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There’s A Hero (If You Look Inside Your Heart…)

You should have seen this one coming … Who is your favorite Male lead character? And why?

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My hero doesn’t shed blood in the war. Neither is he a veteran nor a F16 pilot. He doesn’t advocate for global warming, nor does he receives a holy message from Mount Sinai. He is someone in whom I identity myself–Giovanni in Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin. The novel explores the troubling emotions of man’s heart with unusual candor and yet with dignity and intensity. It delves into the most controversial issue of morality with an artistry. The most touching and absorbing thing is Giovanni’s unconditional love for David, whose fearful intimation opens in him a hatred for Giovanni that is as powerful as his love for him. This love for Giovanni has been meticulously suppressed, and is not recognized until the ineluctable separation, which compounds David’s scruple.

Going hand in hand with Giovanni is Maurice in Maurice by E.M. Forster. speaks the truth of the hearts of many who are stricken by the very stigma, shame, and fear decades later. It reassures us that assimilating to any normality, or abiding by any standards does not give us dignity. Instead dignity manifests itself and comes to engulf us without our knowing when we are at ease with who we are. What makes a profound impression on me about the novel is not the gay protagonist, but the inexplicable loneliness Maurice has to live and to persevere. Maurice seems to hold the key to trouble but deep inside he is rather a simple-lifer who searches for love and wants to be loved. It makes me realize sometimes there are maladies in life so strange that one has to pass through them in order to attain the true happiness.

Both Giovanni and Maurice, to me, are very courageous men.

11 Responses

  1. I’m not familiar with these authors but I’m always looking for new to me authors 🙂

    Happy BTTs and have a good Thursday!

  2. Great answer. Now I want to go and search out both books. 🙂

  3. Indeed they are!

  4. What a great post Matt. I love both of the books. They are among the most beautifully written, heart-searching books, not just in gay literature, but fiction in general.

  5. Insightful, thoughtful selections of greatness.

  6. I now must go add Giovanni’s Room to my wishlist. Thanks for the recommendation. Happy BTT.

  7. Julia:
    Thank you. I highly recommend the two books and hope you’ll enjoy them as well. 🙂

  8. Maree:
    Like I said to Julia, I hope you’ll enjoy two of my very favorite books. 🙂

  9. Steve:
    These books have significant meanings to me as a gay man. They enlightened me and held out the hope that even a gay man can find true love.

  10. John:
    I completely agree with ya! 🙂

  11. Cipriano:
    Thanks Cip. 🙂

    BTT and enjoy Giovanni’s Room. James Baldwin is one of my favorite authors. 🙂

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