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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
Open Access (free)
A Review of Hilton Als’ God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin
Leah Mirakhor

This essay reviews Hilton Als’ 2019 exhibition God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin at the David Zwirner Gallery. The show visually displays Baldwin in two parts: “A Walker in the City” examines his biography and “Colonialism” examines “what Baldwin himself was unable to do” by displaying the work of contemporary artists and filmmakers whose works resonate with Baldwin’s critiques of masculinity, race, and American empire. Mirakhor explores how Als’ quest to restore Baldwin is part of a long and deep literary and personal conversation that Als has been having since he was in his teens, and in this instance, exploring why and how it has culminated via the visual, instead of the literary. As Mirakhor observes, to be in the exhibit is not to just observe how Als has formed and figured Baldwin, but to see how Baldwin has informed and made Als, one of our most lyrical and impassioned contemporary writers and thinkers.

James Baldwin Review
Gender adaptations in modern war films
Jeffrey Walsh

widely discussed by a range of female scholars, making it likely that women warriors will not, as in films representing Vietnam, again go ‘missing in action’. 12 ‘I didn’t mean to sound so tough’: masculinity at war Representations of masculinity in war films are endlessly fluid and adaptable, such negotiations and generic inflections being related to the ways in which commercial

in Gender and warfare in the twentieth century
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Heroism, masculinity and violence in Vietnam War narratives
Angela K. Smith

battle, successful action carried out against an enemy, has been an integral part of the way masculinity has been constructed for generations. A simple paradigm, perhaps, but complicated when viewed from the early twenty-first century. Discussing this, the helicopter pilots in Robert Mason’s Vietnam War memoir Chickenhawk ( 1984 ) articulate an interesting paradox. 2 They call themselves ‘chickenhawks’. The metaphor, a hybrid of

in Gender and warfare in the twentieth century
The role of theatre practitioners in exploring the past
Yvette Hutchison

narratives and their effect in facilitating a further understanding of the Commission and the ways in which we engage with the past. It then shifts to look at more realist theatrical engagements with themes either vaguely referred to, absent from, or that emerged from the TRC hearings. Referring to The Dead Wait, Nothing but the Truth and Green Man Flashing, I explore how these plays engage with the themes of exile, ghosts and hauntings, issues related to masculinity, and the tension between justice and compromise in the context of the TRC; thus reflecting some of the

in South African performance and archives of memory
Body hair, genius and modernity
Daniela Caselli

approach. On the contrary, such an approach can lay the foundations for understanding a cultural phenomenon which is characterised as irrelevant (and, as such, is of course very significant). Female body hair is not a stereotype to be overcome for the general female good; rather, meanings circulate around body hair which define the conditions for the existence of masculinity and femininity. Body hair can thus be helpful to expose the machinery of gender, not in order to transcend it (and reach an allegedly neutral space) but to estrange its

in The last taboo
Abstract only
Author: David Brauner

This is a study of the contemporary American novelist, Philip Roth. Reading alongside a number of his contemporaries and focusing particularly on his later fiction, it offers a view of Roth as an intellectually adventurous and stylistically brilliant writer who constantly reinvents himself in surprising ways. At the heart of this book are a number of readings of Roth's works both in terms of their relationships with each other and with fiction by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thomas Pynchon, Tim O'Brien, Bret Easton Ellis, Stanley Elkin, Howard Jacobson and Jonathan Safran Foer. The book identifies as a thread running through all of Roth's work the use of paradox, both as a rhetorical device and as an organising intellectual and ideological principle.

Howard J. Booth

continued to inform the experience of sexuality in the first half of the twentieth century (and is still heard today in attenuated form, when it is claimed that the young are being led to adopt a gay ‘lifestyle’ they would not otherwise have taken up). In pre-1900 work he was drawn to depictions of a strong, active masculinity found especially in ordinary soldiers. Early proponents of society’s acceptance of same-sex passion alighted upon his depictions of soldiers, misrecognising it as a homophile political strategy. Perhaps aware of this, Kipling retreated Kipling

in In Time’s eye
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.

Patsy Stoneman

definition producing its own condemnation. Sylvia’s Lovers is not framed as a purely private story but deals explicitly with the interaction of public and private events. In particular, like North and South, it investigates chap 8 20/7/06 9:44 am Page 93 Sylvia’s Lovers 93 the relation between aggression on a public scale and ideologies of masculinity as manifested in courtship and the family. Like Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Gaskell perceives ‘that the public and the private worlds are inseparably connected; that the tyrannies and servilities of the one are the

in Elizabeth Gaskell