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Giovannis rum (1956)

av James Baldwin

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
4,193962,176 (4.14)328
Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin's now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.… (mer)
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» Se även 328 omnämnanden

engelska (92)  nederländska (1)  hebreiska (1)  italienska (1)  tyska (1)  Alla språk (96)
Visa 1-5 av 96 (nästa | visa alla)
I'm feeling very conflicted about Giovanni's Room. On the one hand, Baldwin's language drips off the page, and his evocations of David’s thoughts and feelings are realistic, and described so well that the pain seemed real, too. On the other hand, that pain seems kind of irrelevant to me, now. Gay life doesn’t have to be about constant hiding and suffering, and that’s all that Giovanni’s Room ultimately deals with.

What about the actual romance between Giovanni and David? We really don’t get to explore that side of their relationship – only the stigma, the surface of it. My favorite parts of the book were those that really did delve into the love between Giovanni and David – that scene when they first met, for example, truly evoked the awkwardness and sense of possibility that happen when you meet someone you’re attracted to.

The book was a quick read; the language flowed. But, looking back, I don’t think I can give the book four stars, just because it failed to engage with the fullness of life, and treated its characters the way society can treat identities: Gay, straight, masculine, feminine, male, female . . . there’s something deeper than that in the end, but Baldwin grazes over the depth of real people and relationships.
( )
  Gadi_Cohen | Sep 22, 2021 |
What do you do when you want something so badly it scares you half to death? And when you don't understand why you want it in the first place?

David is an American who has run off to Europe to explore and learn new things. (Though some might say he's running from what his life would be if he stayed in the states.) While on his travels, he's met Hella, a woman from Minnesota, and he expects he'll marry her someday. That's what he should do.

But while Hella is off exploring in Spain, David does some exploring of his own. He meets Giovanni, a young bartender, one evening and the two hit it off. Before long, David moves in with Giovanni, sharing the small room he's renting, and what the two of them have goes well beyond friendship.

For David, this all feels so right but so incredibly wrong at the same time. He cares dearly for Giovanni, but the thought of being with him forever is frightening. And there's still Hella. Hella feels safe for David. And she will be coming back someday.

David will need to make a choice, and he knows what the easy decision would be. But it's all complicated by the fact that Giovanni has fallen in love with him. And David just might be too frightened to admit that he loves Giovanni back. If he abandons Giovanni, he knows his world will fall apart, but what's his responsibility to this other man anyway? He can live with the guilt, right?

---

The 1950s were certainly not an easy time to be gay. But that's true for much of history. And the struggles that some men went through, trying to reconcile who they were with society's expectations, were certainly heart wrenching. And we get a good glimpse of that here.

When reading this, it's easy to think of it as historical fiction. But that diminishes the significance of James Baldwin writing this contemporary to the time it takes place. In that regard, it's a truly groundbreaking work, although it's not exactly the most uplifting piece of literature.

I definitely give this one a recommendation, though I need to put a caveat that it's not a happiness and sunshine story. It's gritty. And it will definitely make you think. ( )
  crtsjffrsn | Aug 27, 2021 |
James Baldwin was a gifted artist, to be sure; Giovanni's room rates at 4.5 peaches for me.

This tragic tale of unrequited love, denial, and self-loathing is heartbreaking. I despise David whilst carrying a sadness in my heart for the man he never truly allows himself to be.

My head is foggy amidst the desolate exploitation that permeates this story and its characters, as I recognise the societal fear, opposition, and hatred that pushes it to the fore.

I have so many thoughts still swirling that this review will likely become more detailed with time. For now, I will continue to process this heartbreaking and ugly tale. ( )
  PeachyBooksCA | Aug 4, 2021 |
Back when I devoured this novel in one sitting I couldn't get my mind off the intricate maze of relationships which make this work a timeless classic and a masterpiece of gay literature, and I couldn't also wrap my head around the profound meaning that it held, but after reading Plato's Symposium and Phaedrus, it rained down on me that this is the book which best makes show of the Greeks' different types of love. Giovanni and David's platonic love is a recurring theme throughout the book, and it assuredly matches the "heavenly" love between an older and a younger man Plato speaks of in his dialogues. They cultivate their idyllic romantic friendship in the shadows until their lovely days abruptly come to a end when Giovanni begs David to prioritize his platonic bond over his relationship with Hella. David is intent on keeping his friendship-love unblemished and away from the debauchery of modern society, and his refusal is a telltale sign that he's repudiating the impurity of romanticism which threatens to smear their divine love. Giovanni becomes the victim of this unprincipled love David wishes to steer clear of, and this leads him to murder the man he worked for in a fit of madness. Eroticism and hedonism can be ascribed to Jacques, Guillaume and the various gay personalities who shamelessly chase little boys and arrange orgies inside their bar, which Baldwin portrays with cynic and brutal realism, whilst Hella symbolizes the pragmatic and loveless relationship of an arranged marriage which inevitably funnels towards failure when David discovers a superior kind of love which brings out the worst in David's female partner.
With this interpretation which may be arguably far fetched, this novel has garnered the value it required to earn 5-stars and a re-read alongside the other books in my favorite shelf. On a personal note, I wish more LGBT novelists would borrow a page from Baldwin's work, I truly wish they would. ( )
  Vertumnus | Jul 22, 2021 |
I had a hard time reading this book and didnt really get into it until Part 2.

I found it terribly sad and depressing ( )
  AstridG | Jul 19, 2021 |
Visa 1-5 av 96 (nästa | visa alla)
what draws lovers of the book to its story of betrayal and the possibility of redemption through truth and, ultimately, to the question of the body as home, is the vision of Baldwin stumbling through it, sure-footed and alone, walking toward the idea that love may come attached with different ideas of what it should look like, feel like, but in the end, it’s what you do with its responsibilities that renders you genderless — and human.
tillagd av danielx | ändraNew York Times, Hilton Als (May 5, 2019)
 
tillagd av gsc55 | ändraHearts on Fire, Delta (May 11, 2013)
 

» Lägg till fler författare (20 möjliga)

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Baldwin, Jamesprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Phillips, CarylInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Prinsen, G.A.Översättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin's now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.

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Penguin Australia

2 utgåvor av den här boken publicerades av Penguin Australia.

Utgåvor: 0141186356, 0141032944

 

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