"Baldwin: Collected Essays" (1998, Library of America)

This volume of essays by James Baldwin presents the texts of Notes of a Native Son (1955), Nobody Knows My Name: More Notes of a Native Son (1961), The Fire Next Time (1963), No Name in the Street (1972), and The Devil Finds Work (1976), followed by a selection of 36 essays published between 1948 and 1985.

Most of Baldwin's earliest published writings were reviews and essays that appeared in publications such as Commentary, The Nation, The New Leader, and the Paris-based journal Zero. In 1954, Sol Stein, an editor at Beacon Press, proposed that Baldwin collect these reviews and articles in book form. In preparing the collection Baldwin revised and retitled some of the essays, and arranged the contents along thematic lines.
He also chose to use "Autobiographical Notes," written in late 1952, as a preface. The essays in Notes of a Native Son originally appeared as follows: "Everybody's Protest Novel," Zero, Spring 1949; "Many Thousands Gone," Partisan Review, November-December 1951; "Carmen Jones: The Dark Is Light Enough," Commentary, January 1955, with the title "Life Straight in De Eye"; "The Harlem Ghetto," Commentary, February 1948; "Journey to Atlanta," The New Leader, October 9, 1948; "Notes of a Native Son," Harper's, November 1955, with the title "Me and My House"; "Encounter on the Seine: Black Meets Brown," The Reporter, June 6, 1950, with the title "The Negro in Paris"; "A Question of Identity," Partisan Review, July-August 1954; "Equal in Paris," Commentary, March 1955; "Stranger in the Village," Harper's, October 1953. The book was published by Beacon Press in late 1955. The present volume prints the text of the first 1955 Beacon printing.

Nobody Knows My Name, Baldwin's second collection of essays, was published by Dial Press in July 1961. Like Notes of a Native Son, it includes revised versions of several of the previously published essays. "The Discovery of What It Means to Be an American" originally appeared in The New York Times Book Review, January 25, 1959; "Princes and Powers" in Encounter, January 1957; "Fifth Avenue, Uptown: A Letter from Harlem" in Esquire, July 1960; "East River, Downtown: Postscript to a Letter from Harlem" in The New York Times Magazine, March 12, 1961, with the title "A Negro Assays the Negro Mood"; "A Fly in Buttermilk" in Harper's, October 1958, with the title "The Hard Kind of Courage"; "Nobody Knows My Name: A Letter from the South" in Partisan Review, Winter 1959; "Faulkner and Desegregation" in Partisan Review, Fall 1956. "In Search of a Majority" was adapted from an address delivered at Kalamazoo College, February 1960, and first appeared in print in Nobody Knows My Name. "The Male Prison" originally appeared in The New Leader, December 13, 1954, with the title "Gide as Husband and Homosexual." "Notes for a Hypothetical Novel" was adapted from an address delivered at an Esquire magazine symposium on "Writing in America Today" held at San Francisco State College, October 22-24, 1960, and appeared in print for the first time in Nobody Knows My Name. "The Northern Protestant" was originally published in Esquire, April 1960, with the title "The Precarious Vogue of Ingmar Bergman." Two of the three sections of "Alas, Poor Richard" originally appeared in periodical form: "Eight Men" in Reporter, March 16, 1961, with the title "The Survival of Richard Wright," and "The Exile" in Encounter, April 1961, with the title "Richard Wright" (a French translation of "Richard Wright" appeared in Preuves, February 1961, entitled "Richard Wright, tel que je l'ai connu"). The concluding section, "Alas, Poor Richard," was published for the first time in Nobody Knows My Name. "The Black Boy Looks at the White Boy" originally appeared in Esquire, May 1961. The present volume prints the text of the first 1961 printing of Nobody Knows My Name.

The Fire Next Time collected two previously published essays: "Down at the Cross," which appeared in The New Yorker, November 17, 1962, under the title "Letter from a Region in My Mind," and attracted wide attention, and "A Letter to My Nephew," which appeared in The Progressive, December 1962. The Fire Next Time was published by Dial Press in early 1963. This volume prints the text of the first 1963 printing.

No Name in the Street was written between 1969 and 1972, when Baldwin was living in Istanbul and St. Paul-de-Vence, France, and was published by Dial Press in May 1972. The text printed here is that of the first 1972 printing. The Devil Finds Work was written in 1974 and 1975, while Baldwin was living in France. He finished the manuscript on July 29, 1975, and the book was published early in 1976 by Dial Press. The text printed here is that of the first 1976 printing.

The present volume offers a selection of 36 essays in a section titled "Other Essays." The texts printed here are taken from their original publication in periodicals or books. (Twenty-five of these essays, indicated by * below, were collected in The Price of the Ticket, published in 1985, and one was published for the first time as the introduction to that volume.) The following list gives the source of each text.

Text by Literary Classics of the United States, Inc.




%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
Author: James Baldwin (1924-1987)
Title: Collected Essays: Notes of a Native Son • Nobody Knows My Name •
The Fire Next Time • No Name in the Street • The Devil Finds Work • other essays
Publisher: New York, Library of America
Year: 1998
Number of pages: 869
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%


:: Table of Contents ::

•Notes of a Native Son◦Autobiographical Notes
◦Everybody's Protest Novel
◦Many Thousands Gone
◦Carmen Jones: The Dark is Light Enough
◦The Harlem Ghetto
◦Journey to Atlanta
◦Notes of a Native Son
◦Encounter on the Seine: Black Meets Brown
◦A Question of Identity
◦Equal in Paris
◦Stranger in the Village
•Nobody Knows My Name◦The Discovery of What it Means To Be an American
◦Princes and Powers
◦Fifth Avenue, Uptown: A Letter from Harlem
◦East River, Downtown: Postscript to a Letter from Harlem
◦A Fly in Buttermilk
◦Nobody Knows My Name: A Letter from the South
◦Faulkner and Desegregation
◦In Search of a Majority
◦Notes for a Hypothetical Novel
◦The Male Prison
◦The Northern Protestant
◦Alas, Poor Richard
◦The Black Boy Looks at the White Boy
•The Fire Next Time◦My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew
◦Down At the Cross: Letter from a Region in My Mind
•No Name in the Street
•The Devil Finds Work
•Other Essays◦Smaller than Life
◦History as Nightmare
◦The Image of the Negro
◦Lockridge: 'The American Myth'
◦Preservation of Innocence
◦The Negro at Home and Abroad
◦The Crusade of Indignation
◦Sermons and Blues
◦On Catfish Row: Porgy and Bess in the Movies
◦They Can't Turn Back
◦The Dangerous Road Before Martin Luther King
◦The New Lost Generation
◦The Creative Process
◦Color
◦A Talk to Teachers
◦"This Nettle, Danger..."
◦Nothing Personal
◦Words of a Native Son
◦The American Dream and the American Negro
◦On the Painter Beauford Delaney
◦The White Man's Guilt
◦A Report from Occupied Territory
◦Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They're Anti-White
◦White Racism or World Community
◦Sweet Lorraine
◦How One Black Man Came to Be an American
◦An Open Letter to Mr. Carter
◦Last of the Great Masters
◦Every Good-bye Ain't Gone
◦If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What is?
◦Open Letter to the Born Again
◦Dark Days
◦Notes on the House of Bondage
◦Introduction to Notes of a Native Son, 1984
◦Freaks and the American Ideal of Manhood
◦The Price of the Ticket
•Chronology
•Note on the Texts
•Notes

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