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Giovanni's Room (1956)

por James Baldwin

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

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5,5211261,861 (4.18)361
"Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality."--Page 4 of cover.
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Inglês (121)  Alemão (1)  Italiano (1)  Hebraico (1)  Holandês (1)  Todas as línguas (125)
Mostrando 1-5 de 125 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Absolute gem to start 2015 off. Riveting. ( )
  kvschnitzer | Apr 12, 2024 |
I just didn’t feel as deeply as I thought I would about this book. As a queer person I do understand the complexity of what he was going through with choosing but overall he just kind of seemed like a dick and all the men seemed to hate women. Just not a vibe for me. ( )
  kfick | Mar 31, 2024 |
A masterpiece,very smart and moving. A very great book. ( )
  alans | Mar 29, 2024 |
This tale, set in Paris, tells a sad story of an American man whose girlfriend is traveling on vacation in Spain. He meets an Italian bartender Giovanni and falls in love. At the time, such love is illegal in America, and while not illegal in France, it is culturally shunned. Renowned author James Baldwin captures what such social oppression can do to an innocent, loving relationship in that era. It ostensibly details a romantic tragedy while implicitly it begs for better social conditions for homosexuals.

Recent decades have witnessed a change in social attitudes about homosexuality. Indeed, I have witnessed a change in my own attitudes about homosexuality. While much work remains to be done, we, in the west, at least, have become more accepting and understanding of the unique dilemmas such love poses. And we have widened and deepened by seeing that such love is a universal human love. Yes, love is love is love.

Baldwin’s telling brings us back to a different era. Written and set in the 1950s, Baldwin documents an all-too-typical plot line. All too frequently in that time, love becomes impossible, self-love becomes impossible, and conforming to society becomes impossible. Baldwin shows us the consequences and cost in lost human life. In this story, Giovanni’s room, once a haven for love, becomes a reason for haunting, not just for two human lives but for everyone impacted by the relationship. In eloquent terms, it reminds us that we all bear tragic consequences when we don’t prioritize love first.

I’m a cisgender, heterosexual white male in America. In other words, I have a lot of privilege. Reading this story helped bring the inner lives of various friends to life. Without having to delve into a painful, personal dialogue, it told me of some of the cost they have born just for being themselves. In a democracy where a homophobic backlash is only a charismatic politician away, moving books like Baldwin’s can help us remember why we’ve taken the steps we have and why we must never go back. ( )
  scottjpearson | Mar 10, 2024 |
David is desperately trying to find himself in the years following the Second World War. As a young American man who is confused about so many things—his professional future, a strained relationship with his father, his sexual orientation—he has escaped to Paris where he meets Hella, another ex-pat from the United States. David proposes to Hella despite not really loving her; she responds by leaving for Spain to think things over. In her absence, David makes the acquaintance of Giovanni, a young Italian man working in a prominent gay bar. The two men strike up a friendship and, soon enough, they become lovers, although David’s confusion over his identity prevents him from fully committing to the relationship. As he has no other financial means, David moves into Giovanni’s small one-room apartment, where he allows himself to explore his true feelings and attitudes for the first time. However, when Hella returns from Spain to accept his marriage proposal, David leaves Giovanni in a cruel and heartbreaking way, which sets the latter on a destructive path that ultimately leads him to commit a tragic act. The story ends with David being a lot sadder but not any wiser, while Giovanni awaits his final fate.

In Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin has crafted a taut, masterful examination of the myriad pitfalls that befall someone on their journey to personal enlightenment. The author was justly celebrated for developing themes of race, class, and sexual orientation in his writing and this book stands out for its focus on the dilemmas and introspections of an all-white cast of characters. That becomes a powerful stylistic choice that allows the story to concentrate on David’s struggle to come to grips with his own definition of masculinity and the shame that drives his daily behaviors without conflating those subjects with issues of racial identity. In a novel written about seven decades ago, I can only imagine that these were extremely controversial topics that were neither vogue nor comfortable to confront. The tale is told from David’s first-person perspective, in both flashbacks and the present tense, which is frequently the choice of a writer who wants to present the reader with an unreliable narrator. And, to be sure, David is a very unreliable narrator, if only because he knows—or is willing to accept—so little about himself. The gritty realism and melancholy tone of Giovanni’s Room make it a difficult novel to read at times, but it is rightly considered a classic and one that has definitely stood the test of time. ( )
  browner56 | Dec 3, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 125 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
what draws lovers of the book to its story of betrayal and the possibility of redemption through truth and, ultimately, to the question of the body as home, is the vision of Baldwin stumbling through it, sure-footed and alone, walking toward the idea that love may come attached with different ideas of what it should look like, feel like, but in the end, it’s what you do with its responsibilities that renders you genderless — and human.
adicionada por danielx | editarNew York Times, Hilton Als (May 5, 2019)
 
adicionada por gsc55 | editarHearts on Fire, Delta (May 11, 2013)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (20 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Baldwin, Jamesautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Butler, DanNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Phillips, CarylIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Prinsen, G.A.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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"Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality."--Page 4 of cover.

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