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On a number of occasions James Baldwin talked about and wrote about an ambitious novel of epic proportions tracing slavery from the middle passage up through the civil rights movement. Baldwin ends his 1959 profile of Swedish filmmaker, Ingmar Bergman, with a meditation on his unwritten novel (“Talking at the Gates”/“House Nigger”). Bergman and Baldwin shared a great many attributes as artists and as men, some obvious, some not so obvious, but all illuminating to contemplate. Both men were brought up by punitive, Protestant clergymen; both men plumbed their personal lives for their fictional material; both men were haunted by Christianity.