"LOVE IN AMERICA: Autobiography, Vol. III (1919-1920)" by Julian Green

"LOVE IN AMERICA: Autobiography, Vol. III (1919-1920)"

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American expatriate Green records searing conflicts between heart and spirit as he finally comes to recognize his sexual identity in this third volume of autobiography (The Green Paradise, 1992; The War at Sixteen, 1993). Though born and raised in France, Green was filled by his American parents with tales of family history and Southern lore. So, arriving on these shores in 1919, Green felt instinctively at home, especially in the South. In old family residences in Virginia and Savannah he met relatives, viewed treasured memorabilia, and savored the distinctively southern ethics his parents had imbued in him. But as a student at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Green was less sure of his place. Though only 19, he had fought in WW I, his sensibility and tastes were European, and he missed France; but, he admits, looking out over Charlottesville on his first morning, ""devoted as I was to France, I recognized that a part of me had no other origin than the country in which I now found myself."" Shy and self-conscious, Green at first avoided his fellow students and concentrated instead on his classes and spiritual growth. A devout convert to Catholicism, he considered becoming a priest, but he was also agonizingly conscious of his intense attraction to young men. And his unsparing recollections of his sexual ignorance, his desperate attempts to subsume his feelings in religious practice, and his growing awareness of the existence of others like him, make this volume a remarkable record of self-discovery. Finally able to befriend -- platonically -- his beloved Mark, who ""reappears constantly"" in his later writings, Green finds a measure of contentment before returning to France. Self-portrait of the artist as a young man, rendered with an excoriating candor that makes Green such a master and exemplar of the confessional voice.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1994
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Marion Boyars -- dist. by InBook