James Baldwin Long Fiction Analysis - Essay

James Baldwin Long Fiction Analysis

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Uncompromising in his demand for personal and social integrity, James Baldwin from the beginning of his career charged the individual with full responsibility for his or her moral identity. Both in his early individualistic novels and in his later political fiction, he insisted on the inadequacy of received definitions as the basis for self-knowledge or social action. Echoing the existentialist principle “existence precedes essence,” he intimated the underlying consistency of his vision in the introductory essay in Notes of a Native Son: “I think all theories are suspect, that the finest principles may have to be modified, or may even be pulverized by the demands of life, and that one must find, therefore, one’s...

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