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Collaborating with James Baldwin on a Screenplay of Giovanni’s Room
Michael Raeburn

The author discusses his personal relationship with James Baldwin, recounting their collaboration on a film script for an adaptation of Giovanni’s Room.

James Baldwin Review
Baldwin, Racial Melancholy, and the Black Middle Ground
Peter Lurie

This article uses Baldwin’s 1949 essay “Everybody’s Protest Novel” to consider that literary mode’s corollary in the 1990s New Black Cinema. It argues that recent African American movies posit an alternative to the politics and aesthetics of films by a director such as Spike Lee, one that evinces a set of qualities Baldwin calls for in his essay about Black literature. Among these are what recent scholars such as Ann Anlin Cheng have called racial melancholy or what Kevin Quashie describes as Black “quiet,” as well as variations on Yogita Goyal’s diaspora romance. Films such as Barry Jenkins’s adaptation of If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) and Joe Talbot and Jimmy Fails’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) offer a cinematic version of racial narrative at odds with the protest tradition I associate with earlier Black directors, a newly resonant cinema that we might see as both a direct and an indirect legacy of Baldwin’s views on African American culture and politics.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
James Baldwin and Malcolm X
Mikko Tuhkanen

Taking its cue from recent scholarly work on the concept of time in African American literature, this essay argues that, while both James Baldwin and Malcolm X refuse gradualism and insist on “the now” as the moment of civil rights’ fulfillment, Baldwin also remains troubled by the narrowness assumed by a life, politics, or ethics limited to the present moment. In his engagement with Malcolm’s life and legacy—most notably in One Day, When I Was Lost, his screen adaptation of Malcolm’s autobiography—he works toward a temporal mode that would be both punctual and expansive. What he proposes as the operative time of chronoethics is an “untimely now”: he seeks to replace Malcolm’s unyielding punctuality with a different nowness, one that rejects both calls for “patience,” endemic to any politics that rests on the Enlightenment notion of “perfectibility,” and the breathless urgency that prevents the subject from seeing anything beyond the oppressive system he wants overthrown. Both thinkers find the promise of such untimeliness in their sojourns beyond the United States.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
Robert J. Corber

The author reviews Barry Jenkins’s 2018 film adaptation of Baldwin’s novel, If Beale Street Could Talk, finding that Jenkins’s lush, painterly, and dreamlike visual style successfully translates Baldwin’s cadenced prose into cinematic language. But in interpreting the novel as the “perfect fusion” of the anger of Baldwin’s essays and the sensuality of his fiction, Jenkins overlooks the novel’s most significant aspect, its gender politics. Baldwin began working on If Beale Street Could Talk shortly after being interviewed by Black Arts poet Nikki Giovanni for the PBS television show, Soul!. Giovanni’s rejection of Baldwin’s claims that for black men to overcome the injuries of white supremacy they needed to fulfill the breadwinner role prompted him to rethink his understanding of African American manhood and deeply influenced his representation of the novel’s black male characters. The novel aims to disarticulate black masculinity from patriarchy. Jenkins’s misunderstanding of this aspect of the novel surfaces in his treatment of the character of Frank, who in the novel serves as an example of the destructiveness of patriarchal masculinity, and in his rewriting of the novel’s ending.

James Baldwin Review
Adapting Villette
Benjamin Poore

182 8 Ii Hunger, rebellion and rage: adapting Villette Benjamin Poore In the past thirty years the critical status of Charlotte Brontë’s final novel, Villette (1853), has grown considerably. Lucasta Miller surely expressed a growing consensus when she declared the novel to be a ‘stunning achievement’ and Brontë’s ‘masterpiece’ (2002: 52, 30). Yet there have been no film adaptations of Villette, and the only television adaptations of the novel, one in 1957 and one screened on BBC2 in 1970, are missing, presumed lost, rather like the novel’s unconventional hero

in Charlotte Brontë
Monika Pietrzak- Franger

241 11 Ii Jane Eyre’s transmedia lives Monika Pietrzak-​Franger There has been more than a century of Jane Eyre adaptations (see Appendix). The novel’s theatrical presence was soon accompanied by wide-​screen adaptations: from silent movies, through classic adaptations (such as Robert Stevenson’s 1943 feature film starring Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine), to more recent experimental filmic versions. Apart from its big screen afterlives, the novel has also been repeatedly adapted for television. It has returned in the form of many rewritings and intertextual

in Charlotte Brontë
Abstract only
John Kinsella

apparent contradictions. From considerations of ambiguities which refuse ‘definition’ and lead us to ‘push beyond ambiguity’ in an attempt to maintain clarity of purpose, and the generative slippages of understanding/misreading, we read text outside the investments of institutions (academic/schooling/government etc); we encounter the question of how we use these texts for activist purposes. Considering the making of adaptations and versions out of Hölderlin’s poetry, and inflecting through Ivan Illich’s ‘Deschooling

in Beyond Ambiguity
‘No interest. Not suitable for treatment’
Lance Pettitt

this might be linked to his successful adaptation not only to life in England but to thriving professionally across these media. The essay calls for a re-alignment from the exclusive literary-critical approach that has dominated assessments of Trevor as a writer, which can be seen as an obstacle to a fully rounded evaluation of his career. It offers instead an approach to his work for television that combines the historical consideration of TV archive, textual analysis of televisual form and contemporary theories about ‘adaptation’, taking its cue from Deborah

in William Trevor
The afterlife of Bertha Mason
Jessica Cox

, Bertha Mason figures heavily in critical and creative reiterations of Brontё’s novel. She has become, as Laurence Lerner observes, ‘one of the major characters of English fiction […] central not only to the plot of Jane Eyre but also to its emotional economy and its construction of woman’ (1989:  273). This chapter explores the legacy of Jane Eyre through a consideration of reimaginings of Bertha Mason –​a character presented in unequivocally negative terms in Brontё’s narrative but variously reinvented in subsequent adaptations as object of pity, femme fatale, proto

in Charlotte Brontë
A reassessment
Josephine A. Koster

clergy in charge of the church where the prayers are said, for peace, for the king, ‘et cetera more solito’ [and the rest as usual]. Then, after more liturgical exchanges in Latin, ‘Item conversus ad populum dicat sacerdos in lingua materna oremus pro animabus N. et N more solito’ [Item: the priest, turned to the people, says in the mother tongue, ‘Let us pray in the usual manner for the souls of N. and N.’]. 30 Kempe's complex and personal adaptation of the bidding prayer formula, containing eleven individual petitions

in Encountering The Book of Margery Kempe