By James Baldwin
Set in Greenwich Village, Harlem, and France, between different locales, one other kingdom is a unique of passions--sexual, racial, political, artistic--that is beautiful for its emotional depth and haunting sensuality, depicting women and men, blacks and whites, stripped in their mask of gender and race by means of love and hatred on the so much elemental and elegant. In a small set of acquaintances, Baldwin imbues the simplest and worst intentions of liberal the USA within the early Seventies.
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Cass touched her elbow. “Come on in. ” They walked into the living room. Vivaldo was standing exactly as she had left him, as though he had not moved at all. Richard rose from the hassock; he had been clipping his nails. ” They shook hands and murmured salutations in a silence that began to stiffen like the beaten white of an egg. They sat down. ” “Over two years,” Richard said. “Rufus let us see you a couple of times and then he hustled you out of sight somewhere. ” Vivaldo said nothing. His eyes, his eyebrows, and his hair looked like so many streaks of charcoal on a dead white surface.
I can’t make it this way. He thought of Ida. He whispered, I’m sorry, Leona, and then the wind took him, he felt himself going over, head down, the wind, the stars, the lights, the water, all rolled together, all right. He felt a shoe fly off behind him, there was nothing around him, only the wind, all right, you motherfucking Godalmighty bastard, I’m coming to you. 2 It was raining. Cass sat on her living-room floor with the Sunday papers and a cup of coffee. She was trying to decide which photograph of Richard would look best on the front page of the book-review section.
They had come out on Lenox Avenue, though their destination was on Seventh; and nothing they passed was unfamiliar because everything they passed was wretched. It was not hard to imagine that horse carriages had once paraded proudly up this wide avenue and ladies and gentlemen, ribboned, be-flowered, brocaded, plumed, had stepped down from their carriages to enter these houses which time and folly had so blasted and darkened. The cornices had once been new, had once gleamed as brightly as now they sulked in shame, all tarnished and despised.
Another Country by James Baldwin