Everyone wishes to be loved, but, in the event, nearly no one can bear it. Three and a half stars? This event creates the present tense setting for the novel, which is mostly narrated in retrospect, explaining each relationship with a story from the actor's life. We're invited to draw parallels between the roles a black man of this era is limited to in life and in the world of the performing arts. I appreciated Proudhammer's strong sense of identity, never seeming to doubt himself nor whom he loved as a Black, bi. 1968 work I judge to be one of his best novels, Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone. The prose of this book is, in actuality, poetic. That was why she held my hand. I really feel like a new person, transformed, having read it. Upon starting it, I soon found myself pulled in. Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone study guide and get instant access to the following:. I feel Leo's written pretty inconsistently, especially with regard to his inner dialogue with his awareness as a politicized subject. Submit your short stories for review as a Word document attached to an email to: [email protected] We're invited to draw parallels between the roles a black man of this era is limited to in life and in the world of the performing arts. I really loved this book. It is not the change in Baldwin's style which unsettles the academic circles - it is his growing radicalism. It is considered to lack the "intricacies" and "depth of character" of his early work. His path was complicated - pushed to the sidelines of the black power movement because of his sexuality and ostracised from the struggle for LGBT rights because of his colour. A deeply frustrating read at times, due to some serious navel-gazing, which makes sense for a protagonist of this sort, but is ultimately mostly unrewarding for the reader. I've been reading a lot of James Baldwin this year and this is the first book that I've felt was too long (by about 200 pages). All we can do now is just hold on. It is a book that is angry and tender and also hopeful. There is nothing more to be said. A look back at the life and struggles of Leo Proudhammer, as he recuperates from a near-fatal heart attack. Engaging enough to read all 484 pages in 8 days during the school year. My heart and I went down again. But that doesn't affect their feelings about each other nearly as much as it affects their ability to be together in socie. The story is told in flashbacks as Leo is recovering after having a heart attack on stage. It's definitely not an easy book to read and I will need to recover with lighter books for some time. Its safe to say that i have fallen deeply in love with James Baldwin and I have been brought back safely to novel-land. As a young boy in a working class neighbourhood he faces daily racism from bigots and white liberals alike. The memories jump forward and back in time, as memories do, but not too drastically, and they are treated with that sort of painful, bittersweet nostalgia that one feels when looking back at those defining moments in one's life. So when Leo Proudhammer, a Black American born to a poor family in Harlem, takes it into his mind to become an actor, his brother is incredulous, until Leo makes the inspired observation that his prospects of success in any line of work available to him are precisely zero, and that is how American society is designed; however remote his prospects of success in acting, they are nevertheless better than nil by at least some marginal fraction. I'm white. Short Essay on A Journey by Train – Essay 1 (200 words) A journey by train is among the most enjoyable journeys. “It’s confusing there. As he is in the hospital he thinks back on episodes of his life, in non-chronological order. Of course we know from the opening pages of this story that Leo will in fact become famous and affluent as an actor, and towards the end he is exposed to the cynical assertion that his success proves that Black Americans are not excluded from the American Dream, they just need to stop being sorry for themselves and work hard. It's a bloated, floaty, drifting novel that jumps timelines and burns slowly, but Baldwin dazzled me with his ability to make me want to spend a lot of time with this cast, despite not viewing them highly as human beings. The fact that she and he are both famous actors affects their love story about as much as their racial difference. “Everyone wishes to be loved, but in the event, nearly no one can bear it. Baldwin is one of the most fascinating figures of the US civil rights movement. The story takes us through his childhood to finally having made it. I had never caught a train in this city before. Baldwin, for me, is one of those writers who defines what their art is about. February 17th 1998 That there is such a personal experience gained from - and a personal investment made in - stories created in another time and place is testament to Baldwin's skill. Still this book is high art well worth a read and discussion. To see what your friends thought of this book. Grasping for more, gasping for less.