Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

“…- a real decision makes one humble, one knows it is at the mercy of more things than can be named-…”

“People who remember court madness through pain, the pain of their perpetually recurring death of their innocence; people who forget court another kind of madness, the madness of the denial of pain and the hatred of innocence; and the world is mostly divided between madmen who remember and madmen who forget. Heroes are rare.”

“Then all of the others closed in on this newcomer and they looked like a peacock garden and sounded like a barnyard.”

“…as outrageous and unsettling in any other city as a mermaid on a mountaintop.”

“‘Why are they- shameful?’ I asked him.

‘Because there is no affection in them, and no joy. It’s like putting an electric plug in a dead socket. Touch, but no contact. All touch, but no contact and no light.'”

“I remember that life in that room seemed to be occurring beneath the sea.”

“‘Looked out’ means only that the room had two windows, against which the courtyard malevolently pressed, encroaching day by day, as though it had confused itself with a jungle.”

“And at moments like this I felt like we were merely enduring and committing the longer and lesser and more perpetual murder.”

“I loved her as much as ever and I still did not know how much that was.”

“It’s the boat that when you miss it, you know it’s a boat, but when it comes in, it’s a ship.”

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#Diverse Characters

Working on a script for possible school audience. Am aware of creating Anglo-Saxon names, knowing any of our diverse (Middle Eastern, Asian) students could play them. But the reverse? A Caucasian student playing someone named, say, Patel? In a production of Wilde’s “…Earnest”, a girl of Indian heritage played Gwendolyn (or Cecily?), complete with English accent. But a Caucasian student playing “Patel”? With accent? I’m not sure we’re there yet.