RARA-AVIS: Mosley's colors

From: Jay Gertzman ( jgertzma@earthlink.net)
Date: 24 Jul 2005

I have just read Mosely's first Easy Rawlings novel, _Devil in a Blue Dress_. I have read that Daphne, the woman referred to in the title, is associated with various colors, not only blue but green, brown, white, etc. She is of mixed parentage, and has powers of universal femininity. It is puzzling to think about her as either a devil or a femme fatale. But Mosley makes her a complex and probably archetypal character, although I am not clear on all the implications. I notice that many of the Rawlings novels have one color each in the title. I wonder if Mosely's treatment, not so much of race but of behavior patterns of Americans interacting with race and class, is not an example of how flexible the noir crime novel is (Charyn, Hendricks, Mailer, Paretsky, Burroughs).

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