Monday, May 1, 2017
Book Review: "Giovanni's Room" by James Baldwin
This is a terribly sad and emotional story. It is just heartbreaking how much David is holding back from true love. How different this could be if David was able to accept his homosexuality; if he was able to allow himself to open completely to Giovanni.
Giovanni's room, as in the actual physical location in the book, became a metaphor for David's breaking point. He all at once needed to get out of Giovanni's room where he had been living, and get away from Giovanni, because if he stayed, he would've given into his true feelings. He would've been forced to really face them, and he couldn't do it. After everything went bad, he had to leave Paris - the entire city was too much for him - but he found that you can't really run away and it will go away. I mean, he's grappling with his own feelings - those go with you when you change addresses.
I fell in love with Baldwin's writing style as well. This is the first I've read of him, and it took a few pages to get used to the long sentences that tease a stream of consciousness feel. But it was all so very controlled - like David. It is beautiful in its sadness.
by James Baldwin
Vintage, 2013. First published 1956