Dive deep into James Baldwin's Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone with extended analysis, commentary, and discussion
Their intense love for each other as children was uneasy to read at times; when they eventually fell apart from each other, you lived with Leo’s pain and anger.
Try not to get too dispirited by this fact. I have adored his writing since first reading Giovanni’s Room in 2014 and since then he has become one of my most treasured authors. Caleb's religion painfully isolates him from Leo. His writing means so much to me that I struggle to put in to words how I feel about his books, but I shall attempt to talk here about Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone. / Tell me how long's the train been gone? Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. The Train Song Lyrics: Tell me how long's the train been gone? Everyone desires love but also finds it impossible to believe that he deserves it.” ― James Baldwin, Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone
I don’t know how to describe what I saw. Jerry, their white friend, was Barbara's partner for a while, before Barbara revealed her love for Leo. Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. About Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone. Title. First published in 1968, Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone is a story about Leo Proudhammer, a black bisexual actor who has just had a severe heart-attack. Christopher's friends are all African-American, and his life centers on the struggle for racial justice. As Caleb spoke, I watched my father’s face. TELL ME HOW LONG THE TRAIN'S BEEN GONE User Review - Kirkus. / And was she there? My heart and I went down again. Barbara and Christopher have one sexual encounter, but, like much of the sex in the book, it is exploratory, and only significant for what it reveals to each of them.
As we go back-and-forth through Leo’s life, we explore his relationships intimately. Get this from a library! [James Baldwin] -- At the height of his theatrical career, the actor Leo Proudhammer is nearly felled by a heart attack. Tell when it passed along the tracks When all the boarding up was done When the iron wheels spurned pass the crowd And rolled to the distant sun. As always, Baldwin’s writing was emotive and beautiful.
Train's been gone some time. Change ). Leo Proudhammer, an African-American actor who grew up in Harlem and later moved into Greenwich Village, has a heart attack while on stage. It is a book that is angry and tender and also hopeful. Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone is James Baldwin's fourth novel, first published in 1968. Error rating book. A major work of American literature that powerfully portrays the anguish of being Black in a society that at times seems poised on the brink of total racial war. Leo is exposed to direct racism at a young age; the scene where he is stopped and brutally treated by police while walking home with Caleb could have been written today. Cloudflare Ray ID: 5ed67bfcbe210bf5 It is a book that is as important for us to read now as it was in 1968. Tell Me How Long The Train's Been Gone Poem by C. Rose Howard - Poem Hunter. James Baldwin has an innate ability to cut to the core of the human experience. Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone Quotes, “Everyone wishes to be loved, but in the event, nearly no one can bear it. [Barbara to Leo, after they sleep together for the first time:] “You’re black. Then I could not continue. Whilst he recovers in hospital, he thinks back over the significant moments of his life. He judges Leo harshly for choosing "the world" over "the kingdom of God". It was as though, after indescribable, nearly mortal effort, after grim years of fasting and prayer, after the loss of all he had, and after having been promised by the Almighty that he had paid the price and no more would be demanded of his soul, which was harbored now; it was as though in the midst of his joyful feasting and dancing, crowned and robed, a messenger arrived to tell him that a great error had been made, and that it was all to be done again.”, “a child’s major attention has to be concentrated on how to fit into a world which, with every passing hour, reveals itself as merciless.”.
There is a great deal of dissent on that point. Tell me how long the train's been goneSo I can calculate the timeFigure out what went wrongHow I missed that railway line.Tell when it passed along the tracksWhen all the boarding up was doneWhen the iron wheels spurned pass the crowdAnd rolled to the distant sun.Tell me how I can catch the nextand catch the time uncaughtBe where I'm suppose to beAnd my misjudgment all forgot.Tell how long I have to waitHow much more do I have to payBefore I reach my destinationAnd recover my journey's way.
The sun comes up, out from the west, Up pops the same old moon, Same as the train … He has not been successful; this is a simpleminded, one-dimensional novel with mostly cardboard characters, a polemical rather than narrative tone, weak invention and poor selection of incident. Tell me how long the train’s been gone : a novel / by James Baldwin.—1st Vintage International ed.
Leo Proudhammer, an African-American actor who grew up in Harlem and later moved into Greenwich Village, has a heart attack while on stage. Welcome back. If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices. This event creates the present tense setting for the novel, which is mostly narrated in retrospect, explaining each relationship with a story from the actor's life. In early 1998, when the Library of America published a two-volume set of selected works by Baldwin, edited by Toni Morrison, … Barbara, a white woman, and Leo, a black man, are artistic partners for life—sometimes sexual partners, sometimes not. ( Log Out / All Quotes / And was she there? Barbara, Leo, and Christopher remain friends throughout the novel. This event creates the present tense setting for the novel, which is mostly narrated in retrospect, explaining each relationship with a story from the actor's life. They don’t want to confront their own privilege or racist actions. / Tell me how long's the train been gone? It is through these flashbacks and present-day conversations with his friends that we learn about his childhood in Harlem and his journey to becoming a famous actor. He was good to look at, good to dance with, probably good to sleep with: but he was no longer good for love.”, “Now, for the first time, I began to be aware of my heart, the heart itself: and with this awareness, conscious terror came. I was aware of her hand. I was aware of my breathing. This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Overpowering in its vitality, extravagant in the intensity of its feeling, Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone is a major work of American literature. I am not sure if it would be my recommendation as someone’s first exposure to Baldwin, but it is certainly a book that we can all learn something from. 408 pages. Baldwin also explores that more subtle form of racism that is played out by white liberals. But I could not breathe.”, “It had come from nowhere.
Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Light age and reading wear to book. Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone (Vintage International) - Kindle edition by Baldwin, James. Their life stories are intertwined, but not joined, due both to the racial pressures of society and Leo's bisexuality. Refresh and try again. Whilst his sexual relationships with men and women are a recurring aspect, it was his familial relationships that stood out the most. You may need to download version 2.0 now from the Chrome Web Store. And everywhere there is the anguish of being black in a society that at times seems poised on the brink of total racial war. If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. Now, that doesn’t mean shit, really, and yet it means everything.”, “Here they came, my God the wretched, the beautiful, lost and lonely, trying to live, though death’s icy mark was on them, trying to speak, though they had learned no language, trying to love although the flesh was vile, hoping to find in all the cups they tasted, that taste which was joy, their joy, without which no life is worth living.”. Tell me how long the train's been gone : a novel. Quotes By James Baldwin. Tell me how long the train's been gone So I can calculate the time Figure out what went wrong How I missed that railway line. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' “The Train Song” was originally released as the B-side to their single “The Ship Song” off of their 1990 album The Good Son. Always make sure to have a pen in hand when reading Baldwin, because you will be underlining passage after passage. At the height of his theatrical career, the actor Leo Proudhammer is nearly felled by a heart attack. James Baldwin > Quotes > Quotable Quote “Everyone wishes to be loved, but in the event, nearly no one can bear it. The common figure of the distant father, whom Leo both wants to escape and impress, is ever-present in his absences.
“We got stopped by the cops,” I said.
I. Baldwin captures how the young Leo reveres Caleb with an almost religious awe, so perhaps it should have come as no surprise that Caleb becomes a Reverend. I’m white.
In true Baldwin style, the writing is fiercely passionate and at times I felt as if I was reading one of his essays.
His new novel, "Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone" is his attempt to recreate, as an artist this time, the tragic condition of the Negro, in America.
It is rare to find an author who is so articulate at describing the fundamentals of human emotion. Michael Joseph, 1968, Hardcover, Book Condition: Very Good, Dust Jacket Condition: Good, First Sun fading to dust wrapper top front and spine. We meet several white liberals who will talk about their desire for equality, but they want black people to be quiet about it. I could no longer see it, but I was aware of her face.”, “Some moments in a life, and they needn’t be very long or seem very important, can make up for so much in that life; can redeem, justify, that pain, that bewilderment, with which one lives, and invest one with the courage not only to endure it, but to profit from it; some moments teach one the price of the human connection: if one can live with one’s own pain, then one respects the pain of others, and so, briefly, but transcendentally, we can release each other from pain.”, “...a boy with an unspeakable past was a man with an unendurable future.
I realized that I knew nothing whatever about the way we are put together; and I realized that what I did not know might be in the process of killing me.”, “I remembered my mother’s insistence that I always wear clean underwear because I might get knocked down by a car on the way to or from school and I and the family would be disgraced even beyond the grave, presumably, if my underwear was dirty. It would later be…, (I’ll Love You) Till The End Of The World, The Ballad Of Robert Moore And Betty Coltrane, Where the Wild Roses Grow - Original Guide Vocal Version. Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone is a touching exploration of what it means to be black and bisexual and a man and searching for your purpose in America. Performance & security by Cloudflare, Please complete the security check to access. Much of this book is as relevent now as when it was first written fifty years ago. Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone Quotes Showing 1-5 of 5 “Everyone wishes to be loved, but in the event, nearly no one can bear it. Your IP: 126.96.36.199 Another way to prevent getting this page in the future is to use Privacy Pass.
Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Afro-American actors—Fiction. I felt the one arm he had around me tighten, tighten; his lips became bitter and his eyes grew dull. 1968 work I judge to be one of his best novels, Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone.
First published in 1968, Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone is a story about Leo Proudhammer, a black bisexual actor who has just had a severe heart-attack.
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