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"A TORRENT OF RHETORIC": CONSTRUCTS OF BLACKNESS AND
MASCULINITY IN CRITICAL RESPONSES
TO JAMES BALDWIN'S ANOTHER COUNTRY
MARLON RACHQUEL MOORE
A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
This document is dedicated to my mother, Quintine Harrison Moore.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABSTRACT ................................ iv
INTRODUCTION .......................................................... ...............1
METHODOLOGY ...................................... ....... ...............
ARGUMENT .................. ................................................ .4
Baldwin's Fame.................... ........................... .........8
C..tical Responses ......................................................... ........ .... ...............1
Essays ......................................................... ............. ...............11
B ook R review s ............... .................................................................. ................ 24
W ORKS CITED ....................................... ... .... .........32
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .................................................. ............... 35
B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ...................................................................... ..................35
Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts
"A TORRENT OF RHETORIC": CONSTRUCTS OF BLACKNESS AND
MASCULINITY IN CRITICAL RESPONSES TO
JAMES BALDWIN'S ANOTHER COUNTRY
Marlon Rachquel Moore
Chair: Roger Beebe
Major Department: English
Since his death in 1987, scholars have endeavored to revive interest in James
Baldwin's contributions to American literature and cultural theory with an additional
attempt to redress the damage done to his literary reputation in the 1960s.
This thesis contributes to that enterprise by reexamining the most notorious anti-
Baldwin essays of that period and some lesser-known book reviews (American and
French) of his great modernist novel Another Country-narrowly focusing on what is
often referred to as Baldwin's "era of decline." It explores social constructions of
'blackness' and 'black writer' as they reveal themselves in these texts. While
acknowledging the homophobic anxiety that has already been exposed in other research,
this report traces the racial ideologies embedded in the language of each writer and
exposes the relationship of racial essentialism to the decline in Baldwin's critical
reception in America and France.
In the 1960s at the height of his renown, James Baldwin had two controversial and
best-selling works on the market, published within months of each other. One was his
third novel and the other a pair of essays bound and sold as a book. The essays were
highly acclaimed and honored by numerous social and literary awards. The novel was
under fire in parts of America for its debauchery. Critics treated these texts, written by
the same hand, both on the topic of racial conflict, as if the levels of talent shown in each
were separated by several degrees. Years later, when asked to reflect upon this time in his
life, Baldwin said, "the reception of [the novel] was a scandal. I was bewildered... It was
banned in all kinds of weird places [and] taken out of the bookshelves... Lord, I would
not like to go through that again" (Standley and Pratt 206). 'That' was a damaging blow
to his fiction career. Much of his work has been canonized in academia, but once his ride
was over he would never be celebrated or defamed by mainstream America to that extent
again. Subsequently, even though he was prolific in multiple genres throughout most of
his lifetime, little attention has been paid to the novels published after the 'scandal' of
Since his death in 1987, scholars have endeavored to revive interest in Baldwin's
contributions to American literature and theory with an additional effort to redress the
damage done to his literary reputation in the 1960s. This research contributes to that
enterprise by reexamining the most notorious anti-Baldwin essays and some of the lesser-
known book reviews (American and French) from what is known as Baldwin's "era of
decline." While acknowledging the homophobic anxiety that has already been exposed in
other research, this report identifies the buried racial essentialism that is the overarching
theme which compounds the negative responses to Another Country. My ultimate quest
in this project is to scrutinize the commotion around the novel that led to its eventual
mainstream dismissal. This period is often referred to but not thoroughly explained by
This project interrogates the partially ignored racial ideologies that emerge in many
of the negative critical reviews in the 1960s and 70s. This particular era is significant
because, on one hand it represents the crest of the non-violent civil rights struggle and the
burgeoning of the Black Power era; and on the other hand because 1962-65 is generally
accepted as the end of the love affair liberal Americans were having with Baldwin's
work. Because this is an assessment of damaging responses, the positive or neutral critics
are unexamined here.
The sources compiled here reflect both ends of the publishing spectrum, from the
most anthologized essays to some of the more obscure book reviews. It includes articles
from Time Magazine and reviews available only in Europe. Although each critique
weighs differently in its ability to impact the masses, they are each an important
contribution to the political atmosphere we are trying to recapture.
Furthermore, I recognize the complications imposed by postmodernist
interrogations of the terms "Negro," "Black" and "African-American" to describe the
descendants of imported Africans in America, but within the context of this report-for
the purpose of simplification-these terms are used interchangeably. Similarly, "queer"
and "homosexual" are both used herein to describe same-sex romantic love, sexual
intercourse and any related tendencies.
In the history of mi einieli-century American letters it would be hard to find another
figure more simultaneously praised and damned, often by the same critic in the
same essay, than James Baldwin. Lynn Orilla Scott, Witness to the Journey
In May 1963, James Baldwin graced the cover of Time magazine under a banner
which reads "Birmingham and Beyond: The Negro's Push For Equality." By placing him
on the cover Time conveys that he is an important person, one who should be recognized
and heeded. However by the time the article reaches its conclusion we find that
Baldwin's implied authority has seeped out of the story.
While the article ostensibly chronicles the progress and impediments of the Civil
Rights Movement, it also serves to critique the tactics of certain prominent figures. The
first half focuses on the riots in Birmingham, Alabama earlier that month: water hoses,
boycotts, 'bombingham,' sit-ins, and paddy wagons. Public Safety Commissioner 'Bull'
Connor was villianized to some extent for his abuse of authority and the local press was
chided for burying the story. We are told that Martin Luther King, Jr. (described as "the
Negroes' spiritual but sometimes inept leader" (23)), along with attorneys, met with local
businessmen to negotiate, among other things, the desegregation of store facilities and the
initiation of full occupational inclusion for people of color. "Yet at the same time" the
writer tells us, "Negro Leader King could be criticized for using children as shock troops
and for inciting the protests even as a new, relatively moderate city administration was
about to take over Birmingham" (25). Next, the "chain reaction" to King's hasty
campaign is mapped:
New lunch-counter sit-ins started in Atlanta, Nashville, and Raleigh. The NAACP
called for peaceful sympathy demonstrations in 100 cities. Jackie Robinson... said
he would go to Birmingham to join the Negro Protest. So did Floyd Patterson.
Communism was having a field day. ...Perhaps most baleful of all, the Black
Muslim movement within the U.S. Negro community took full recruiting
That last sentence transitions the focus toward another gathering storm of Negroes-the
separatists brewing in the North. "Now Malcolm X, top Eastern torchbearer of the
militant movement, could only sneer at Martin Luther King's gospel of nonviolence" (25,
emphasis added). The reader is then assured that black nationalists and the likes of Bull
Connor do not represent the majority of either race. "There are many other positions, and
there is a long gaping valley of confusion and diffusion. It is a great, uncharted space
where leaders follow and followers lead, for there is no certainty of plan or purpose there.
[But there is hope!] Negro author James Baldwin has illuminated this grey gulf with bolts
of intellectual lightning" (25). The writer spends several pages elucidating Baldwin's
philosophies through extensive quotes from The Fire Next Time.
Leading up to this part of the article the writer has compared/contrasted the racial
ideologies and tactics of differing leaders: King fights for inclusion and fairness through
civil disobedience and economic disruption; Malcolm X advocates a fully exclusive
Black State through inverted supremacist oratory. But when we get to the discussion of
James Baldwin, there is a slight change in the writer's rhetorical direction. Readers are
assured that although he may be as visible as the other spokesmen, Baldwin "is not, by
any stretch of the imagination, a Negro leader. He tries no civil rights cases in the courts,
preaches from no pulpit, devises no stratagems for sit-ins, Freedom Riders or street
Upon further reading, we can infer that it is not Baldwin's lack of leadership ability
that is considered dubious, but his (lack of perceived) masculinity. King and Malcolm's
physiques were not even mentioned, yet Baldwin's appearance and mannerisms are
described at length. Presented as "a nervous, slight, almost fragile figure" (26) we might
say that he is situated as the un-King. Baldwin has renounced his Pentecostal religion
while King is a married Baptist minister and father, whose persona is, paradoxically,
chastely virile. According to Time, Baldwin is full of vices. Notice the discursive linking
(and the coupling of objectivity with the subjective) the writer makes of Baldwin's
mannerisms to his ability to reach people: "He is effeminate in manner, drinks
considerably, smokes cigarettes in chains, and he often loses his audience with overblown
arguments" (26, emphasis added).
Nevertheless, the writer offers Baldwin's social critique as a form of
enlightenment, a flashing bolt of clarity. Clearly, Time believes readers shouldfollow
Baldwin's thoughts or otherwise immerse themselves in his insights so that they, too, can
find their way safely across the 'grey gulf.' Yet the reader might leave this article
wondering what Baldwin's role is, since his guidance is considered tenuous. This type of
ambivalent discourse typifies the reception of Baldwin in the 1960s, especially in the
immediate aftermath (but surely extends beyond) of the publication of his third novel
Another Country. Often his perceived queerness led to a contaminated view of his
Fast forward to the present. In a burgeoning revival of academic interest in
Baldwin's contributions, scholars have begun to revisit this text. Many decry the
homophobia emanating from the negative reviews of Another Country as the leading
culprit in the denunciation the book received.1 So says Lynn Orilla Scott: "it remains very
difficult to sort out aesthetic judgments from political [ones] when discussing Baldwin's
reception because they are so deeply interconnected" (10). It is my observation that,
while homophobia absolutely serves as impetus in the discursive lynching of Baldwin as
novelist (barring Evidence of Things Not Seen his essays are unfalteringly praised),
scholars have failed to recognize that the noose is tied with a double-knot. Just as the
writer in Time reveals his ideas of what constitutes a Negro Leader by his dismissal of
Baldwin's effeminate body as leadership material, many critics of Another Country
expose a weakness in their critical ideology: underlying essentialist notions of what
constitutes a Negro and/or Negro Writer often inhibits their critical judgment.
On the surface this concept may not convey its complexity or distinction from what
scholars have already acknowledged to some extent. For example in her chapter
"Baldwin's Reception and the Challenge of His Legacy," Scott recognizes that Baldwin
spent time on two crosses: "around the same time [he] was being condemned by white
liberals for his black militancy, he was being condemned by black militants for his
homosexuality" (12). However, deeper digging reveals that it was never so simply black
and white. Whether the reader identified as a black or white, left or right wing, militant or
conservative, Baldwin's authorial identity was constantly being defined in relation to the
critics' preconceived notions of race. What I wish to demonstrate here is that entwined
with an overt aversion to homosexuality was the (sometimes) subtle objection to
Baldwin's performance of blackness in art.
1 The most recent roundup of homophobic reviews can be found in "Critical Deviance: Homophobia and
the Reception of James Baldwin's Fiction" by Emmanuel Nelson. Journal ofAmerican Culture 14, no. 3
Though Baldwin may have been obscure outside of literary circles before 1963, he
was far from a struggling artist when the Time article was written. His 1949 essay
"Everybody's Protest Novel" is widely notorious for the "art vs. protest" debate it
motivated among literati. Also, using his Christian fundamentalist family culture as the
portal into his narrative space, he emerged as a novelist in 1952 with Go Tell It on the
Mountain. In highly reductive terms, Mountain is a bildungsroman in which a young
black boy struggles with his domineering minister father, and his father's obvious
preference for the older son. The protagonist also guiltily recognizes his homosexual
attraction to another young boy who is also the beloved golden boy of the father's church.
Critics generally ignored the subtext and hailed it as a masterpiece of modernist form and
His second novel, Giovanni's Room (1956), was sensationalized for its homosexual
drama, which critiques and deconstructs American myths of masculinity (and femininity
to some extent). This novel stands out as Baldwin's overt attempt to write himself out of
the box designated for Negro writers. There are no black characters and the story is set in
Paris. David, the central character, is an American who visits Paris to 'find himself.' His
fiance Hella travels to Spain to do the same. While apart from his girlfriend, David
begins a love affair with the handsome bartender Giovanni. When forced to make a
choice David leaves Giovanni, but in his mourning for Giovanni he eventually loses
Hella as well. It was a best seller.
Another Country was also a favorite among the populace. Commonly described as
Baldwin's "most ambitious novel," it is a bit more complicated tale of love and passion.
Set in New York City, the characters and their relationships are representative of black
and white; male and female; married and unmarried; homosexual, bisexual, and
heterosexual. First there is Rufus, a jazz drummer from Harlem who has become jaded
and callous from his experiences with racist society. He is friends with Vivaldo, an
Italian-American Brooklynite and struggling writer who spends much time in Harlem's
jazz scene; Cass and Richard Silenski: she is a WASP and he an English teacher and
novelist; and Eric, an actor from Alabama who has made his home and career in Paris
and who is in a relationship with a young French boy, Yves. He is also Rufus' ex-lover.
During his heyday in hip circles Rufus meets and moves in with Leona a southern white
girl. His disenchantment with his world makes him highly destructive to Leona and
ultimately to himself. The emotional and physical beatings he inflicts on her lead to her
institutionalization. His shame and internal torment send him into hiding from his old
crowd. He wanders the streets of the city dirty and hungry, selling his body to white men
in exchange for food. Eventually he jumps to his death from the George Washington
Bridge, as did Baldwin's childhood friend on whom Rufus is based. It is around Rufus'
death that the others come together and their journey into love and self-reflection begins.
When it was published in June 1962 it flew from the shelves.
On the heels of this success came the November 1962, "Letter From a Region in
My Mind" in The New Yorker, which catapulted him into celebrity among the highbrow
liberals. "For this fusion of autobiography, American history and global politics into a
document as personal as the blood coursing through his veins, Baldwin received $6500-
and a reputation as the most valuable literary property in the country. Almost overnight,
with the New Yorker 's prestige undoubtedly furnishing some of the booster power, the
piece rocketed into prominence; it was required reading among in-groups, and its
author's name became a national byword" (Eckman 169).
In January 1963, that essay was reprinted as "Down at the Cross" along with "My
Dungeon Shook: Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the
Emancipation." Together they were called The Fire Next Time and released into the
awaiting hands of those who did not subscribe to the New Yorker. It spent forty-one
weeks in the top five on the non-fiction bestseller lists and won the George Polk
Memorial Award for outstanding magazine reporting. One member of Dell Publishing
remembers, "whites loved to hear him blast whites" (Weatherby 236). And blast them he
did. The popular demand for his views on racism and integration led to a lecture/debate
circuit in the U.S. South and western states. In addition to lectures, he attended television
appearances, radio addresses and press interviews. All of these tours focused on the
struggle for civil rights by African Americans. Baldwin reasoned it" all happened
because I'm a writer, [but] not because people read that much. The country is going
through a crisis and I've been thrown up as this kind of public figure because I'm the top
'Negro writer' in the country-whatever that means...but I'm still trying to speak just for
me, not for twenty million people" (Standley and Burt 32).
Yet he was asked to represent the African-American perspective at every turn. In
1965, for example, he was invited to England to reach his broader audience. "Baldwin
and William F. Buckley, Jr., the witty articulate, conservative editor of the right-wing
National Review, confronted each other at Cambridge University before more than seven
hundred British students crowded into a high-ceilinged debating chamber, with five
hundred more in a bar, a library and other college rooms watching over closed-circuit
TV. Baldwin and Buckley, roughly the same age and from extremes of American society,
debated the notion, "The American Dream is at the Expense of the American Negro"
During his most famous and prosperous period he traipsed across the country and
overseas to propagate the need for America to own up to its crimes against its black
citizens. His name and face became almost as synonymous with the struggle for
liberation as King's. This would eventually change. Some writers have suggested that
Baldwin's refusal to closet his sexual orientation is the main reason he was not allowed to
speak on the famous March on Washington with the rest of King's inner circle.
Whatever you describe to another person is also a revelation of who you are and
who you think you are. You cannot describe auylhiiig n iiltht betraying your point
of view, your aspirations, yourfears, your hopes. Everything. -James Baldwin
While Baldwin's fiction career was publicly eclipsed by his fame as an essayist and
spokesperson, academic types and literary critics were weighing in on Country. "Baldwin
has said directly enough that Negroes hate white people," notes Granville Hicks in one of
the first reviews, "[i]t is, however, one thing to say that hatred exists and another to make
it palpable, as he so magnificently does... "(Saturday Review). In phrases that were more
prophetic than he could have known, Hicks expresses how reactions to the themes of
interracial sex and homosexual love might distort some people's view of Baldwin's
artistic endeavor: "He is not only a powerful writer; he has become a skilled craftsman. I
hope that, in the controversy the book is bound to arouse, his great gifts as a novelist will
not be overlooked" (152). Of course "greatness" is in the eye of the beholder.
What we will find is that Baldwin's skills are often acclaimed in direct proportion
to how well he satisfies the critic's expectations. And since Baldwin is a black man who
is also homosexual, disapproval of his work is consistently related to notions of race and
masculinity. For example, Robert A. Bone exalts Go Tell It on the Mountain as
Baldwin's very best work and immediately shelves it next to other writers of color. "It
ranks with Jean Toomer's Cane, Richard Wright's Native Son, and Ralph Ellison's
Invisible Man as a major contribution to American fiction. One senses in [it] a
confidence, control, and mastery of style that he has not attained again in the novel form"
After a brief exposition of this great novel and (what he feels is) its not-so-great
successor, Giovanni's Room, he moves to the work of our focus, which he characterizes
as "a failure on the grand scale" (41). "The plot consists of little more than a series of
occasions of talk and fornication," Bone explains, "[and] since the latter is a limited
vehicle for the expression of complex ideas, talk takes over, and the novel drowns in a
torrent of rhetoric" (41). After offering a brilliant (and somewhat cynical) exposition of
the novel's philosophical underpinnings, he launches into this searing elitist attack:
What dramatic materials are employed to invest these themes with life? A
Greenwich Village setting and a hipster idiom ("Beer dad, then we'll split"). A
square thrown in for laughs. A good deal of boozing, and an occasional stick of tea.
Some male cheesecake ("He bent down to lift off the scarlet bikini"). Five orgasms
(two interracial and two homosexual) or approximately one per eighty pages...
Distracted by this nonsense, how can one attend to the serious business of the
What immediately strikes us is his differentiation of normal orgasms from the 'other'
types he lists. By doing so, Mr. Bone raises an interesting question here. With all of this
preoccupation with the number/types of orgasms, how can he convey the seriousness of
the work? I submit that he cannot. Before we decide for sure we should observe that his
main objections so far are the bohemian culture around which the conceptual framework
is built and the unapologetic homosexuality. He explains that
For most readers...the difficulty will lie in accepting Eric as a touchstone of reality.
Let us consider the overall design. Rufus is portrayed as the victim of a white
society that cannot face unpleasant truths. The redemptive role is then assigned to
Eric. But few will concede a sense of reality at least in the sexual realm, to one who
regards heterosexual love as "a kind of superior calisthenics" (Country 336). To
most, homosexuality will seem rather an evasion than an affirmation of truth.
Ostensibly, the novel summons us to reality. Actually it substitutes for the illusions
of white supremacy those of homosexual love. (46)
It must be acknowledged that this critique reeks of heteronormativity, but furthermore it
may mislead the reader about the passage it quotes. In this particular episode, Eric is
explaining to Vivaldo the differences he experiences sexually with male and female
partners. His sexual activity is not limited to men, but his romantic love indeed is. The
reason sex with Cass is compared to calisthenics is because, Eric says, "It's a great
challenge, a great test, a great game. But I don't really feel that -terror-and that anguish
and that joy I've sometimes felt with-a few men. Not enough of myself is invested." So
he is not saying, as Bone accuses, that heterosexual love is inferior, but that for a gay
man, heterosexual sex leaves him wanting. He is trying to convey his sense of reality. For
Eric sex with a woman requires an increased focus on the physical because it lacks the
emotional connection, therefore perhaps making it a more rigorous performance.
Baldwin knew what Americans generally believed about same-sex relationships,
mainly that they were not relationships at all but a series of empty shameful trysts. He
replaces that perception with new conceptions of diverse masculine subjectivities. Every
novelist is, to some extent, a rhetorician who "finds some of the beliefs on which a full
appreciation of his work depends come ready-made, fully accepted by the postulated
reader as he comes to the book, and some must be implanted or reinforced" (Booth 177).
The beliefs Baldwin attempts to 'implant' pertain to the souls of men beyond the sexual
act. His work demonstrates his deep and profound understanding that heterosexual
activity is not necessarily symptomatic of a heterosexual identification. Eric is answering
questions that Baldwin anticipates from his readers and is speaking a version of truth that
many people had not heard at that time.
Nevertheless, the implausibility that a man can only fully commit to love with
another man is not a reason Bone gives for deeming this novel unsuccessful: "To
understand the failure of... Country we must trace the connection between his sexual
rebellion, his religious conceptions and his style,"(48). Here is where Bone's ideas about
masculinity reveal themselves and can be linked to his critical ideology of blackness. In
keeping with his reading of this as a 'negro novel,' he traces Baldwin's use of religious
imagery and jazz bar settings as representative of the "consecrated and profane" binaries
available "from the Negro world" (49). The heart of his critique lies in his description of
Baldwin's artistic performance in this novel as "deliberately shocking" ("blasphemous"
even) and therefore juvenile; and indicative of Baldwin's status as an oppressed minority.
Bone posits that Baldwin's language sometimes "hardens into Garveyism," which he
defines as "emotional and rhetorical excess, and often the extravagant fantasies, to which
an embattled minority may resort in promoting its own defense" (47).
As for what makes this rhetorical approach juvenile, we are, inevitably it seems,
looped back into a discussion about masculinity. According to Bone, Baldwin's treatment
of controversial themes exploits the fascination of the forbidden, like a cheap film
aimed at the teen-age trade. Indeed, if the style proclaims the man, we are cide'ilig n il/h an
adolescent: who else gets his kicks from the violation of taboo?" (50). Baldwin's art is
somehow reflective of his manhood. According to Bone these types of homosexual (and
cross-racial) indulgences commonly, but temporarily, distract the young man en route to
a well-adjusted sexuality. A mature masculinity necessitates that he recognize this
divergence as adolescent rebellion and that he re-direct his energy into women,
preferably those within his race.
In his final judgment, Bone finds no redeeming qualities in this narrative and he
suggests that Baldwin too needs rehabilitation. This portrayal of masculinity is
"symptomatic of a severe crisis in Baldwin 's life and art... [since] He has already
devoted two novels to his sexual rebellion... The future now depends on his ability to
transcend the emotional reflexes of his adolescence" (51). The attempt to create a new
vision of society is nothing less than Baldwin's failure to develop into full manhood-
emotionally and artistically.
Sometimes the evidence is not so obvious. In 1964 George E. Kent penned
"Baldwin and the Problem of Being," a thematic survey that draws from his essays and
fiction. It is a thoroughly researched article that investigates the underlying existentialist
philosophy in Baldwin's work. He too is very pleased with Baldwin's earlier works. He
expounds upon how Mountain "investigates, with warmth and perception, the Negro's
possibility of achieving identity through the discipline of Christianity," and he finds its
style "richly evocative...of Joyce and Faulkner, the rhythms of the old time Negro
sermon and the King James Bible (21).
But the joy ends there. In what has become a recurring melody in the majority of
the evaluations presented here, Kent sings the praises of Baldwin's debut novel, but is
disturbed by what he considers to be Baldwin's "preoccupation with sex and love as
instruments in the achievement of full being" (22) in Giovanni's Room and Country.
Lamenting that Mountain's successors fail to suspend his disbelief as a reader, he cloaks
his inability to identify with the characters in compelling arguments about the "staginess"
and "theatricality" of the text. The discussion of Country begins with a particularly
derogatory force. "To make it a serious novel of first rank," he declares, "would demand
severe cutting and some intensive re-writing" (25). As one writer put it, the same need for
editing is true for War andPeace, yet it is still considered serious literature.
First Kent requests flawless balance in character development. "One trouble with
the scheme" he contends, "is that so few characters exemplify the complexity contended
for them. Rufus, Ida, and Eric are the more adequately developed characters. The rest are
not projected far enough beyond the level of nice, erring people" (27). One can disagree
with this assessment but not truly disprove it, for it is simply a man's opinion. Plus it is
not the goal of this project to argue with the critics. However, Wayne C. Booth does warn
against making this demand of authors. "Even among characters of equal moral,
intellectual, or aesthetic worth, all authors inevitably take sides. ... But who cares? The
novelist who chooses to tell this story cannot at the same time tell that story. In centering
our interest, sympathy, or affection on one character, he inevitably excludes from our
interest, sympathy, or affection some other character. Art imitates life in this respect..."
Kent denies that the "unconventional" sex is an issue for him. Rather, the problem
is that "in neither of these novels does [Baldwin] seem to create fully his fictional worlds
and characters" (24). Furthermore "[they] do not root themselves deeply enough to
become momentous in fictional terms, nor do they stand i/!h intensity for elemental
forces that we are forced to consider an inescapable part of our lib'\" (26). In other
words, these emotions and these types of situations do not leap from the page far enough
(or at all) to represent universality for Kent. During his trek into their world he never
fully surrenders his imagination to the story. It seems then that successful realism
requires some familiarity and for Kent certain alien characters remain otherworldly-no
matter where you place them on the planet.
We draw this conclusion by scrutinizing his earlier statements. It is interesting that
Mountain, the story of a pubescent church boy in Harlem, is 'provocative' and
reminiscent of certain American iconography. Yet the emotions of love and fear that arise
in interracial romance and bisexuality cannot root themselves deeply enough to be
considered inescapable elements of every human. In actuality, Kent tells us that neither
novel can do so. He posits Mountain as a story of 'the Negro 's possibility' as opposed to
man's. This distinction is subtle but substantial. Richard Dyer reminds us that the
"assumption that white people are just people, which is not far off saying that whites are
people whereas other coulours [sic] are something else, is endemic to white culture (2).
Blacks and gays were still marginal characters in mainstream literature in this decade and
where they did appear (outside of 'black' texts), they usually did so as caricatures that
reinforced the myths of starkly religious darkies. The family in Mountain would not be
too far of a stretch for the imagination weaned on Faulkner's longsuffering, mournful,
black family in The Sound and the Fury: "These others were not Compsons. They were
black: they endured" (215). Put simply, the subjectivities in Giovanni's Room and
Country may not, for this writer, be allowed to root themselves deeply enough to become
three dimensional because they are racialized and bothered at the outset. The type of black
masculinity represented in Mountain is the most common and the most acceptable.
The second layer of his rejection can be peeled away from his commentary on
Baldwin's writing style. His choice of descriptive phrases suggests something much more
The section concerned with Rufus' death and the attendance of his funeral is
excessive reportorial detail, sometimes theatrical, sometimes written at the level of
the women 's magazine. And the social criticism is inert, for the most part, a part of
the chatty reflections of a particular character or long clinical discussions. (26,
The scene in question marks the beginning of white characters Vivaldo and Cass'
confrontation with the world they have been insulated against and the lies they have told
themselves about freedom and opportunity. In a taxicab ride, Vivaldo recounts his
adolescent sexual violence against black boys, boys he suspects may have grown up to
carry hate in their eyes because of people like him. Cass recognizes the ambivalent,
fearful face of a new bride as the same one she wore on her wedding day. The reader is
then pulled back from the microcosmic scene the cab represents and shown a panoramic
view of the Harlem streets. The narrator tells us
It was not hard to imagine that horse carriages had once paraded proudly up this
wide avenue and ladies and gentlemen, ribboned, beflowered, brocaded, plumed,
had stepped down from their carriages to enter these houses which time and folly
had so blasted and darkened... At one time people had cared about these houses-
that was the difference; they had been proud to walk on this avenue; it had once
been home, whereas now it was prison... Then they turned off the Avenue, west,
crawled up a long, gray street. They had to crawl, for the street was choked with
unhurrying people and children kept darting out from between the cars which were
parked, for the length of the street, on either side. There were people on the stoops,
people shouting out of windows, and young men peered indifferently into the slow-
moving cab, their faces set ironically and their eyes unreadable. (115)
The point of this scene is that Cass and Vivaldo are beginning to see for the first time.
Kent's opinion that this style of writing is excessive is a valid critique, yet it seems that
Baldwin's famously petite physique is being critiqued along with his work. Kent is
snubbing Baldwin's queer body as an acceptable male authority-because queerness is
perceived as ladylike. His ideas about Baldwin's effeminate persona spill over into his
views of the queer characters as only partially realized in the text. It explains his frame of
reference when he compares this passage to a women's magazine and describes the
dialogue as 'chatty.' In our phallic culture, anything associated with traditionally
feminine qualities is considered a negative trait in a man. This writer seems haunted by a
lingering vision of Baldwin's effete corpus and it with this anxiety that he describes the
writing as "theatrical." Overall, we gather that in Kent's critical ideology, black writers
and characters can only represent their race and men's writing style should not lower
itself to the wordiness of its feminine counterpart.
There is an additional piece of evidence that may help us to understand why in
Kent's summation these novels "reflect a hiatus in [Baldwin's] artistic development"
(26). Consider the summary of his essay, in which subtleties are embedded in ambiguous
poetics about modernity:
Baldwin... confronts the modern consciousness amidst fluxions more talked about
than crystallized, and moving at considerable speed: elements of modern man
connoting fragmenting certainties eroded at the base, the succor for which has been
sought mainly in the vague horizons of the backward look. The workings of sex
amidst those fluxions are certainly...one major element in the choppy sea of our
minds, in which definable shapes seem to appear for the purpose of disappearing.
To define them artistically would seem to demand extraordinary effort indeed,
whether in traditional or experimental terms. ...He has not evolved the artistic form
that will fully release and articulate his obviously complex awareness. (27)
In what mode of writing or artistry can the complexity of modern consciousness be fully
released? Kent may actually be referring to 'certainties' of masculinity and the fluxionss'
of love and lust between men and races. A 'definable shape' of sexuality would require
that David be less tormented in choosing a partner in Giovanni's Room and the revolving
partners in Country revolve less around the homosexual Eric. Even if he is suggesting
that Baldwin create a new form of writing that would better suit these fluxions (and I do
not believe he is), this assertion betrays his desire for a more definitive (read: categorical)
and easily recognizable sexuality.
When the late 1960s ushered in a new era of rebellion, many began to reject
Baldwin's generation as too passive, and some considered their objectives dangerous to
African American culturess. Eventually the Black Power Movement and its Afrocentric
counterpart, The Black Arts Movement, became the prevalent rhetoric and aesthetic. The
tide began to sway away from the integrationist approach. This new generation
represented a blackness that was as separatist and menacing as Malcolm X and the Nation
of Islam. Molefi Kete Asante explains it this way: "Despite its successes, the age of
[Martin Luther] King was an age of contradictions within the African American
community. He saw himself standing between the apathetic and the nationalist. This was
his principal contradiction. It became impossible for him to stand between the population
and [sic]...unless he stood for someone else" (13, original italics). To the nationalist,
integration was a euphemism for absorption, and as such, not an answer to America's
racial issues. For this generation Baldwin's essays were representative of the waning old
school rhetoric. "If Baldwin had once served as a shadow delegate for black America in
the congress of culture, his term had expired" (Gates 11).
Eldridge Cleaver's "Notes on a Native Son" is the most notorious attack from the
nationalist camp. His reflections model the way Baldwin was at first revered and then
rejected by the newer wave in the struggle. More importantly, the rejection is based on a
race-specific rubric that is inextricable from its desire to quell homoerotic
representations. At first he
lusted for anything that Baldwin had written. It would have been a gas for me to sit
on a pillow beneath the womb of Baldwin's typewriter and catch each newborn
page as it entered this world of ours...He placed so much of my own experience,
which I thought I had understood, into new perspective... Gradually, however, I
began to feel uncomfortable about something in [him]. Then I read Another
Country, and I knew why my love for Baldwin's vision had become ambivalent.
According to this essay, Country was so unsettling for Cleaver that he felt compelled to
reevaluate all of Baldwin's work from this new, 'uncomfortable' space. "A rereading of
Nobody Knows My Name cannot help but convince the most avid of Baldwin's admirers
of the hatred for blacks permeating his writings" (67). Even though his argument for
Baldwin's apparent self-loathing is fraught with Cleaver's own sexual anxieties, we can
still manage to locate Cleaver's three main attacks on Baldwin's cultural authority.
He first castigates Baldwin for his bourgeois values, which positions him as one
whose success has come by way of separating himself from his African past:
In this land of dichotomies and disunited opposites, those truly concerned with the
resurrection of black Americans have had eternally to deal with black intellectuals
who have become their own opposites, taking on all of the behavior patterns of
their enemy, vices and virtues, in an effort to aspire to alien standards in all
respects. ... [T]he intellectual sycophant does not pretend to be other than he
actually is, but hates what he is and seeks to redefine himself in the image of his
white idols. He becomes a white man in a black body. A self-willed, automated
slave, he becomes the white man's most valuable tool in oppressing other blacks.
'Alien standards' may refer to the literary traditions by which Baldwin has been most
influenced: European and Anglo-American. Baldwin rejects the protest novel (most
clearly in his essays "Everybody's Protest Novel and "Many Thousands Gone") and often
referred to Henry James as the master craftsman. He also credits Dostoyevsky and
Dickens with shaping his ideas about character development (Standley and Pratt 246). An
Afrocentric paradigm, as propagated by Cleaver, requires that one consider African-ness
as the center of your consciousness, so to aspire to a European model is to become one's
Secondly, Cleaver interrogates Baldwin's ability to realistically represent black
culture vis-a-vis his narrative choices. He points out "a decisive quirk in Baldwin's
vision... which compelled Baldwin to slander Rufus Scott in Country..." (72). What is
specifically at stake for Cleaver is black masculinity. Baldwin commits slander by
miswriting or misrepresenting a black man as "a pathetic wretch who indulged in the
white man pastimee of committing suicide" (73). Black masculinity is under siege in
Baldwin's hands according to this logic, maliciously cornered and pushed into an
unnatural descent into complete hopelessness and bottomless despair. The crime
perpetrated against Rufus was in portraying him as too afraid to live.
Furthermore, when we study Cleaver's choice of qualifiers we find his belief that
Baldwin's fictional black homosexuals create a cultural oxymoron, by which he
"necessarily negates any claim... to an authentic 'black' experience" (Scott 13). Both
Baldwin and his texts are bereft of black values. Rufus "let a white bisexual fuck him in
the ass, and...took a Southern Jezebel for his woman," all of which combine to create the
"epitome of a black eunuch who has completely submitted to the white man" (73). Rufus
is highly sexually active, so by 'eunuch' Cleaver does not imply that Rufus' member has
been castrated but that he has relinquished his blackness (represented by domination)
through desire for and sex with white bodies. This is "a particularly curious assertion
because in the novel, though the homosexual nature of Rufus' relationship with Eric is
obvious, there is no indication of the occurrence of the sexual act to which Cleaver
alludes" (Nelson 94). Cleaver assumes that Rufus plays a submissive role in sexual
intercourse not only because it is homosexual intercourse but also because he can only
imagine black and white interaction in hierarchical terms-with whiteness always in
His third argument is that Rufus cannot represent black men because his sexuality
is nebulous. He has integrated sexually and emotionally with whiteness. It is a very
similar argument to the preceding one, perhaps a subcomponent of it. According to the
nationalist logic, racial integration cripples the black man's sense of self, which is why
Baldwin's quest for love between the races is representative of an identity crisis.
Recalling Baldwin's comments about the protest novel genre and Wright's Invisible Man
in particular, Cleaver positions the writers and their main characters as binaries of
blackness and masculinity. Notice his direct address to Baldwin:
As Baldwin has said in Nobody Knows My Name, "I think that I know something
about the American masculinity which most men of my generation do not know
because they have not been menaced by it in the way I have been." O.K., Sugar,
isn't it true that Rufus Scott, the weak, craven-hearted ghost...bears the same
relation to Bigger Thomas ...the black rebel of the ghetto and a man, as you
yourself bore to the fallen giant, Richard Wright, a rebel and a man?
(72, emphasis mine)
The dualism he establishes is in terms of style and message. Baldwin's message is
conveyed through conversations and interior monologues that articulate bitterness and
offer love as a path to healing across the racial divide (reveals desire, weakness).
Wright's novel portrays the dangerous effects of the divide. Bigger becomes a murderer
as a result of his fear of the alien whiteness he encounters when he finds himself outside
of the ghetto (displays strength). Baldwin's version of masculinity diametrically opposes
Wright's, not necessarily because it does not resist white supremacy, but because it, like
the leaders of the nonviolent movement, spends time explaining the anger and bitterness
to the white counterparts, which gives them a chance to redeem themselves. Cleaver
further explicates. "Rufus was a psychological freedom rider, turning the ultimate cheek"'
while Bigger was "a violent, though inept, rebellion against the stifling, murderous,
totalitarian white world. There was no trace in [him] of a Martin Luther King-type self-
effacing love for his oppressors" (73). It is not enough to portray the pain and suffering
that often becomes the violent rage of blackness. In this case Baldwin fails to adequately
perform blackness because of his alliances with white culture in life and in his art.
The first book review we will scrutinize comes from The Christian Science
Monitor. The writer exhibits a traditionally southern attitude in that his idea of a useful
black writer is one who makes his point without "stirring up" the good Negroes. "What is
the significance of this obscene and bitter book...?" Roderick Nordell asks his audience
(11). One can imagine him waving the book in the air. "In the first place it is written by a
man whom many consider the most gifted American Negro Writer, honored by the
National Conference of Christians and Jews and by Guggenheim, Ford and other
foundations." A writer of such high visibility and acclaim alarms this critic with "his
sordid story of whites and Negroes, Bohemians, homosexuality and miscegenation" (11).
He explains that the attention paid to Baldwin "represents an extreme mood of outrage
against whatever demeans the black man in America. To the degree that this mood is
growing-and there are signs that it is, particularly among Negro intellectuals-Mr.
Baldwin's new novel becomes important as a harsh textbook to feelings seldom
disclosed... The question is whether [he] is helping the situation or stirring it up..." (11).
Nordell warns readers (after fanning their racist flames) that the decadence in Country
seems "psychologically plausible" until Baldwin belaborss it to a point of nausea and
absurdity" (11). As in the cases above, homophobia is rearing its thorny head here, and
Nordell also makes clear that he longs for a particular version of black literature: "And it
makes [the reader] wish that Mr. Baldwin would turn his talent now to those healing
gestures across the barriers of race that are surely, in all conscience, more frequent in
actual life than the examples touchingly present in the brutal context of this book" (11).
Taking a similar approach, Robert Root cautions his presumably Christian audience
that Baldwin's new country is a "wasteland" and "jungle" that no God-fearing intellectual
should appreciate. "Take honor. Take loyalty. Take honesty and purity and diligence.
Take love. Take all virtue and exclude it from the characters you create and write a novel
about America, and you might have something like Another Country. Almost certainly
you will have 'another country' from that familiar to most readers of The Christian
Century" (1354). It must trouble these writers particularly that Baldwin's impact will be
felt far and wide because Root, too, makes a point of Baldwin's "repute as a leading
Negro writer [who] has been backed by Guggenheim, Saxton and other literary grants"
Root does take time to dissect the themes and style of the book before referring to
the lack of proper Negro-ness he observes, although he does move quickly into that
direction. "No religion illumines the wasteland. The myth of the Negro's religiosity is
further undermined by this novel, for none of its characters has any faith..." (1354). As
might be expected of a writer who is aware of his religious audience, Root demurs at the
rampant sexuality but bristles particularly at the bisexual character at its center: "Eric
becomes 'normal' long enough to commit adultery with the wife of a novelist friend and
2 I mention this only because the majority of the reviews gathered for this project simply launch into a
discussion of the book without assuming that the audience needs to be reminded of the author's fame.
then sandwiches Vivaldo in fleetingly before going back to his lover, the French boy
Yves, whose arrival in New York comprises the limp denouement" (1354). He finds
value in the "Negro view of Negro-white relations" but seems most saddened that
[i]f the book is mostly about Life and Sex, it is finally about Race. Here it is
especially disappointing. The Negroes' consciousness of their color poisons all
attempts at communications and love. Racism emerges as brutally absurd, a force
as irrational as the beating [in the novel] given a little boy by Negro boys who had
never before seen him. That Baldwin does not encompass the meaning of race-hate
more effectively seems an artistic failure. (1355)
Why would he find the racial component of the story especially disappointing? Is it an
artistic standard to which he would hold any writer? This case may not be as
unambiguous as the others but it is safe to conclude that Root looks to the black artist to
convey the complexities of racial prejudice better than any another categorized creative
As stated earlier, Baldwin was a transatlantic celebrity. He, like many of his
American contemporaries, moved to Paris in self-exile the 1940s. Rosa Bobia's The
Critical Reception of James Baldwin in France3 allows us to compare the European
reaction with those of the American detractors. She reports that Baldwin's public
participation in the black struggle and his book-length essays The Fire Next Time and
Nobody Knows My Name aroused French critics because his writing became more
militant and angrier (read: blacker). "[T]he perception of the contrast in tone from the
novel to essay forms the focal point of criticism of many French critics throughout the
sixties and seventies. This tone, closer to what had been [Richard] Wright's, caused for
the first time the French critic to identify Baldwin as a 'Black writer"' (26).
3 Although there is no reason to doubt the integrity of these interpretations, the majority (95% according to
Bobia) of the full versions of the French documents quoted in Bobia's text are inaccessible in the U.S. so
the translations examined here cannot be independently verified.
Interestingly, Bobia discovered that while it was usual for Black Francophone
writers and critics to respond differently than their white counterparts to African-
American literature, not one article on Baldwin by a black person could be traced before
the 1960s. She suggests that his work could not capture their attention until he began to
meet their standards. "[T]he disparity still existed between the Black and white critics
because the Black Francophone critics demanded more emphasis on the socio-political
concerns" (23). When they did begin to respond, she reports, his work was met with
mixed reviews. Because this project concerns itself with those writers who ultimately
rejected the novel, we will not discuss their more positive commentary.
Lucien Guissard postulates that it was not Country, but the radical language of the
essays and the international media blitz that garnered Baldwin attention outside of literary
What we can establish, is that Truman Capote, Carson McCullers, Jerome David
Salinger, William Stryon, John Updike, have an intellectual and limited public in
the United States and in France. Moreover, the Black writer James Baldwin, whose
essays...have caused a stir on both sides of the ocean, owes his notoriety to the
anti-racist struggle. One ignores that certain of his novels could have been written
by a white author. (26 emphasis mine)
Guissard establishes for us that Mountain and Giovanni's Room were considered regular
American (or unblack?) novels and that the early essays were testimonials to the black
experience. So when Country was translated into French (published as Un autre pays in
1963) critics there also allowed their notions of what should concern the black writer to
determine the direction of their reviews. It seems that on both continents Black Literature
is anticipated to only reflect Black Themes.
Many would simply frame the work in African-American cultural motifs. Bobia
points out that for some writers, "African American music continued to be a reference
point in their discussion of Baldwin's work" (39). Music enthusiast Alain Panel, for
example, insists that in Country, Baldwin mobilized all the modem and eternal themes
in the name of a liberty, which the bluesmen of Louisiana sought. The very essence of the
novel is a sort of gigantic development of a jazz theme" (38). Michel Gresset imbues
Rufus with "the immemorial tone of the lamentations of the singers of the blues" (39)
while Matthieu Galet emphasizes Negro spirituals but finally dismisses the novel as
"laborious" and "predictable" (40).
Apparently, unlike the shock value it held in the United States, interracial and
homosexual conjugations were so commonplace as to become banal for some of the
French audience. "One has the slight impression of following an algebra solfeggio
lesson," Galet laments, "A black man and a white woman; a white woman and white
man; a Black woman and a white man; a Black man and a Black woman, etc." (40).
Other critics who found similarities to the novels written by black citizens of
France and of the former French colonies express their impatience with the diasporic
Two kinds of novels [that] repeatedly rehash the same thing irritate the reader. The
Algerian with his diplomas who wants to get established] in France but does not
go through with it, and the Black man from the United States with the same
diplomas, who wants to get established in the white world and renounces. We have
read and reread this story adnauseum; we know the lively and the monotonous
moments, the interludes, the steamy chapter, the epilogue. The setting
varies...these four hundred pages are only a new plea for integration. (Bobia 40)
As in America, some critics decided that the stylistic differences in Baldwin's
fiction and nonfiction could be explained in racial terms. According to Bobia, "Pierre
Dommergues is one who dismissese] the novel and dispense[s] with a full review"(39).
He minces no words in his essentialist views:
While Baldwin's essays reveal the racial preoccupations of the author, in the
novels, there is a disengagement of these passions. The style of the novels is pale,
like the novel itself is colorless. The contradiction with Baldwin is that he writes
'white' novels (by their style, and subject) while the essays are 'Black' [-]
profoundly committed and written in a flamboyant language. (39)
Baldwin's subjects in his novels, depending on which scholar you ask, are racial healing,
self love, finding one's own truth about the intersections of love, race and sexuality, and
man's (not to be confused with mankind's) search for the self. In his own words, his
particular aim in writing Country was "to show how a difference in skin color between
two lovers could corrupt everything, even the most sincere and intimate feelings" (Arts
4). Dommergues does not believe these are the "passions" of black people and his idea of
black style can be likened to a verbal zoot suit.
In a similar vein (though not in complete agreement), Auguste Viatte is troubled by
the foul language and sexual transgression littered throughout Country. It is not that the
novel is white, but that the black style is taken to an uncomfortable extreme. "Even in a
situation without any relationship with the Black question," he carps, "the morbid scenes
[and] the obscenities are in abundance" (41). Viatte and Dommergues fall into that great
majority for whom the sphere of blackness is imagined as a space of 'natural' flagrancy
and obscenity. Bobia illuminates that "Baldwin's linguistic impropriety would seem to be
admissible only if used when writing of racial issues" (41) and it is clear that the
standards change-even for the 'black' writer-outside of that space. The notable
difference from the American detractors is that neither masculinity nor sexuality becomes
a major concern in the French context. Homophobia does not overwhelmingly thwart the
attempt to analyze, essentialized notions of race do. This is evidenced in the fact that they
mostly disagree on whether Baldwin meets their standards for African-American
When studied under a microscope, Baldwin's so-called "era of decline" can be
better described as the era of critical deviation that Emmanuel Nelson suggests it was.
Nelson's article highlights how critics who recoiled from the homosexuality in the novel
could not limit their condemnation to the narrative. They would begin by making critical
observations about the writing style and thematic content, but would digress into tirades
against the integrity of a queer protagonist or the usefulness of rage. My project further
reveals that in these discussions about Another Country, prevailing constructs of
masculinity, sexuality and race were always subtly or overtly in play-not just
homophobia. This knowledge creates an interstice in which we can reassess their
judgments about Baldwin's artistry and perhaps mitigate the impact their words have had
on later scholars.
Ultimately, no matter where a critic stood on the issue of black authenticity,
whether blackness was believed compliant or aggressive, Baldwin's performance of it in
his life and his life's work often inspired anxiety. No matter how thickly cemented the
borders of prescribed masculinity were, Baldwin continually slipped through the cracks
and challenged the reader to take up his consciousness and follow him. He continues to
challenges us to reconsider what we think we know about people and ourselves. Although
negative reviews may have crippled his relationship to mainstream audiences, Baldwin
made it clear that he expected nothing less than a raucous reception to his writing. He
realized that the work of consciousness-raising is inherently antagonizing for the intended
audience. Baldwin put it this way:
... [A]ll societies have battled with that incorrigible disturber of the peace-the
artist. [He] is distinguished from all other responsible actors in society-the
politicians, legislators, educators, and scientists-by the fact that he is his own test
tube, his own laboratory, working according to very rigorous rules, however
unstated these may be, and cannot allow any consideration to supersede his
responsibility to reveal all that he can possibly discover concerning the mystery of
the human being. The artist cannot and must not take anything for granted but must
drive to the heart of every answer and expose the question the answer hides."
(Price of the Ticket 316)
It is in the spirit of Baldwinian discovery and exposition that we continue our drive
toward the question of James Baldwin's legacy.
Asante, Molefi Kete. Afrocentricity. Trenton: Africa World Press, Inc., 1988.
Baldwin, James. Another Country. New York: Random House Publishing, 1960.
Baldwin, James. The Price of the Ticket. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985.
Bobia, Rosa. The Critical Reception of James Baldwin in France. New York: Peter Lang
Bone, Robert A. "James Baldwin." The Negro Novel in America, rev. ed. New Haven:
Yale University Press, 1965. Rpt. in Kinnamon 28-51.
Booth, Wayne. The Rhetoric ofFiction, 2nd ed. Chicago: The U of Chicago P., 1983.
Campbell, James. Talking at the Gates: A Life of James Baldwin. New York: Penguin
Cleaver, Eldridge. "Notes on a Native Son." Soul On Ice. New York: Dell Publishing
Company, Inc., 1968. 97-111. Rpt. in Kinnamon 66-76.
Dommergues, Pierre. Ecrivains americains d'aujourd'hui. Paris: Presses Universitaires
de France, 1995. Qtd. in Bobia 39.
Dyer, Richard. White. New York: Routledge, 1997.
Eckman, Fern Marja. The Furious Passage of James Baldwin. New York: M. Evans &
Company, Inc., 1966.
Faulkner, William. The Sound and the Fury. New York: W.W. Norton & Company,
1994, 1929. A Norton Critical Edition, 2nd Ed.
Galet, Matthieu. "Une sorte de gene." Arts 13 (19 January 1965): 5. Qtd in Bobia 40.
Gates, Henry Louis Jr. Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man. New York: Random
Gresset, Michel. Nouvel observateur (31 December 1964): 13. Qtd in Bobia 39.
Guissard, Lucien. "Aux U.S.A. une nouvelle generation d'ecrivains." La Croix (4
December 1964): 5. Qtd. in Bobia 26.
Hicks, Granville. "Outcasts in a Caldron of Hate." Saturday Review 45 (1962): 21. Rpt.
in Standley and Burt 149-152.
"James Baldwin en France, la couleur ne colle pas a ma peau." Arts 30 (September 6-
October 1964): 4. Qtd in Bobia 39.
Kent, George E. "Baldwin and the Problem of Being." CLA Journal 7.3 (1964): 202-14.
Rpt. in Kinnamon 16-27.
Kinnamon, Keneth, ed. James Baldwin: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood
Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1974.
Nelson, Emmanuel. "Critical Deviance: Homophobia and the Reception of James
Baldwin's Fiction." Journal ofAmerican Culture 14.3 (1991): 91-96.
Nordell, Roderick. "Old and New Novels on Racial Themes." Christian Science Monitor
(19 July 1962): 11.
O'Daniel, Therman B., ed. James Baldwin: A Critical Evaluation. Washington, D.C.:
Howard University Press, 1977.
Penel, Alain. "Une saison en literature." La Tribune de Geneve (11 December 1964):13.
Qtd. in Bobia 38.
"Races: Freedom-Now." Time 81 (May 17, 1963): 23-27.
"Review of Another Country by James Baldwin." Libre Belgique (27 N ovember 1964):
Root, Robert. "It's a Wasteland" (Review of Another Country by James Baldwin).
Christian Century 79.45 (7 November 1962): 1354-55.
Scott, Lynn Orilla. James Baldwin's Later Fiction: Witness to the Journey. East Lansing:
Michigan State University Press, 2002.
Standley, Fred L., and Nancy V. Burt, Eds. Critical Essays on James Baldwin. Boston:
G.K. Hall and Company, 1988.
Standley, Fred L., and Louis H. Pratt, Eds. Conversations iiih James Baldwin. Jackson:
University Press of Mississippi, 1989.
Sylvander, Carolyn Wedin. James Baldwin. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing
Viatt, Auguste. Livres et lectures (September 1965): 9.
Watkins, Mel, "James Baldwin Writing and Talking." New York Times Book Review 23
(September 1979): 3.
Weatherby, W.J. James Baldwin Artist on Fire. New York: Dell Publishing, 1989.
Marlon Moore obtained her Bachelor of Arts in English from The University of
North Florida in 2001. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in African American
Literature at the University of Florida.