Login

SubTopics

Edit SubTopic Name SubTopics Postings
N/A Robert Parker's Hawk: The Fair and the Dark 0 0
This is a work in progress and will be revised.  Some spoilers ahead.

In a very good essay on Robert Parker's Hawk, Gary Stephens points out that the pairing of the white Spenser with the black and inscrutible Hawk, who becomes his sidekick, has racial implications that has drawn criticism from some readers of the Spenser series. But then both Parker and Stephens fall into a linguistic trap of their own making.  Parker admits to this when he said in an interview that "racial pun intended" Hawk is "kind of Spenser's dark side."  Later, without acknowledging the racial pun, Stephens says that Parker "didn't shy away fro addressing the darker side of human nature."  What would this mean to someone who objected to Hawk as a stereotype? And why is the instinct-driven aspect of people called their "dark side"?  In this section of the essay, I will explore the literary heritage that, race aside, deems some characters as "dark" and others as "fair."  Then I will consider three different ways that characters in literature express their so-called dark side. 
N/A Walter Mosely's Mouse: Psychopathology and Social Order in DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS 0 1
I am not the first to remark on the similarity of the tripartite structure of the human personality and that of a mystery.  That Parker's Hawk is Spenser's id is a point made in more than one essay in SEARCHING FOR SPENSER.  Looking at the Sherlock Holmes stories, there is the criminal (who has reverted to basic drives and instincts); there is Dr. Watson (the superego, or conscience, or voice of conventional society; and there is between them the descendents of Holmes, who have  to make their way between these to investigate a crime. The investigator's ego, or what can be called his character, how it was formed and therefore the values by which she or he lives, will affect how the investigation is carried out.  


Walter Mosely's DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS is striking in the way it dramatizes and heightens the dilemma of every person who tries to negotiate between id and superego to achieve an ego with some coherence.  Easy Rawlins wants two things out of life, to survive and to be let alone to enjoy what is in fact a rather ordinary life.  But he also has to contend with the voices in his own head, voices that have always warned him of danger.  When he is caught in a criminal world not of his making and his life is in danger, he is rescued by a character called Mouse, the diminutive epithet quite different from the reality.  Mouse is a psychopath, without conscience, who would at whim kill Rawlins as well as save his life.  Mouse is the id in its starkest form, free of any ambiguity; he is not so much immoral as amoral  In that sense, he is far more frightening than Hawk or Clete Purcell at their worst. No one character represent the supergo, the defense of order in the community inhabited by Rawlins and Mouse, but Mosely has managed to render it through the images of a bar, a butcher shop, and a barber shop, the latter two offering the mystery its most symbolic elements.   
There are no postings for this Topic.
Terms of Use | Privacy Statement

Copyright © 2018 Barbara Leavy All Rights Reserved    Powered by BizNiz Developers