Paperback Ù Giovanni's Room MOBI ↠


Giovanni's Room ❰Epub❯ ❦ Giovanni's Room Author James Baldwin – Thomashillier.co.uk An alternate cover for this ISBN can be found hereBaldwin s haunting and controversial second novel is his most sustained treatment of sexuality, and a classic of gay literature In a s Paris swarming An alternate cover for this ISBN can be found hereBaldwin s haunting and controversial second novel is his most sustained treatment of sexuality, and a classic of gay literature In a s Paris swarming with expatriates and characterized by dangerous liaisons and hidden violence, an American finds himself unable to repress his impulses, despite his determination to live the conventional life he envisions for himself After meeting and proposing to a young woman, he falls into a lengthy affair with an Italian bartender and is confounded and tortured by his sexual identity as he oscillates between the two Examining the mystery of love and passion in an intensely imagined narrative, Baldwin creates a moving and complex story of death and desire that is revelatory in its insight.

    Paperback Ù Giovanni's Room MOBI ↠ young woman, he falls into a lengthy affair with an Italian bartender and is confounded and tortured by his sexual identity as he oscillates between the two Examining the mystery of love and passion in an intensely imagined narrative, Baldwin creates a moving and complex story of death and desire that is revelatory in its insight."/>
  • Paperback
  • 159 pages
  • Giovanni's Room
  • James Baldwin
  • English
  • 06 September 2019
  • 0141186356

About the Author: James Baldwin

James Baldwin Librarian Note There isthan one author in the Goodreads database with this name See this thread forinformationJames Arthur Baldwin was an American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social criticJames Baldwin offered a vital literary voice during the era of civil rights activism in the s and s He was the eldest of nine children his stepfather was a minister At age , Baldwin became a preacher at the small Fireside Pentecostal Church in Harlem In the early s, he transferred his faith from religion to literature Critics, however, note the impassioned cadences of Black churches are still evident in his writing Go Tell It on the Mountain, his first novel, is a partially autobiographical account of his youth His essay collections Notes of a Native Son, Nobody Knows My Name, and The Fire Next Time were influential in informing a large white audienceFrom , Baldwin made his home primarily in the south of France, but often returned to the USA to lecture or teach In , he began spending half of each year in New York City His novels include Giovanni s Room, about a white American expatriate who must come to terms with his homosexuality, and Another Country, about racial and gay sexual tensions among New York intellectuals His inclusion of gay themes resulted in a lot of savage criticism from the Black community Eldridge Cleaver, of the Black Panthers, stated the Baldwin s writing displayed an agonizing, total hatred of blacks Baldwin s play, Blues for Mister Charlie, was produced in Going to Meet the Man and Tell Me How Long the Train s Been Gone provided powerful descriptions of American racism As an openly gay man, he became increasingly outspoken in condemning discrimination against lesbian and gay peopleOn November , Baldwin died from stomach cancer in Saint Paul de Vence, France He was buried at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, near New York City.



10 thoughts on “Giovanni's Room

  1. Jeffrey Keeten Jeffrey Keeten says:

    He grasped me by the collar, wrestling and caressing at once, fluid and iron at once saliva spraying from his lips and his eyes full of tears, but with the bones of his face showing and the muscles leaping in his arms and neck You want to leave Giovanni because he makes you stink You want to despise Giovanni because he is not afraid of the stink of love You want to kill him in the name of all your lying moralities And you you are immoral You are, by far, the most immoral man I have met He grasped me by the collar, wrestling and caressing at once, fluid and iron at once saliva spraying from his lips and his eyes full of tears, but with the bones of his face showing and the muscles leaping in his arms and neck You want to leave Giovanni because he makes you stink You want to despise Giovanni because he is not afraid of the stink of love You want to kill him in the name of all your lying moralities And you you are immoral You are, by far, the most immoral man I have met in all my life Look, look what you have done to me Do you think you could have done this if I did not love you Is this what you should do to love James Baldwin in Harlem.David is an American living in Paris attempting to find himself His girlfriend Hella is in Spain taking some time to think about whether she wants to commit the rest of her life to David Meanwhile David is out of funds and his father is willing to let him starve a bit in the hopes that he will come home He is, after all, getting a bit old, pushing thirty, to still be looking for himself There is this legitimate fear that he will never find himself, and if that is the case he might as well come home and rejoin the real world of marriages, careers, and cocktails He meets Giovanni, not because he is looking for someone, but because he is paying the price of borrowing money from Jacques, an old lecherous American business man who will lend you money, but it will cost you time entertaining him with your presence and your conversation Hopefully you are not so desperate that it will cost you evenJacques finds Giovanni attractive and hopes that David can convince the young man to have a drink with them The best laid plans of salacious old men rarely bear fruit They have to be patient and wait for the specter of starvation to land them a pliable playmate This is one of those times when it all backfires on Jacques, but he will continue to spin a web and wait for a bobble in finances After all, Paris is an expensive city and with so many young men on the verge of destitution he only has to wait for a tug on one of his many sugared threads David goes home with GiovanniI was trembling I thought, if I do not open the door at once and get out of here, I am lost But I knew I could not open the door, I knew it was too late soon it was too late to do anything but moan He pulled me against him, putting himself into my arms as though he were giving me himself to carry, and slowly pulled me down with him to that bed With everything in me screaming No yet the sum of me sighed Yes Giovanni s Room comes to define David s whole Parisian experienceThe table was loaded with yellowing newspapers and empty bottles and it held a single brown and wrinkled potato in which even the sprouting eyes were rotten Red wine had been spilled on the floor, it had been allowed to dry and it made the air in the room sweet and heavy But it was not the room s disorder which was frightening, it was the fact that when one began searching for the key to this disorder one realized that it was not be found in any of the usual places For this was not a matter of habit or circumstance or temperament it was a matter of punishment and griefJames Baldwin in Paris.David is astute enough to recognize that this is not just a fling for Giovanni, but a true attempt to not only find love, but to also escape the past, the present, and an increasingly gloomy looking futureI understood why Giovanni had wanted me and had brought me to his last retreat I was to destroy this room and give to Giovanni a new and better life This life could only be my own, which, in order to transform Giovanni s, must first become part of Giovanni s room David, operating with a safety net, can afford to have an unnatural fling, after all he is in France not America, but for Giovanni this is a heart and soul relationship As David dances around his own desires and the realization that he must eventually straighten up and become a devoted member of heterosexual America it becomes increasingly difficult to know what to do about GiovanniThe beast which Giovanni had awakened in me would never go to sleep again but one day I would not be with Giovanni any, And would I then, like all the others, find myself turning and following all kinds of boys down God knows what dark avenues, into what dark places Hella, like a lifeboat on the horizon, writes to say she has made her choice She is coming back to Paris to be with David Elation and dread suddenly tinge the unraveling of all of his loosely conceived relationships.Under the guise of some bizarre logic David decides he must be with a woman, as if to create a demarcation line between Giovanni and Hella It doesn t really matter what woman, just a woman The lucky winner is Sue, but David doesn t get away without a dagger of remorse pricking his darkening soulMaybe you ll be lonely again, she said, finally I guess I won t mind if you come looking for me She wore the strangest smile I had ever seen It was pained and vindictive and humiliated but she inexpertly smeared across this grimace a bright, girlish gaiety as rigid as the skeleton beneath her flabby body If fate ever allowed Sue to reach me, she would kill me with just that smile I ll leave the rest to you fair reader There aretwists and turns and the fates of many rest on the resolve of one man and whether he can be honest about his own nature The Elegant Mr James BaldwinJames Baldwin s publisher gave him some advice in regards to this manuscript He felt he mustburn the book because the theme of homosexuality would alienate him from his readership among black peopleFortunately, he was wrong Critics, thank goodness, were kind to the book because of Baldwin s reputation and status as a writer Sure this book makes the list of best gay lesbian books ever written, but it also makes the list of many BEST BOOKS ever written.I m going to come out of the closet and say I m a heterosexual male, although why I m not sure except that I m just wired that way The same way that the various sexually self designated people are wired to be attracted to a multitude of diversely sexually oriented people To say this is a gay novel certainly is not an attempt to denigrate the book, but it does seem to limit the scope of the vision There is viciousness, lust, loneliness, deception, sorrow, tenderness, despair, and ultimately tragedy that makes this book easily one of the top 100 best books I ve ever read Every reader will find something of themselves in this book, maybe not the part of themselves that they want to hold up to the mirror, but certainly a fragment, disdainful in nature or worthy of pity, that can not be denied This really should be my second or third reading of this novel, but somehow it has been on my radar and fallen off my radar numerous times over the years A helpful nudge from John Irving in his book In One Person convinced me that I needed to quit dawdling and read this book The Paris of the 1950s doesn t exist any, but luckily for you and I it is still vibrantly alive in the pages of this book If you wish to seeof my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

  2. David David says:

    God, Giovanni s Room is heart breaking I ve been avoiding reviewing it, a bit, because it boils so much to the surface No summary or review could do this book total justice What Baldwin achieves is a desperate account of two gay or bisexual men struggling with their sexuality, their society, and most importantly their identities identities which are at once masculine and yet deprived of that masculinity by their complicity with a society that doesn t understand them Baldwin s artistry is fo God, Giovanni s Room is heart breaking I ve been avoiding reviewing it, a bit, because it boils so much to the surface No summary or review could do this book total justice What Baldwin achieves is a desperate account of two gay or bisexual men struggling with their sexuality, their society, and most importantly their identities identities which are at once masculine and yet deprived of that masculinity by their complicity with a society that doesn t understand them Baldwin s artistry is formulating a novel about same sex love that isn t an absurdly supportive utopia nor a bland coming out story see all LGBT literature, most of which is aimed at young adults, and is stylistically reflective of that audience Giovanni s Room is the dusk to E.M Forster s dawn in Maurice Baldwin s real achievement is to make his story universal The love between Giovanni and David is not a homosexual love or same sex love it s just love, and Baldwin tells us that is all love needs to be to be real Perhaps it is the effect of reading Barthes that I find myself disdainful towards the self bulwarking of gay otherness newspaper stories which send the overt message of gays can do it too actually serve to reinforce that gays are something other than normal Those stories do not change the perception that gays cannot but rather reinforce it by providing the exception to the rule A little confessed evil saves one from acknowledging a lot of hidden evilBy admitting the small prejudice, you allow the larger prejudices to grow disproportionately Baldwin refuses to let his novel be about gay men in love, and instead makes it about two people in love The closest comparison I can find in my literary repertory is The Age of Innocence, which I think is an apt sister novel to Baldwin s Restrained by a rigged society and his engagement to the fair Hella, David must give up his true passion for Giovanni But it is so much the worse ending for Giovanni than Ellen Olenska while Ellen lives a supposedly fulfilling life in Paris, Giovanni rapidly descends to corruption, self loathing, and deathIf you cannot love me, I will die Before you came I wanted to die, I have told you many times It is cruel to have made me want to live only to make my deathbloody David s role in Giovanni s life is not that of a passive lover, he and Giovanni share something real, a true kinship which David cannot feel for Hella and which Giovanni cannot bear to lose I find significance in the names of the three lovers, David, Hella, and Giovanni David is from the Hebrew for beloved, and he is mutually beloved by Hella and Giovanni, though he largely resents those loves, first Hella s then Giovanni s He feels as burdened by their loves as he does by the constraints of appearances and by society, and so he can never be truly happy, he can never truly relish in the love of another, because he cannot bear to the the object of affection, only the subject David is profoundly selfish, and profoundly evasive to the attention he receives He paradoxically wants love but cannot bear the responsibilities that go with it In the Bible, David is much loved by God, but his sexual transgressions with Bathsheba bring hate and misfortune to him Baldwin s David likewise betrays Hella, and the war between his compunction and his survival instinct ruin what life remains for him Giovanni is gone, Hella is gone, what remains of his life is a homelessness if, in fact, home is where the heart is and an emptiness He is inconsolably lost he is haunted by the past that remains inside him, but also by the past which has escaped himPeople who remember court madness through pain, the pain of the perpetually recurring death of their innocence people who forget court another kind of madness, the madness of the denial of pain and the hatred of innocence and the world is mostly divided between madmen who remember and madmen forget David manages to be doubly the madman.Hella, derived from Helga, though with the unavoidable echo of Hell, means, ironically, blessed What is she blessed with She is naive and insecure, she is alternatively too timid and too bold to find love with David She chooses a long engagement and spends that time alone in Spain rather than in Paris with David Hella reminds me very much of James innocents abroad and for that reason I find her being blessed only by way of her avoiding the ultimate corruption of David s black heart Her blessing seems to her like a curse, but ultimately we feel she is far better off alone than she would be had she tied the know with our narrator, a man so confused and self loathing he is incapable of loving anyone For David, he knows that life with Hella would be a Hell to him, it would be to chain him to something less than love, something like friendship, but which would block him forever from his true passion His love for Giovanni has made love for Hella impossible, and marriage to her would be a constant reminder of what he has lost.Giovanni is a derivative from the Hebrew for God s Gift and he is a blessing to David Giovanni shows David what love is capable of being, what it means to find love and solace in another human on this Earth But David cannot accept this gift He grows hateful of it It is not love or deference for Hella which makes David give up Giovanni, but his own blindness and self hatred He is not deserving of Giovanni s love, and it makes us hateful to ourselves, even the most selfish of us, to receive something in the name of our merits when we have not lived up to those merits Those undeserved gifts are a constant reminder of our inadequacies and instead of raising us up they tear us asunder from the inside out Giovanni is the gift of real freedom, the freedom of choice the gift that God bestowed on man For nothing isunbearable, once one has it, than freedom. David cannot bear the responsibility of choice particularly the choice between a precarious bliss with Giovanni and an assured unhappiness with Hella

  3. Jim Fonseca Jim Fonseca says:

    CONTAINS SPOILERSA great novel The word ferocious comes to mind when I think of the intensity of several keys scenes in the novel where the main character, a gay man in Paris, struggles to turn against his gay orientation and tries to find happiness with a woman he has pledged to marry The novel, published in 1956, is considered a classic of gay literature Several key scenes that vividly impart to the reader that intensity of feeling are when he leaves his male lover, when his female lover CONTAINS SPOILERSA great novel The word ferocious comes to mind when I think of the intensity of several keys scenes in the novel where the main character, a gay man in Paris, struggles to turn against his gay orientation and tries to find happiness with a woman he has pledged to marry The novel, published in 1956, is considered a classic of gay literature Several key scenes that vividly impart to the reader that intensity of feeling are when he leaves his male lover, when his female lover learns his secret and leaves him, and when his ex lover encounters an exploitative bar owner Giovanni is not the name of the main character, but of his male lover The two major tensions in the story we know from the start and they flavor everything that follows in the novel the impending execution of Giovanni by guillotine and the return of his woman friend from Spain The main character intends to marry the woman and end his gay relationship He s in Paris to find himself, a phrase he writes is uncommon in other languages and implies something is misplaced The main character had an early sexual experience with a young man back in the US that has shamed and frightened him for life We read lines like this For shame That I should be so abruptly, so hideously entangled with a boy Such were the times that all the gay male characters in the novel joke among themselves about having women or going back to women, almost as if they are all still afraid of fully coming out even before their gay companions There are customs back in 1956 that I would have thought were developedrecently, for example, when a group of young gay men gather in the bar, they refer to each other as she Baldwin is a master at portraying the tiny but significant looks and gestures that go around at a meeting of a half dozen people in bar eating oysters and drinking white wine I wrote a similar thing about John O Hara in his Appointment in Samarra There s good writing I thought she would be fun to have fun with I did not owe an awful lot of money, only around six thousand francs, but Parisian hotel keepers have a way of smelling poverty and then they do what anybody does who is aware of a bad smell they throw whatever stinks outside My father.wanted me to come home, as he said, and settle down, and whenever he said that I thought of the sediment at the bottom of a stagnant pond I remember that life in that room seemed to be occurring beneath the sea Time flowed past indifferently above us hours and days had no meaning You don t have a home until you leave it and then, when you have left it, you can never go back It s helpful to know basic French even though most of the phrases in French can be understood in context.The author, Baldwin, was a gay black man but the main character is a blonde man I thought perhaps the author is saying let s deal with one thing at a time To say the novel is a classic of gay literature confines it to a category I would say it s a classic, period It ranks very high on GR ratings a 4.4 I m adding it to my favorites Thank you to Laura for the recommendation Top photo, the author s home in St Paul de Vence, Provence from theguardian.co.ukThe cafe in Paris where Baldwin wrote Go Tell It on the Mountain from Wikipedia The author 1924 1987 from aalbc.com

  4. Candi Candi says:

    I scarcely know how to describe that room It became, in a way, every room I had ever been in and every room I find myself in hereafter will remind me of Giovanni s room At the end of July, I spent a short but glorious time in 1950s Paris in Giovanni s room And I want to tell you about my incredible experience, but I can t quite figure out how to go about it Having been left in the thrall of James Baldwin s achingly exquisite prose, I have been left speechless I can t do the book justice YI scarcely know how to describe that room It became, in a way, every room I had ever been in and every room I find myself in hereafter will remind me of Giovanni s room At the end of July, I spent a short but glorious time in 1950s Paris in Giovanni s room And I want to tell you about my incredible experience, but I can t quite figure out how to go about it Having been left in the thrall of James Baldwin s achingly exquisite prose, I have been left speechless I can t do the book justice Yet, I want to convince you to read this book if you have not, because you would surely be missing out on some of the best writing in the literary world if you pass it by.David is an American who has escaped to Paris in an attempt to find himself We hear this story directly from David s first person narration, allowing us to have a very intimate relationship and struggling with him in his deepest conflicts and darkest secrets Reflecting back over time he says,I think now that if I had had any intimation that the self I was going to find would turn out to be only the same self from which I had spent so much time in flight, I would have stayed at home But, again, I think I knew, at the very bottom of my heart, exactly what I was doing when I took the boat for FranceYou don t have to be like David, a young man struggling with his sexuality as he falls for Giovanni, a passionate young man who offers to share his room with David Nor do you have to click with David he s not necessarily a likeable guy Nevertheless, Baldwin s gift is to make you identify in some way with his characters and to rejoice in their fleeting moments of pleasure, feel their raw pain, and empathize with their deepest regrets You see, David also has a woman in his life He constantly agonizes over his true desires and his sense of convention Hella offers him an opportunity for what he considers stabilityI wanted to be inside again, with the light and safety, with my manhood unquestioned, watching my woman put my children to bed I wanted the same bed at night and the same arms and I wanted to rise in the morning, knowing where I was I wanted a woman to be for me a steady ground, like the earth itself, where I could always be renewed It had been so once it had almost been so once I could make it so again, I could make it real It only demanded a short, hard strength for me to become myself again Throughout the entire novel, there is a feeling of melancholy, the knowledge that tragedy is just around the corner David, Giovanni and Hella all get swept up in this fatal web that David has created by his self denial, self loathing and dishonesty Giovanni s room seemed to be a symbol for that claustrophobic sensation of anything that closes you in and keeps your true self locked away and hidden How to escape the room Both Giovanni and David are in need of rescue but in different ways Hella, too, needs to be saved She had also escaped from America to Paris and then on to Spain in search of freedom, a feeling of liberation My heart ached for her as wellI began to realize it in Spain that I wasn t free, that I couldn t be free until I was attached no, committed to someone This was my very first experience with reading James Baldwin It won t be my last Just a couple of days after finishing this book I was on a short trip and all I could think about was searching out a used bookstore and scouring the shelves for anything by this brilliant man If you have ever felt isolated, confined by convention, in search of loving someone freely, or burdened by regret, then this book is for you I dare say that encompasses nearly everyoneBut people can t, unhappily, invent their mooring posts, their lovers and their friends, any than they can invent their parents Life gives these and also takes them away and the great difficulty is to say Yes to life

  5. Michael Michael says:

    A lyrical work of fiction about the failure of love, Giovanni s Room retraces the missteps that led an impassioned affair between two men away from the promise of happiness toward catastrophic ruin The first person narrator s ever present despair casts a melancholic shadow over the events he recollects, even those that might at first appear to be pleasant A sense of deep regret pervades all of the novel From the start, the reader and narrator share an understanding of the story s devastating A lyrical work of fiction about the failure of love, Giovanni s Room retraces the missteps that led an impassioned affair between two men away from the promise of happiness toward catastrophic ruin The first person narrator s ever present despair casts a melancholic shadow over the events he recollects, even those that might at first appear to be pleasant A sense of deep regret pervades all of the novel From the start, the reader and narrator share an understanding of the story s devastating and inalterable conclusion, making it that muchdifficult for both to trek through the memory of misfortune after misfortune Baldwin s language is haunting, his phrasing striking, his imagery agonizing Giovanni s Room isn t an easy book to read, but it is an important one

  6. Elyse Walters Elyse Walters says:

    WowI read only one review of this bookwhich was soooo good.I immediately bought a used copy.yet, I don t think any review prepares a reader for what they are about to experience I have two words Morally Mystifying THANK YOU Lizzy I stayed.and I was granted this masterpiece.

  7. Dolors Dolors says:

    It is under the foreign sky of Paris, where identity is protected by anonymity and the most darkest secrets do not transcend the limits of a room, that David, an American young man, is forced to face the convoluted layers of the true nature of his identity Told in the first person narrator, Giovanni s Room bewilders the reader because of the perturbing sensitivity with which Baldwin portrays an extremely delicate predicament that of listening to the self deprecating inner voices that corrode t It is under the foreign sky of Paris, where identity is protected by anonymity and the most darkest secrets do not transcend the limits of a room, that David, an American young man, is forced to face the convoluted layers of the true nature of his identity Told in the first person narrator, Giovanni s Room bewilders the reader because of the perturbing sensitivity with which Baldwin portrays an extremely delicate predicament that of listening to the self deprecating inner voices that corrode the consciousness of those who deny their true selves for the sake of indoctrinated conventionalism and a false sense of security Desire, repression and an imposed sense of duty present a battle of sorts that is embodied in the deadly love triangle formed by David, his betrothed Hella and his lover Giovanni, who, unlike David, accepts his homosexuality as his only reality Frightened by the consequences of acknowledging his strong feelings for Giovanni, David enters a spiral of self deception that drags Hella down to the gutters of an atavistic marriage that complies with the rigid social structures of the American way of life that doesn t contemplate love between equals Deep down, David s dilemma runs deeper than his stubborn denial for the sake of appearances, his moral struggle discloses a man who doesn t want to dispense with the inborn social status associated to gender This book is an obscure, passionate and explicit defiance against racial and gender bias discrimination Baldwin s deliberate choice to construct a story in which all the characters are white and to bestow thematic relevance to homosexuality is a public denouncement of the preestablished canons promoted by a comfortable majority that sets the boundaries of a mainstream value system.The image of the empty room with its crumbling walls and a tousled bed is spine chilling in its validity because it cuts across the apology for the homosexual rights It is also a universal metaphor that symbolizes that part of ourselves that we desperately want to escape from in a blind struggle against our deepest fears, against the foibles that we agonize over to conceal at all costs, against the irrepressible need for acceptance, even if that means to sacrifice those we love the most, even if that means to sentence ourselves to live of inessential memories and become the ghostly shadow of our past desires Beautiful and terrible,Giovanni s Roomis in the end a painful and bitingly honest introspection into the infernos of the nature of humankind, for as David turns his back and leaves the room again and again, we fool ourselves into believing that had we been in his place, we would have acted differently, would have had courage to be fair, would have beensincere with ourselves and our needs and those of our beloveds.Wouldn t weUntil I die there will be moments, moments seeming to rise up out of the ground like Macbeth s witches, when his face will come before me, the face in all its changes, when the exact timbre of his voice and tricks of his speech will nearly burst my ears, when his smell will overpower my nostrils

  8. Rowena Rowena says:

    I wasn t sure any Baldwin book would surpass his Go Tell is to the Mountain, which I loved, but this one was even better and an immediate favourite This story was wonderfully written and explored a gay storyline which I have never encountered in African American writing from Baldwin s era.Supposedly quite a few prolific African American writers were not such big fans of Baldwin due to this reason.This story is set in Paris and is about an American man, David, who is in love with both a man, Gio I wasn t sure any Baldwin book would surpass his Go Tell is to the Mountain, which I loved, but this one was even better and an immediate favourite This story was wonderfully written and explored a gay storyline which I have never encountered in African American writing from Baldwin s era.Supposedly quite a few prolific African American writers were not such big fans of Baldwin due to this reason.This story is set in Paris and is about an American man, David, who is in love with both a man, Giovanni, and a woman, Hella He really struggles to come to terms with his sexuality,and to reconcile his inner conflict Baldwin really captures the Parisian atmosphere, and it s obvious he was well acquainted with the city Reading his depiction of Paris has really activated my wanderlust There sto the story than the gay storyline, though Questions are raised about authenticity, the meaning of home, whether we act out of fear or love, etc.I can honestly say, I have never read writing quite like it before This is one I plan on purchasing to re read

  9. Donna Ho Shing Donna Ho Shing says:

    Here s what i ll do buy all Baldwin s books, every single one and just read them all Back to back to back to back What a genius this man is What impeccable, perfect writing How can a story contained in just 159 pages pack such a punch HOW Let the record show that on this day James Baldwin officially, OFFICIALLY became my favorite writer 2nd only to Toni Morrison at whose feet I humbly bow perpetually.

  10. Darwin8u Darwin8u says:

    for nothing isunbearable, once one has it, than freedomJames Baldwin, Giovanni s Room Baldwin is everything He ability to articulate the struggle to be a man in a world where both black men and gay men were considered 2nd class if lucky citizens taught me He is the reason I read or at least one of the reasons good fiction It transports me into the experience of the other His writing is a gift The emotions of this novel are expressed as if Baldwin s heart was set aflame in Parfor nothing isunbearable, once one has it, than freedomJames Baldwin, Giovanni s Room Baldwin is everything He ability to articulate the struggle to be a man in a world where both black men and gay men were considered 2nd class if lucky citizens taught me He is the reason I read or at least one of the reasons good fiction It transports me into the experience of the other His writing is a gift The emotions of this novel are expressed as if Baldwin s heart was set aflame in Paris In Giovanni s room, Baldwin carves his pain and his struggle with fire into the oppressive clouds of the Parisian night I sort of knew what I was wading into reading Giovanni s Room I knew Baldwin was gay and this was considered both a great novel AND a great piece of gay fiction It is hard to imagine, however, Baldwin ever wanting to be dropped into ANY corner, locked into any room Black Gay Saint Yes, the man was certainly all those, but he was also so much .I don t want to come across as presumptuous, but I think Baldwin would reject the idea that this is a gay novel I think Baldwin is expressing the anguish and the pain felt by ALL those who are denied for whatever reason the ability to freely love The closet is far too dark, far too cold, far too confining, and does not allow for the other Baldwin is teaching that we NEED the other to be human Baldwin s novels are essentially that They transcend race, sexuality, gender They are about the need to be recognized, loved, and free It reminds me, someone who has been prodigiously privileged because of my race white , sexuality straight , gender cis about the pain others go through just to catch a moment of things I take for granted every day

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