Re: RARA-AVIS: Mosley's colors

From: Karin Montin (
Date: 24 Jul 2005

I read Devil in a Blue Dress a few years ago, but it has always bothered me that Daphne is not a devil, yet she is demonized by the title. My impression is that Rawlings started with a song references and went from there. I think I read somewhere that he only realized the colour angle after publishing several titles.

As I have mentioned before, I found the plot in this book and the two others by Mosely that I've read to be full of holes, though it's been too long for me to provide any examples. In this book there is a lot of confusion around a couple of characters named Green. Any colour symbolism in that escapes me.


At 10:34 24/07/05 -0400, Jay Gertzman wrote:
>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,

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