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Journal Articles Journal of Law and Religion Year : 2022

The Great, Gray City of Light


This essay analyzes one of James Baldwin’s least commented-upon essays, “Equal in Paris,” through the lens of current debates about transatlantic differences regarding race, equality, and citizenship. In his essay, Baldwin narrates how he was imprisoned in Paris for several days a year after his arrival in France. Baldwin constructs his essay not as a political manifesto about race, citizenship, and equality. Rather, through a powerful and cinematographic description, he leads the reader to share the narrator’s distressing experience of disjunction and terror he had while in prison. This literary choice can be understood in the context of Baldwin’s rejection of theologies of damnation and redemption that, according to him, motivate protest writings.
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Dates and versions

hal-03716198 , version 1 (07-07-2022)




Nadia Marzouki. The Great, Gray City of Light. Journal of Law and Religion, 2022, 37 (2), pp.250-258. ⟨10.1017/jlr.2022.25⟩. ⟨hal-03716198⟩
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