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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’s Search for a New Film Form
Hayley O’Malley

James Baldwin was a vocal critic of Hollywood, but he was also a cinephile, and his critique of film was not so much of the medium itself, but of the uses to which it was put. Baldwin saw in film the chance to transform both politics and art—if only film could be transformed itself. This essay blends readings of archival materials, literature, film, and print culture to examine three distinct modes in Baldwin’s ongoing quest to revolutionize film. First, I argue, literature served as a key site to practice being a filmmaker, as Baldwin adapted cinematic grammars in his fiction and frequently penned scenes of filmgoing in which he could, in effect, direct his own movies. Secondly, I show that starting in the 1960s, Baldwin took a more direct route to making movies, as he composed screenplays, formed several production companies, and attempted to work in both Hollywood and the independent film scene in Europe. Finally, I explore how Baldwin sought to change cinema as a performer himself, in particular during his collaboration on Dick Fontaine and Pat Hartley’s documentary I Heard It Through the Grapevine (1982). This little-known film follows Baldwin as he revisits key sites from the civil rights movement and reconnects with activist friends as he endeavors to construct a revisionist history of race in America and to develop a media practice capable of honoring Black communities.

James Baldwin Review
Alan O’Leary

9 Cinema in the library Alan O’Leary The visual is essentially pornographic, which is to say that it has its end in rapt, mindless fascination .... Pornographic films are thus only the potentiation of films in general, which ask us to stare at the world as though it were a naked body. (Fredric Jameson)1 In August 1908 Leo Tolstoy received a visit from a handful of early cinematographers. Surrounded by their cameras, he made a prediction: ‘this little clicking contraption with the revolving handle will make a revolution in our life – in the life of writers. It

in Alan Hollinghurst
Hakim Abderrezak

13 Harragas in Mediterranean illiterature and cinema Hakim Abderrezak Refugees and migrants: all in the same boat A three-year-old lies face down on the shore of the Ali Hoca Burnu beach in Bodrum, Turkey. This photograph, showing the lifeless body of young Syrian Aylan Kurdi appeared in European and Turkish newspapers, circulated on social networks, and moved a huge number of media users. Commentators have speculated that this image effected a noticeable shift in public opinion about Mediterranean Sea crossings from the Middle East and Africa. Initially, the

in Reimagining North African Immigration
Open Access (free)
James Baldwin on My Shoulder, Part Two
Karen Thorsen

Filmmaker Karen Thorsen gave us James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket, the award-winning documentary that is now considered a classic. First broadcast on PBS/American Masters in August, 1989—just days after what would have been Baldwin’s sixty-fifth birthday—the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1990. It was not the film Thorsen intended to make. Beginning in 1986, Baldwin and Thorsen had been collaborating on a very different film project: a “nonfiction feature” about the history, research, and writing of Baldwin’s next book, “Remember This House.” It was also going to be a film about progress: about how far we had come, how far we still have to go, before we learn to trust our common humanity. But that project ended abruptly. On 1 December 1987, James Baldwin died—and “Remember This House,” book and film died with him. Suddenly, Thorsen’s mission changed: the world needed to know what they had lost. Her alliance with Baldwin took on new meaning. The following memoir—the second of two serialized parts—explores how and why their collaboration began. The first installment appeared in the sixth volume of James Baldwin Review, in the fall of 2020; the next stage of their journey starts here.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
A Hollywood Love Story (as Written by James Baldwin)
D. Quentin Miller

Baldwin’s The Devil Finds Work (1976) has proven challenging since its publication because readers and critics have trouble classifying it. The challenge may be related to a common feature of Baldwin criticism, namely a tendency to compare late career works to early ones and to find them lacking: the experimental nature of later works of nonfiction like No Name in the Street (1972), The Devil Finds Work, and The Evidence of Things Not Seen (1985) does not square easily with the more conventional essays that made Baldwin famous in his early years. I attempt to reframe The Devil Finds Work not through a comparison to other Baldwin essays, but rather through a comparison to his fiction, specifically the novel Giovanni’s Room. I posit that a greater appreciation for Devil can result from thinking of it as a story, specifically the story of a failed love affair.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
Herb Boyd

As this essay notes, James Baldwin, his words and metaphors, pervade public space at countless numbers of intersections. Lines from his plays, novels, and essays have always been an easy and handy reference for writers and artists seeking ways to ground their intentions with deeper meaning and magic. Even in a minority opinion on 22 June 2016 written by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, she cited several authors, including Baldwin, to underscore her point on the Court’s abrogation of the Fourth Amendment.

James Baldwin Review
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Writing under the influence

Focusing through the concept of influence, this collection considers the entire breadth of Alan Hollinghurst’s Booker Prize-winning writing. It addresses critical issues threaded through the work of Britain’s most important contemporary novelist. Chapters encompass provocative and timely subjects ranging from gay visual cultures and representations, to Victorian, modernist and contemporary literature, as well as race and empire, theatre and cinema, eros, translation and economics. Revealing the often troubled tissue of weighty affect that lies beneath the poise and control of Hollinghurst’s writing, this book addresses readers interested in question of subjectivity, history and desire, as well as those curious about biography and literary experimentation. Alongside contributions by distinguished international critics, the book includes an unpublished interview with Hollinghurst and the eminent biographer Hermione Lee. With critical energy and creative flair, Alan Hollinghurst: Writing Under the Influence provokes a new account of Hollinghurst’s work that is both authoritative and innovative.

Textual representations
Editor: Angela K. Smith

The changes in warfare during the twentieth century could be addressed from a variety of perspectives, political, cultural, and national. This book addresses the issue of how gender is constructed by exploring a range of historical events. It also asserts that a focus on gender, rather than producing a depoliticised reading of our culture, offers an informed debate on a range of political issues. The book explores the impact of warfare on women whose civilian or quasi-military roles resulted in their exile or self-exile to the role of 'other'. The book first draws upon a number of genres to use Richard Aldington and H. D. (the poet Hilda Doolittle), to understand the social and cultural implications of warfare for both parties in a relationship. Then, it examines the intricate gender assumptions that surround the condition of 'shell shock' through a detailed exploration of the life and work of Ver a Brittain. Continuing this theme, considering the nature of warfare, the gendered experience of warfare, through the lens of the home front, the book discusses the gendered attitudes to the First World War located within Aldous Huxley's novella 'Farcical History of Richard Greenow'. Wars represented in Western cinema are almost universally gendered as male, which corresponds to the battlefield history of twentieth-century warfare. As this situation changes, and more women join the armed services, especially in the United States, a more inclusive cinematic coding evolves through struggle. The book considers three decades of film, from the Vietnam War to the present.

The cinematicization of French thought and aesthetics (1867–1913)
Christophe Wall-Romana

Surprisingly, I even saw [Remy] de Gourmont several times, quietly sitting in a small cinema place Saint-Michel, at the time of Bout-de-zan and Max Linder . ( Édouard Deverin , 1913 1 ) I feel in [ Du côté de chez Swann ] as though in a drawing room covered with mirrors getting larger in all directions, and on which images multiply to infinity and get smaller all at once. Mr. Proust has not written a journal, but treated himself to a kind of cinema, the episodes of which he reconstitutes, where he himself poses as several characters, throwing

in 1913: The year of French modernism