book in seven
chapters. Of these seven, only the
first, second, and final chapters are
found in the novel. According to
the informative introduction by
Capote's editor Joseph M. Fox, the
author claimed to have completed
the other chapters and had even told
the press that the entire book was
in the hands of the publisher. It is
unfortunate that the remaining four
chapters were never found among
Capote's possessions since any
sense of continuity of the novel is
lost without the four middle chap-
ters. The involving story of P.B.
Jones has been cut short, and the
reader can only feel cheated.
Answered Prayers is not only the
title of Capote's novel, but it is
also that of P.B. Jones' collection
of short stories, his first and only
published work. He explains that he
got the title from a quote by Saint
Therese: "More tedrs are shed over
answered prayers than unanswered
ones." It seems to be a fitting
source for the author since his goals
and dreams concerning this work are
only partially met. Knowing that
only the author's death kept the
novel from completion, the reader
wonders what Capote could have
accomplished, given a little more
time. Upon finishing the novel,
one has only the sense of having
had an amusing time, like that of
having ridden a sordid thrill ride.
- Keith Hersh
The Golden Droplet
By Michel Tournier
According to old myth and many
Eastern religions, a photograph
steals part of the soul; if the picture
is lost, one's spiritual wholeness is
forever incomplete. In his latest
novel, The Golden Droplet, Michel
Tournier, one of France's most
prestigious writers and winner of the
Prix Goncourt, successfully expands
upon this myth using a complicated
woven text of two ancient fables
with recurrent allegory to offset their
interrelation with the modern world.
Tournier's fluid narrative follows
a Berber boy, Idris, from his un-
blemished origins on a Saharan oasis
through North Africa and Southern
France to the deceptive illusions of
Paris as he searches for a blond
desert-touring woman in a Land-
Rover who has taken his photo-
Allegory is embedded in every
stretch of Idris' search. He encoun-
ters pictures everywhere - from the
gravestone portrait of an old
woman's son whom Idris so resem-
bles that she takes him as risen from
the dead, to a coin-operated machine
photograph of an unknown bearded
man which Idris uses for his pass-
port, to a bizarre mirror reflection of
Idris' worn, Berber face against a
commercial photographer's garish
A goldsmith Idris meets while
sailing to Marseille comments on
these photos: "Your photo is in
France, and it attracts you like a
magnet attracts a piece of iron.".
"Not only in France," replies
Idris, "I've already found my photo
in Beni-Abbes, in B6cher, and in
"You find pieces of it along the
way and stick it together?"
"Yes, if you like. So far, though,
the pieces I've found aren't at all like
The novel's intensely symbolic
style continues as Tournier uses
Idris' golden droplet to further enve-
lope the reader in mysticism. The
goldsmith comments on the amulet
hanging around Idris' neck: "That's
Latin; bulla aurea, the golden bub-
ble.... Freeborn Roman children
wore this golden droplet around their
necks hanging on a special ring, as
proof of their condition. When they
exchanged their child's toga for a
virile yoga they also abandoned the
bulla aurea and gave it as an offering
to the household gods."
"Well then," replies Idris, "my
golden droplet, what does it mean?"
"That you're a freeborn child."
"And then... You'll become a
man, and then you'll see what will
happen to your golden droplet and to
This concept of sign versus im-
age -"The sign is spirit, the image
is matter" - is the extraordinary
crux of Tournier's work. Without
such a solid central base his thematic
use of the photographs and of the
golden droplet would never come to-
gether in such a powerful yet subtle
This base is continually unveil-
ing itself until the final stages of
comprehension when Idris studies
calligraphy from a master, learning,
"... this fascination is only irre-
sistable to the eyes of the illiterate.
Indeed, the image is not more than a
jumble of signs, and its maleficent
force comes form the confused, dis-
cordant sum of their meanings...."
The Golden Droplet interlaces,
myth and reality to a point where the
two reflect each other. By bringing
the past and present into sync
Tournier has produced an exceptional
work which relates the timeless and
omnipresent struggle to maintain the
innocence of youth through a lucid
and transfixing prose.
The Michigan. Daily'
A RT A RCH ITE CTU RA L MA JORS
1do.-Ou need Or use these items7
dra fting tables erasers mounting tape
portfolios mat knives prismacolor art stix
technical pencils caligraphy pens china markers
TUESDAY LUNCH FORUM
INTERNATIONAL CENTER - 603 E. MADISON
November30 at 12 noon: "Israel: God as a Real
Estate Agent in the Foly Land"
Speaker: Dr. Salim Tamari,
Visiting Scholar from Bir Zeit University
for additional information -please call 662-5529
3M spray mount
scales & rulers
north campus plaza
800 items in our
8,000more in our
The Ecumenical Campus Center
and the International Center
L-----------------------+----- -- ----- -------J
of The University of Michigan
The calendar combines meeting, lecture work-
shop and conference announcements with
other events happening each week on campus.
It is based on The University Record calendar,
and is open to all University sponsored groups
and organizations recognized by the Michigan
Student Assembly. Items must be submitted in
writing by S p.m. the Tuesday before publi-
cation. Address all information to: Julie A.
Brown, publications assistant, University Rec-
ord, 412 Maynard St. Asterisk (*) denotes
events to which admission is charged.
Women's Okinawan Karate Club--See Nov 23.
Christian Science Org--See Nov 23.
Tae Kwon Do Club-See Nov 23.
Univ Lutheran Chapel--See Nov 23.
United Methodist Std Fellowship/Wesley Fdn-- See
Nov 23; tree decorating party, 7 pm, 602 E Huron. 668-
*U-M-Dearborn-Perf, violinist N Mehta, 8 pm, Music Rm
H Ford Estate-Fair Lane. Stds w/ID-free. 593-5087.
*ICLE-Video, Child Custody, 1:30-5 pm, 1020 Greene St.
Sch Music--Recital, Piano Dept, 8 pm, Sch Music Recital
Ctr for Near East & N Afr Studies--Brown-bag lec, A
Shammas,"The Morning After the Palestinian State," noon,
Lane Hall Commons Rm; Middle East fac sem, P Dresch,
"History and Historiography in Upper Yemen," 4 pm,
Rackham E Conf Rm.
Studies In Religion--Lec, R Thurman, "A Second
Renaissance? Buddhist Inner Science and the Contemporary
Understanding of Mind and Nature," 8-10 pm, MLB3. 764-
Computing Ctrl-Courses: In Rm 3001 SEB: MS-DOS Basic
Skills, 9 am-noon; MacDraw, 10:30 am-12:30 pm; Excel,
Pt 1, 1-5 pm; Microsoft Word, Pt 1 (IBM PC-
Compatibles), 1-5 pm. Reg Req. 763-7630..
*HltI S vc--3-week prog begs," a No To Nicotine," noon,
. Hith Svc 3rd Fl Conf Rm. 763-1320.
Union Arts Progs/Acad of Early Music--Concert, 8
pm, Mich Union Pendleton Rm.
Undergrad Initiatives--Find proposers mtg, 7-9 pm, 1407
*Cont Med Educ--4-day workshop begs, "Microvascular
Workshop for Otolaryngologists and Head and Neck
Reconstructive Surgeons," Towsley Ctr, Reg req. 763-1400.
Studies in Religion--R Thurman: colloq, 1 pm, 3050
Frieze Bldg Commons Rm; recep/book signi g, 4-5:30 pm,
Shaman Drum Bookstore, 313 S State.
Computing Cti'-Courses: In Rm 4003 SEB: Basic.Concepts
of Database Mgmt Systems, 9-11 am. In Rm 3001 SEB:
MS-DOS for Hard Disk Users, 10:30 am-12:30 pm;
Macintosh Basic Skills, 1-4 pm; MS Chart for IBM PC-
Compatibles, 1-3 pm. Reg req. 763-7630.
Career Plan & Place-Info sess, Leo Burnett, Inc, "A Career
in Media," 4:30 pm, Sch Bus Hale Aud. Bring resume.
Union Arts Progs--Perf, "Dance and Music Improvisation,"
8 pm, Mich Union Pendleton Rm.
Gay Liberation-See Nov 24.
WCBN (88.3 FM)--See Nov 24.
Univ Lutheran Chapel--See Nov 24.
TARDAA--See Nov 24.
Intl Ctr--See Nov 24.
Karate Club--See Nov 24.
Christians in Action--See Nov 24.
United Methodist Std Fellowship/Wesley Fdn -.
Undergrad fellowship, "Talk from the Heart" 7 pm, 602 E
Psychiatry--D Turk: conf,. "Assessment of People with
Chronic Pain: A Multiaxial Perspective," 10:30 am-noon,
CAPH Aud; sem, Chronic Pain: A Chronic-Behavioral
Perspective, 2:30-4 pm, MHRI Waggoner Conf Rm. 764-
Ctr for Russ & E Europ Studies--Brown-bag lec, C
Rydel, "HG Wells and Russia,"noon, Lane Hall Commons
*Men's Athletics--U-M vs Bowling Green, 7:30 pm, Crisler
Bioengr--870 Sem, C Hanks, "Biocompatibility Testing in
Dentistry," 4 pm, 1017 Dow Bldg.
Sch Educ--Brown-bag lec, "American Culture & Education in
Intemational Perspectives," noon-2 pm, Rm 2211 SEB.
E Quad Music Coop--Perf, "Open Mike Night," 8 pm, E
Quad Halfway Inn.
Std Woodshop--Safety class for new shop users, sess I, 3-5
pm, SAB, 763-4025.
Sch Music--Recitals: String Dept, 8 pm, Sch Music Recital
Hall; pianist M Morash, 8 pm, Rackham Assembly Hall.
Qf...Alei Dnlinin __rn... Y. ..1 mien fVT'L.,~. IAn.,
MHRI--Sem, A Seasholtz, "Transcriptional Regulation of
Neuropeptide Gene Expression,"3:45 pm, MHRI Waggoner
WAND (Women's Action for Nucl Disarm)--Mtg, 6-7:30 pm,
Ctr for Russ & E Europ Studies--Lec, D Winkelman,
"Job Search Strategies for REES Students," 3 pm, Lane
Hall Commons Rm.
Evolution & Human Behav--R Smolker, "Social
Communication in Wild Bottlenosed Dolphins," 3:30 pm,
Rackham E Lec Rm
Sch Music--*U Players, Skin of Our Teeth, 8 pm, Power Ctr.
764-0450, Jazz perf, Northcoast, 8 pm, Rackham. Fac
recital, "The Early Romantic Piano and its Music," 8 pm,
Sch Music Recital Hall. 24-Hr Music Line, 763-4726.
Nov 29 Committee for Palestine--Mtg, 7 pm, Mich
Union MUG. Publ welcome.
Turner Ctr--Support grp, "Living Better With Your Hearing
Loss," 10 am-noon, 1010 Wall St. 764-2556.
Std Woodshop--Safety class for new shop users, sess 11, 3-5
pm, SAB, 763-4025.
*UAC/Soph Show--Perf, Little House of Horrors, 8 pm,
Mendelssohn Theater. 703-1107.
Computing Ctr--Courses: In Rm 3001 SEB: Lotus 1-2-3, Pt
1, 8:30 am-12:30 pm; Microsoft Word Version 3.0 (IBM
PC-Compa;tibles), 1-5 pm; Microsoft Word, Pt 2
(Macintosh), 1-5 pm. Reg req. 763-7630.
Hosp Arts Prog--Perf, pianist R Kasparian, 12:30 pm, 1st
Fl Hosp Lobby. 936-ARTS.
Sch Bus--Info sess, 6:30 pm, S Quad W Lounge.
Union Arts Progs--Music at Mid-Day, saxophones,
Quartessence, 12:15 pm, Mich Union Pendleton Rm.
Alcoholics Anonymous--Mtg, noon, 3rd Fl Mich Union
(by Counseling Svcs).
*Mich League--Mexico, 4:30-7:30 pm, The League Buffet.
Univ Lutheran Chapel--Devotions, 6:15 pm; doctrine class,
7 pm; Bible study, 8:45 pm, 1511 Washtenaw. 663-5560.
His House Christian Fellowship--Bible study, 7:30- 9
pm, 925 E Ann, 663-0483, 665-0775.
Intl Ctr--Brown-bag disc, "World Travelers' Lunch Break,"
noon, 603 E Madison.
Women's Okinawan Karate Club--See Nov 16.
Karate Club--See Nov 24.
Muslim Stds Assoc--Lec series, noon, Rm D 3rd Fl Mich
Barbaric Yawp/Undergrad Engl Assoc--Creative writing
workshop (bring 6 copies of orig ms), 7 pm, 7629 Haven
*Men's Athletics--Hockey, U-M vs Boston Coll, 7:30 pm,
Anthro--Lec, E Hobsbawm, 'Who's Who, or How to Belong
to the Middle Class (England, 1870-1914),"4 pm, Rackham
Aud; recep follows in Anthro Lounge, 2040 LSA.
AstroFest--J Lowden answers questions on space &
astronomy, 7:30 pm, MLB3. 426-5396.
QC.,. Mael C~iln nrf Halste. 7 wnn fButton Tower.
Overeaters Anonymous--Mtg for bulimics (others
welcome), noon, 3rd Fl Mich Union (by Counseling Svcs).
Univ Lutheran Chapel--See Nov 27.
Chinese Christian Fellowship--Bible study, 7:30 pm,
3150 Glacier Way, 761-7503.
Korean Christian Fellowship--See Nov 27!
Tae Kwon Do Club--Mt, 6:30 pmRm 1200 CCRB. Beg-
adv welcome. Mary, 665-2958.
Women's Crisis Ctr/U-M Lesbian Advocates Ofc-
See Nov 27.
United Methodist Std Fellowship/Wesley Fdn-le
skating party, 7:30 pm, meet at Wesley Fdn, 602EHuron.
*Men's Athletics--See Dec 4; basketball, U-M vs Central
Mich, 2 pm, Crisler Arena.
*U-M-Dearborn--Breakfast with Santa, 9-11 am, H Ford,
Estate-Fair Lane. Res req. 593-5590.
*Sch Music--*U Players, Skin of Our Teeth, 8 pm, Power.
Ctr. 764-0450, Opera workshop, 8 pm, McIntosh Theatre.
24-Hr Music Line, 763-4726, Recitals: percussionist C 2
Hardy, 2 pm; Cellist S Segers, 4 pm; violinist C Haines, 6
pm;-pianist N Lion, 8 pm, Sch Music Recital Hall.
*UMS--See Dec 4.
Zen Buddhist Temple--Intro lec, S Murray, 7 pm, 121(
*UAC/Soph Show--Perf, Little House of Horrors, 2 & 8-
pm, Mendelssohn Theater. 763-1107.
Career Plan & Place--Tips on the job search: resume
writing & interviewing, 9 am-noon, 3200 SAB.
*Ruthven Planetarium Theatre-See Nov 28.
*Nat Sci Museums--Children's workshop, "The Earth, Its
Rocks and Minera-s": ages 4-6, 10 am-noon; ages 7 & up&
1-3 pm. Reg .- -n;g78. -
Karate' Club--Practice, 3-5 pm, CCRB 'small gym. All
Botanical Gdns--Walk, "Winter Buds and Berries," 2 pm,
front steps, conservatory, 1800 N Dixboro.
*U-M-Dearborn--Tours, floral decorations, 1-4:30 pm, H
Ford Estate-Fair Lane. 593-5590.
.Sch Music--U Players, Skin of Our Teeth, 2 pm, Power
Ctr. 764-0450. Perfs: Campus Chamber Orch, 4 pm,
McIntosh Theatre; Arts Chorale, 7:30pm, St Andrews, 306,
N Division. 24-Hr Music Line, 763-4726. Rectials: flutist JI
Cowan, noon; pianist R Kasparian, 2 pm; pianist PL
Reuben, 8 pm, Sch Music Recital Hall; viola studio recital,.
7 pm, McIntosh Theatre.
*UMS--Handel's Messiah, 2 pm, Power Ctr. 764-2538.
Phi Beta Sigma--Mtg, 5-8 pm, Mich Union.
*Ruthven Planetarium Theatre--See Nov 29.
Zen Buddhist Temple--See Nov 29.
Univ Lutheran Chapel--See Nov 29.
T~r ofA ni.1aht Luthen Chuch--Seep Nv 29.