Go Tell It on the Mountain - James Baldwin
he remembered only enough to be afraid every time her belly began to swell, knowing that each time the swelling began it would not end until she was taken from him, to come back with a stranger. Each time this happened she became a little more of a stranger herself.
John stared at Elisha all during the lesson, admiring the timbre of Elisha’s voice, much deeper and manlier than his own, admiring the leanness, and grace, and strength, and darkness of Elisha in his Sunday suit, wondering if he would ever be holy as Elisha was holy.
是我读太多queer literature吗？虽然用词很惜省，但是leanness/grace/strength一串过去，怎么看都不止是倾慕a holy preacher，更像是情欲启蒙啊。后文说到John因为贪看Elisha出神，回答不上问题，E连责备都是“gently”，十足温柔兄长的形象了。
It seemed that there had never been a time when he had not known this moment of waiting while the packed church paused—the sisters in white, heads raised, the brothers in blue, heads back; the white caps of the women seeming to glow in the charged air like crowns, the kinky, gleaming heads of the men seeming to be lifted up—and the rustling and the whispering ceased and the children were quiet; perhaps someone coughed, or the sound of a car horn, or a curse from the streets came in; then Elisha hit the keys, beginning at once to sing, and everybody joined him, clapping their hands, and rising, and beating the tambourines.
John wondered at his panic, then wondered about the time; and then (while the yellow stain on the ceiling slowly transformed itself into a woman’s nakedness) he remembered that it was his fourteenth birthday and that he had sinned.
Roy stirred again and John pushed him away, listening to the silence. On other mornings he awoke hearing his mother singing in the kitchen, hearing his father in the bedroom behind him grunting and muttering prayers to himself as he put on his clothes; hearing, perhaps, the chatter of Sarah and the squalling of Ruth, and the radios, the clatter of pots and pans, and the voices of all the folk nearby.
and since he was noticed by an eye altogether alien and impersonal, he began to perceive, in wild uneasiness, his individual existence.
On his refusal to do this had his life depended, and John’s secret heart had flourished in its wickedness until the day his sin first overtook him.
是wickedness（hatred and intellegince）更悖离信仰呢，还是他犯下的手淫的罪孽/sin更出离？感觉这两者，一是不信/精神出逃，一是肉体放纵，接续发生之后一定会导向某个更大的事件。
Between the two faces there stretched a darkness and a mystery that John feared, and that sometimes caused him to hate her.
And, having thought of it as the face of a stranger, he tried to look at it as a stranger might, and tried to discover what other people saw. But he saw only details: two great eyes, and a broad, low forehead, and the triangle of his nose, and his enormous mouth, and the barely perceptible cleft in his chin, which was, his father said, the mark of the devil’s little finger.
And he knew again that she was not saying everything she meant; in a kind of secret language she was telling him to-day something that he must remember and understand to-morrow. He watched her face, his heart swollen with love for her and with an anguish, not yet his own, that he did not understand and that frightened him.
对这类解读言外之意的场景非常着迷。有限第三人称，而且是青少年视角，总会给叙事带来云遮雾罩的效果，特别是当叙事者和成人世界发生关系的时候，通常称之为“成长”，或者说得更神秘一些，像是对另一套不可言说的规则进行窥探和解密的过程。“not yet his own”，是从母亲那里传递过来的悲痛，她面对生活感到力不从心。
Broadway: the way that led to death was broad, and many could be found thereon; but narrow was the way that led to life eternal, and few there were who found it.
The legend above their heads was: ‘There’s a fool like him in every family—and a woman next door to take him over!’ He decided to see this, for he felt identified with the blond young man, the fool of his family, and he wished to know more about his so blatantly unkind fate.
…and soon all John’s sympathy was given to this violent and unhappy woman…Nothing tamed or broke her, nothing touched her, neither kindness, nor scom, nor hatred, nor love. She had never thought of prayer…He wanted to be like her, only more powerful, more thorough, and more cruel; to make those around him, all who hurt him, suffer as she made the student suffer, and laugh in their faces when they asked pity for their pain.
电影这个意象出来得太妙了。John原本是奔着“fool of his family”的感同身受去的，结果被一个肆无忌惮的女人形象所吸引，并短暂地把她当作自己渴望摆脱教堂生活的寄托。（对比下前文的Elisha形象！）结果这个女人在电影中的结局非常凄惨，John又只能把这次观影作为上帝的一种启示——如果选择放荡，就会下地狱。在此之后，行为放荡的Roy被捅伤，却在父亲那里得到了细心温柔的照顾；good boy John反而因为生日这天的缺席遭到斥责。父亲身为教堂执事，并没有遵循上帝那套善恶果报的行事逻辑，真是好讽刺的反转和对照！
原本读到姨妈 Florence 出走的那一段眼前一亮，读者的期待和激情熊熊燃烧，结果再往后看，角色又进入了另一种家庭生活，以另一种状态 got stuck ，自身的野心期待和酒鬼丈夫的不成器，不知道该怎样吐槽这种搭配和安排……之后角色在礼拜堂的祷告中痛哭流涕，质问上帝为何不公，为何她的母亲和兄弟得到眷顾，而她只能在小公寓里了此余生——看得人只想大叫：“所以呢，最后还是一个信者得救、不信者得果报的故事吗！”
按读书会的安排，后续要转向 Giovanni’s Room 或是 James Baldwin 较为出彩的几篇散文了，到时候再看是否有时间记录。