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El cuarto de Giovanni (1956)

por James Baldwin

Otros autores: Ver la sección otros autores.

MiembrosReseñasPopularidadValoración promediaMenciones
4,083942,207 (4.14)325
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.… (más)
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» Ver también 325 menciones

Inglés (90)  Holandés (1)  Hebreo (1)  Italiano (1)  Alemán (1)  Todos los idiomas (94)
Mostrando 1-5 de 94 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
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 |
„It became, in a way, every room I had ever been in and every room I find myself hereafter will remind me of Giovanni’s room.” (Quotation page 76)

Content
David’s mother dies when he is only five years old and he grows up with his father and his aunt Ellen, the unmarried sister of his father. As soon as possible, he leaves and lives on his own. When he feels weary of every part of his life in New York, he moves to Paris, where he meets Hella. When he asks her to marry him, she leaves him, travels to Spain to think about her future. David stays in Paris. One evening he meets the bartender Giovanni, and from the first moment, there is a deep attraction between them. Giovanni lives in a small one-room-apartment and David moves in the same evening. When Hella comes back, David leaves Giovanni on that same day, pretending that this love affair never has happened.

Theme and genre
This novel, written 1956, is about living between truth and lies, bisexuality, love, lost innocence, shame and guilt. An important topic for Baldwin’s persons is their search for their sexual identity and the related insecurity.

Characters
David, the young American, hides his feelings for men and feels sure about Hella, wants to marry, settle down and have children. His life is a perfect vision, created for the others, but a vision, he desperately tries to believe to be true. He knows that Hella will probably come back.
Giovanni is Italian, emotional and lives his feelings. That David, whom he trusts and loves, just leaves without a word destroys him.

Plot and writing
David, the first person narrator tells the story during one night, and thinking about the next day, just in the present time. The first pages contain the whole story, revealing the major points, themes and conflict. Doing so, the author is free of any timeline and suspense level. The story moves between memories and significant events in David’s childhood, teenage years, and his years in Paris, and the hours of the present night and morning. A central point of the story is Guilleaume’s bar, a place for bohemians living their sexual diversity. Baldwin uses the scenes to describe a different live, working or without work at daytime, but waiting for the evenings and living during the night. He shows a very special picture of early Parisian mornings and the locations still open or just opening, for example the famous Les Halles.

Conclusion
Not always highly acclaimed by literary critics, this novel for a long time now is a timeless classic. Written with empathy and sensivity, in a poetic narrative language, the story gives many questions to reflect on them, about human life, decisions, possible guilt and fate. ( )
  Circlestonesbooks | Jun 27, 2021 |
A fantastic exploration of how we choose society's expectations over our own, even in the face of happiness. ( )
  HippieLunatic | Apr 27, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 94 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
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.
añadido por danielx | editarNew York Times, Hilton Als (May 5, 2019)
 
añadido por gsc55 | editarHearts on Fire, Delta (May 11, 2013)
 

» Añade otros autores (20 posible)

Nombre del autorRolTipo de autor¿Trabajo?Estado
Baldwin, Jamesautor principaltodas las edicionesconfirmado
Phillips, CarylIntroducciónautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Prinsen, G.A.Traductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
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I stand at the window of this great house in the south of France as night falls, the night which is leading me to the most terrible morning of my life.
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Wikipedia en inglés

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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 ediciones de este libro fueron publicadas por Penguin Australia.

Ediciones: 0141186356, 0141032944

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