Valentines Special! Giovanni's Room and 'Here be Dragons'

Thursday 18th February | 5:30-7pm GMT | Zoom

For our Valentine's week special on Thursday 18th February, we are reading two chapters of Baldwin's 1956 novella Giovanni's Room.  The novella, in non-linear style, narrates the powerful and tragic love story of David, an American in Paris, and Giovanni, an Italian bartender.  We will be reading the second and third chapters of the text.  Chapter 2 sees David recall himself and his friend Jacques as they visit a gay bar, where they meet Giovanni for the first time.  Chapter 3 narrates the continuation of this evening into the morning as the group arrive at a different bar.  While the evening ends with David inside Giovanni's room for the first time, the chapter ends with David, alone in a house in the south of France, contemplating Giovanni's current situation in prison.  

With Giovanni's Room we are pairing Baldwin's essay 'Here be Dragons'.  This essay was originally titled 'Freaks and the American Ideal of Manhood' and was published in the January of 1985 in Playboy.  The essay, addressing androgyny, American masculinity, homosexuality, race and urban poverty, sees Baldwin describe his experiences of being a young, queer, black man in New York.  

There is no need to have read the whole of Giovanni's Room for this session!  We look forward to seeing you at the meeting at 5:30 on Thursday 18th February.  The meeting is being held over Zoom so please email en17jog@leeds.ac.uk for the link to the session.

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