A guest contribution by D. G. Myers
••• Today is the yortsayt of Truman Capote—the twentieth-fifth anniversary of his death from „liver disease complicated by phlebitis and multiple drug intoxication,“ as the Los Angeles County coroner dutifully reported—although yortsayt may not be the best word to use in connection with someone who once attacked „the Jewish Mafia in American letters“ which „control[s] much of the literary scene“ through „Jewish-dominated“ publications that „make or break writers by advancing or withholding attention.“1
The provocation behind Capote’s rant is not immediately clear. Commentary, the most Jewish-dominated publication of them all, hardly withheld attention from In Cold Blood, devoting twenty-two hundred words to the book in its May 1966 issue. William Phillips, the reviewer, who also happened to edit the Partisan Review, another Jewish-dominated publication, even allowed that the book was „good in its own way,“ although he went on to ask—“as in the old Jewish joke—whether In Cold Blood was good for literature.“2 Maybe Capote could not take a Jewish joke.