Baldwin’s The Devil Finds Work (1976) has proven challenging since its publication because readers and critics have trouble classifying it. The challenge may be related to a common feature of Baldwin criticism, namely a tendency to compare late career works to early ones and to find them lacking: the experimental nature of later works of nonfiction like No Name in the Street (1972), The Devil Finds Work, and The Evidence of Things Not Seen (1985) does not square easily with the more conventional essays that made Baldwin famous in his early years. I attempt to reframe The Devil Finds Work not through a comparison to other Baldwin essays, but rather through a comparison to his fiction, specifically the novel Giovanni’s Room. I posit that a greater appreciation for Devil can result from thinking of it as a story, specifically the story of a failed love affair.
The author travels to St.-Paul-de-Vence, the site of Baldwin’s final decades, with the intention of understanding expatriation and/or exile more deeply. The intention of this visit is to fill in some of the gaps in Baldwin’s official biographies, which do not tend to dwell on his time spent in Provence as much as his time in Paris, Turkey, New York, and elsewhere. By interviewing a woman who knew Baldwin well during those years, the author manages to add new layers to his understanding of Baldwin’s late years, but finally arrives at the understanding that writing (rather than analyzing) is the main goal of the expatriate writer. Inspired by Baldwin’s muse, he stops contemplating his subject and gets to work, finally connecting the act of writing to expatriation by doing it.
microcosm. They have dramatised her negotiated bid for selfhood and status within what might be called the national house, that is, within the inherited and correlated structures of both family and nation-state. This chapter will address how three very diﬀerent postcolonial women writers, each one a ‘daughter’, if lost or prodigal, to one or other nation, have written themselves into the national family script, or redrafted the daughter’s relationship to the national father. The novels in question are: the expatriate Australian Christina Stead’s The Man Who Loved Children
Our story starts not in the southern colonies but with a canonical scene of literary expatriation and scandalous celebrity: Lord Byron in Genoa, spending the spring of 1823 with the so-called ‘Blessington circus’, a tight little entourage of idler-adventurers who cast their web across Ireland, England, and continental Europe. The ‘circus’ was named for the Irish author and literary hostess Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington, and her second husband, Charles John Gardiner, the Earl of Blessington. It also included Blessington’s daughter, Lady Harriet
, possibly for the first time – directly connects the kangaroo hunt to the business of acclimatisation: the mother is captured, not killed, and exported to England (the site of her enslavement). It also links back to Arthur Phillips’ 1793 voyage to England with those four kangaroos and two Eora men. In fact, the narrative wants to give this kangaroo its own Indigenous identity and kinship system, tying the kangaroo hunt and its consequences to Aboriginal dispossession and demonstrating a parallel between, for example, Bennelong’s experience of expatriation and that of an
‘waiting to be visited, observed, and eventually colonised’ by the ‘traveller-artist-anthropologist-colonist’. Jason Rudy et al. extend such lateral southern connections in their study of the remarkable expatriate and utopian Australian community of Colonia Cosme in 1890s Paraguay. In this case, once again, the Cosme Monthly with its insets of poetry and song worked as a technology that gave shape and expression to this transplanted southern colony. For many contributors, interestingly, the nation, or, more precisely, the nation in formation, remains a prevalent
Contexts and intertexts 1 1 Contexts and intertexts A It may be that writers in my position, exiles or emigrants or expatriates, are haunted by some sense of loss, some urge to reclaim, to look back, even at the risk of being mutated into pillars of salt. But if we do look back we must do so in the knowledge – which gives rise to profound uncertainties – that our physical alienation from India almost inevitably means that we will not be capable of reclaiming precisely that thing that was lost, that we will, in short, create fictions, not actual cities or
MacPherson and Bryher became adoptive parents to Perdita and made their home with H.D. in Switzerland, though travelling frequently to London, Paris, and Berlin. In Paris, Bryher became a strong supporter of the expatriate community of writers and artists on the Left Bank, particularly those swirling around the milieu of Sylvia Beach, the American founder of the English-language bookshop Shakespeare and Company , and her romantic partner Adrienne Monnier, owner of the French bookstore and lending library
Pastoral Poetry of the English Renaissance contains the text of the poems with brief headnotes giving date, source and other basic information, and footnotes with full annotation.