Author: Magdalena J. Corber, Callaloo.
James Baldwin's Turkish Decade: Erotics of Exile
Though the book joins an extensive literature on Baldwin. Stowell, Choice. Like all good juggling acts, this one is mesmerizing because Zaborowska never drops anything on the stage. Her research is thorough as the sixty-plus pages of notes attest and her voice is engaging and smart. Quentin Miller, Comparative Literature Studies. Magdalena J. Zaborowska argues that this experience significantly influenced Baldwin's development as a black and queer writer. Drawing on photographs, documents, interviews, and personal reflections as an immigrant Polish intellectual in the United States, Zaborowska uses themes of exile and the erotic to broaden our understanding of the black diaspora.
Her compelling mix of autobiography, biography, and literary criticism is a veritable treasure for those who love Baldwin's works and for those who should love them. Scarborough Committee,. Indeed we all have, and Zaborowska's critical work is another splendid dish on the menu. Henderson, African American Review. Wright, Times Literary Supplement. Her dedication and passion does shine through in the time and effort she placed in writing this book.
Indeed, the book reminds us that some of the most poignant and insightful writings about sexuality and race in the canon of American literature were composed well beyond our shores. Zaborowska shows the discontiguous routes of one particular writer to that destination and beyond it. In doing so, she reminds us that often the destination is as displaced as the traveler.
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Bk Cover Image Full. Sign In. Search Cart. Search for:. Book Pages: Illustrations: 53 illustrations, 2 maps Published: January Turkey was a nurturing space for the author, who by had spent nearly ten years in France and Western Europe and failed to reestablish permanent residency in the United States.
The Last Days of James Baldwin’s House in the South of France
Paperback Cloth. Availability: In stock. Add to cart. Translated by Anne Ishii. New York: Pantheon, Shimura Takako.
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- James Baldwin's Turkish Decade: Erotics of Exile;
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Contributors include scholars conducting transnational work on the Asia-Pacific as well as on relevant topics throughout the global Korean diaspora. Browse the table of contents to the issue. The issue also includes several book reviews. Read the introduction to the issue now, made freely available.
The contributors provide new theories of how comics represent and re-conceptualize queer sexuality, desire, intimacy, and eroticism, while also investigating how the comic strip, as a hand-drawn form, queers literary production and demands innovative methods of analysis from the fields of literary, visual, and cultural studies. The issue also includes a dossier of shorter contributions that offer speculative provocations about the radicalism of queer commonality across time and space, from Gezi Park uprisings in Turkey to future visions of collectivity outside of the internet.
What was it like the first time you visited? Paul-de-Vence in June I also wanted to get a sense of the domestic environment in which he wrote his later works, and where he thrived as a black queer American artist, who was reviled both by US black nationalists and white liberals at the time. The works written at Chez Baldwin, during , were another matter. They revealed an author transformed, testing new ideas and approaches to identity, trying his hand at new forms. I wanted to look for material and tangible reasons for that transformation. Another draw was my interest in the interpenetration of literary and literal social spaces, or how material environments become metaphoric representations by means of evocative language and imagery on the pages of books.
Perhaps, because I was an immigrant, I was curious as well about how the writer lived his life in French and in such a remote location, especially given his earlier fondness for metropolitan locations like Istanbul, New York, London or Paris. My first visit to the house and surrounding gardens in June of was a revelation on several levels. First, because of how unlike the place that Baldwin had come from it was, and second, because it made him into a homeowner and someone who lived, so to speak, on and off the land.
Third, as he explains it in the little-known Architectural Digest piece on his house published just a few months before his death in , as he grew older and frailer, he loved the light, peace, and quiet that filled the old structure. He had first rented rooms, and then bought, piece by piece as money from his books came in, the property from an eccentric old lady.
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He loved the ancient olive, orange, and almond trees, and enjoyed flowers and herbs that enveloped the house in a lush embrace. He was beloved by the town, and wished to be buried there after his death, which we know did not happen. The more I looked, the more I found and realized, too, that Chez Baldwin had to be a character of sorts in the book along with the writer.
Photo by Magdalena J. Zaborowska, How did seeing the space where Baldwin lived and worked change your own perceptions of him and how did it inspire your research?
Erotics of Exile
Imagine, sitting on the living room couch where Baldwin once sat, or at the so-called Welcome Table in the gardens, while wearing one of his straw hats which actually did happen, courtesy of Jill Hutchinson, who took care of the house and invited me in to see it. It struck me, too, that Baldwin must have had lots of work-related clutter, like so many of us, that he liked mantelpiece decorations arranged in symbolic manners, that he was playful; I was told of his favorite records and pillows; I looked through the possessions he left behind.
The house embodied and exuded but also enabled and nurtured his fascinating, complex personality. That house was a domestic and authorial haven where he could be fully himself. I was also astonished while at Chez Baldwin that there were no sites in the United States where I could glimpse his domestic legacy; that school kids could not access the private life of one of the greatest twentieth-century American writers.
On the other hand, that fact was not at all surprising, for until recently, the matter of African diasporic artistic legacies has not been preserved, cherished, and memorialized.