James Baldwin Now

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One of the most prolific and influential African American writers, James Baldwin was for many a harbinger of hope, a man who traversed the genres of art-writing novels, essays, and poetry.

James Baldwin Now takes advantage of the latest interdisciplinary work to understand the complexity of Baldwin's vision and contributions without needing to name him as exclusively gay, expatriate, black, or activist. It was, in fact, Baldwin who said, "it is quite impossible to write a ...

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Overview

One of the most prolific and influential African American writers, James Baldwin was for many a harbinger of hope, a man who traversed the genres of art-writing novels, essays, and poetry.

James Baldwin Now takes advantage of the latest interdisciplinary work to understand the complexity of Baldwin's vision and contributions without needing to name him as exclusively gay, expatriate, black, or activist. It was, in fact, Baldwin who said, "it is quite impossible to write a worthwhile novel about a Jew or a Gentile or a Homosexual, for people refuse . . . to function in so neat and one-dimensional a fashion." McBride has gathered a unique group of new scholars to interrogate Baldwin's life, his presence, and his political thought and work. James Baldwin Now finally addresses the man who spoke, and continues to speak, so eloquently to crucial issues of the twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This excellent volume conceives of Baldwin as a figure crucial to discussions of whiteness, sexuality, and globalization. The times are ripe for the valuable reconsideration of Baldwin that James Baldwin Now provides."

-Jennifer DeVere Brody,George Washington University

Booknews
American English scholars not only explore new ways of thinking about the prolific and influential African-American writer, but also open up new ways in which his work helps clarify many contemporary societal problems. In 14 essays they examine him in the context of race, sexuality, the transatlantic, intertexuality, and the literary. Many but not all center their discussion around a particular literary work. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814756171
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1999
  • Pages: 356

Meet the Author

Dwight A. McBride is Daniel Hale Williams Professor of African American Studies, English, & Performance Studies at Northwestern University where he also serves as Dean of The Graduate School and Associate Provost for Graduate Education. He is the author of several groundbreaking works in African American Studies, including Impossible Witnesses and Why I Hate Abercrombie and Fitch.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: "How Much Time Do You Want for Your Progress?" New Approaches to James Baldwin 1
Pt. I Baldwin and Race
1 White Fantasies of Desire: Baldwin and the Racial Identities of Sexuality 13
2 Now More Than Ever: James Baldwin and the Critique of White Liberalism 56
3 Finding the Words: Baldwin, Race Consciousness, and Democratic Theory 75
Pt. II Baldwin and Sexuality
4 Culture, Rhetoric, and Queer Identity: James Baldwin and the Identity Politics of Race and Sexuality 103
5 Of Mimicry and (Little Man Little) Man: Toward a Queersighted Theory of Black Childhood 122
6 Sexual Exiles: James Baldwin and Another Country 161
Pt. III Baldwin and the Transatlantic
7 Baldwin's Cosmopolitan Loneliness 187
8 "Alas, Poor Richard!": Transatlantic Baldwin, the Politics of Forgetting, and the Project of Modernity 208
9 The Parvenu Baldwin and the Other Side of Redemption: Modernity, Race, Sexuality, and the Cold War 233
Pt. IV Baldwin and Intertextuality
10 (Pro)Creating Imaginative Spaces and Other Queer Acts: Randall Kenan's A Visitation of Spirits and Its Revival of James Baldwin's Absent Black Gay Man in Giovanni's Room 265
11 "I'm Not Entirely What I Look Like": Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and the Hegemony of Vision; or, Jimmy's FBEye Blues 289
12 Life According to the Beat: James Baldwin, Bessie Smith, and the Perilous Sounds of Love 307
Pt. V Baldwin and the Literary
13 The Discovery of What It Means to Be a Witness: James Baldwin's Dialectics of Difference 331
14 Selfhood and Strategy in Notes of a Native Son 360
15 Select Bibliography of Works by and on James Baldwin 393
Contributors 411
Index 415
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