excerpted fromMy Dungeon Shook | By James Baldwin | Issue 403 | The Sun Magazine

excerpted from
My Dungeon Shook

Letter To My Nephew On The One Hundredth Anniversary Of The Emancipation

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I don’t know whether to feel anger or sorrow at Pat Daly’s letter [Correspondence, July 2009], in which she “resent[s] the intrusion of the Dog-Eared Page.” First she states that writing from the past can be found on the Internet or at the bookstore. But would she have known to look for, say, James Baldwin’s “My Dungeon Shook” [July 2009] if someone hadn’t directed her attention to it? She says she wants “writing that comes from the heart and soul of the living moment,” as if past wisdom were somehow dead. When reading Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1967 diatribe against American empire [“Beyond Vietnam,” June 2009], I was amazed at how far ahead of his time he was in his thinking; I copied the speech and distributed it to friends.

Would Daly also advocate the removal of Renoir and Van Gogh from gallery walls to make more room for contemporary artists?

Ken Klonsky Vancouver
British Columbia
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