Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Walter Mosley

From: Patrick King (
Date: 30 Aug 2008

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    --- On Fri, 8/29/08, <> wrote:

    It's just me, Mosley said not when I asked him, but I've always taken Mouse to be a side of Rawlins' character, a violent loss of control when sufficiently provoked. That's certainly how I read that "Why'd you leave him with me?" line. You can't control the outcome when you lose control. Ditto the scene done so effectively in the Devil in a Blue Dress movie, where a very drunken Mouse nearly shoots an equally impaired Easy at the kitchen table. Nothing much to do but wait for the impulse to pass.

    As I said, it's just my take, but it's one that adds a lot of depth to the character, I think. Rawlins aspires to middle class status and stability, but loss of self control, though sometimes realizing short term gains, usually costs him in the long run. Maybe you don't need to see them as two sides of the same personality to value that. Still, control is what fiction and writing fiction is about, more or less. But that comment may be getting too postmodern.


    Really they're not so much two sides of Easy Rawlings as much as they are two sides of Walter Mosley. A writer creates all characters from imagination and Rawlings, Mouse, Feather & Jesus are all elements of the writer. In GONE FISHING we get the side of Mouse that's missing from the adult stories. I think Mouse is Mosley's most complex character. I don't think he's out of control as much as he just doesn't care what happens. Nothing can be worse than what he's been through so he chooses extreme solutions. This seems to be true of the real-life sociopaths I've known, as well. Don Cheadle's performance in the movie was, apart from the script, the high point of that film for me. It was the first time I realized that Cheadle was an actor to keep an eye on. I thought he was better as Mouse than Danzel was as Easy. (Of course, as always, Danzel was great in that role.) But Cheadle had so much more to work with. Great movie. Wish the story didn't resolve so
     pat and sentimental.

    Patrick King


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