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约瑟夫海勒

James Baldwin

File source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:James_baldwin.jpgJames Arthur Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) was an American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic.

Baldwin's essays, such as the collection Notes of a Native Son (1955), explore palpable yet unspoken intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-20th-century America, vis-à-vis their inevitable if unnameable tensions with personal identity, assumptions, uncertainties, yearning, and questing. Some Baldwin essays are book-length, for instance The Fire Next Time (1963), No Name in the Street (1972), and The Devil Finds Work (1976).

His novels and plays fictionalize fundamental personal questions and dilemmas amid complex social and psychological pressures thwarting the equitable integration of not only blacks yet also of male homosexuals—depicting as well some internalized impediments to such individuals' quest for acceptance—namely in his second novel, Giovanni's Room (1956), written well before the equality of homosexuals was widely espoused in America. Baldwin's best-known novel is his first, Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953).

James Baldwin was born in nineteen twenty-four in New York City.  He grew up in a mostly black area of New York called Harlem.  During the nineteen thirties, the United States was suffering an economic crisis called the Great Depression.  Many African-Americans, including his family, were even poorer than white Americans.

James Baldwin was the oldest child in a family of nine. He never knew his biological father.  When he was three years old, his mother married a factory worker.  James grew up with a severe step-father.  He writes about a similar difficult relationship between father and son in "Go Tell it on the Mountain". 

Another similarity between the book and the writer's life is the importance of Christianity and the church.  James's step-father was also a preacher in a small church in a business area of Harlem.  Such religious centers that were former stores were called "storefront churches."  They were common in African-American areas.

 

                             詹姆斯·鲍德温

詹姆斯·亚瑟·鲍德温(James Arthur Baldwin,1924年8月2日-1987年12月1日),美国作家,小说家,诗人,剧作家和社会活动家。

作为黑人和同性恋者,鲍德温的不少作品关注20世纪中叶美国的种族问题和性解放运动。他一生著述颇为丰厚,共写有六部长篇小说、四部剧本和十几部散文集,其作品涉及的范围非常广泛。他的小说《向苍天呼吁》与赖特的《土生子》和埃利森的《看不见的人》被并列为20世纪四五十年代美国黑人文学的典范。在二战后的美国黑人文学发展进程中,鲍德温起着承上启下的作用,是一个“真正的必不可少”的作家。

1953年,鲍德温发表了他的第一部小说:半自传体的《向苍天呼吁》(Go Tell It on the Mountain),两年后出版了第一本散文集《土生子的札记》。除了赖以成名的小说和散文,鲍德温也尝试过多种文学体裁,包括诗歌、戏剧等。

1987年12月1日凌晨(也有部分报道为11月30日深夜),鲍德温因胃癌去世,葬在纽约附近哈茨代尔的芬克里夫墓园(Ferncliff Cemetery)。