Monday, September 10, 2007
GAY LOVE IN JAMES BALDWIN
GAY LOVE IN JAMES BALDWIN
This post is dedicated to James Baldwin, one of the most important authors of American literature, if you want, you can find a short information about on
But I don’t want to take care myself of literature hare, there are others that can make it with much more competence, I want instead give this man public rewards for what he made for gay people and also individually for me. He speaks about gay “love”, not banally about sex, but about what’s real gay “love” is, in years in which it was difficult to do that and in an America in which the black people as he was, much more if they used to write supporting homosexual world, did not have easy life. But Baldwin wrote a book that I consider certainly the most powerful book that I have read and also the most important book for my human formation, this book is “Another country”, completed December the 10th 1961 (In English: Black Swan book 0 552 99047 7, published in Italy by Feltrinelli, in 1963, in the translation of Attilio Veraldi and newly published in 2004).It’s a masterwork of the American literature, but it’s the gay side of the book that has always bewitched me. For Baldwin, gay life is something high value, it’s a kind of love with capital letter. The book has tragic implications at the beginning, so that it seems to follow a rather common way in the previous gay literature: gay like tragedy. But the second part, that he is that preponderant one, turns over the things completely and the homosexual love ends to become like something that can give value to the life. The characters are many but the history that constitutes the heart of the book is a wonderful history of gay love, born by chance between Eric, a young American writer, and Yves, a French boy much younger than him. Their history is not a tragedy, is not a loneliness history, not so! It’s an history of true love and it’s a love history that ends well. Eric meets Yves just after the war, the two of them know very well that their life will be anymore like before. The atmosphere is of tenderness, mutual respect, deep love. Eric returns to America and Yves sends him a sweetest letter and after a little time he follows him in the United States. Yves arrives to the airport of Los Angeles and Eric is waiting for him, when the boy crosses the gates with anxious feelings in his heart, he knows that he has just arrived “into that city (Los Angeles) which the people from heaven (the Angels)had made their home”. And with this metaphor the book is concluded. But this history of love is not a fable, Yves loves Eric but he knows that sooner or later he will need to feel free also from Eric in order to be himself; also Eric is aware of all this, he knows that sooner or later, in a future more or less far away Yves will go, will have to go in order to follow his road, but this fact will not make Eric abandon Yves to his destiny, Eric will love him also this way, knowing exactly that sooner or later he will lose him, because, as Baldwin says, in the love affairs “there is nothing to decide but everything to accept”. I consider this sentence really sublime. Thanks James!