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Idylls of the WandererOutside in Literature and Theory$
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Henry Sussman

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780823227693

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823227693.001.0001

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James Baldwin's Exile: Theory, Circumstance, and the Real of Language

James Baldwin's Exile: Theory, Circumstance, and the Real of Language

(p.85) Four: James Baldwin's Exile: Theory, Circumstance, and the Real of Language
Idylls of the Wanderer

Henry Sussman

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines African American novelist James Baldwin's experience of exile in terms of circumstance, theory, and language. It states that Baldwin experienced exile in being in a country not accustomed to lending credence to serious writers of his race, and his presumed gay sexual preference added to the foregone verdict of alienation. This reduced the support of mainstream America for his cultural projects and alienated him from the black establishment of his day. This chapter analyzes the influence of Baldwin's situation on his works.

Keywords:   James Baldwin, exile, African American novelist, alienation, American literature

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