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Finding a Way HomeA Critical Assessment of Walter Mosley's Fiction$
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Owen E. Brady and Derek C. Maus

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781604730883

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604730883.001.0001

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Walter Mosley’s RL’s Dream and the Creation of a Blutopian Community

Walter Mosley’s RL’s Dream and the Creation of a Blutopian Community

(p.2) (p.3) 1 Walter Mosley’s RL’s Dream and the Creation of a Blutopian Community
Finding a Way Home

Daniel Stein

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines Walter Mosley’s body of work—with special focus on RL’s Dream (1995)—through Graham Lock’s conception of blutopia as “an African American visionary future stained with memories.” It suggests that “Mosley enlists this blutopian philosophy as a conceptual framework through which he presents the human struggle for a physical, spiritual, and cultural home,” and that he “offers the wisdom of the blues as a respite from communal dispersion and individual alienation in the American metropolis of the late twentieth century.” RL’s Dream, Mosley’s first non-Easy Rawlins book, can be considered a meta-novel, a text in which Mosley reflects most distinctly on the philosophical, aesthetic, and sociocultural presence of African Americanness in contemporary American life. It is argued that Mosley does not simply use the blues to critique the inhuman vacuity of contemporary culture but also to seek to “mobiliz[e] the mythological potential of the blues as well as its universal human appeal as a spiritual answer to the maladies of the present.”

Keywords:   Walter Mosley, African American literature, Graham Lock, blutopia, blues, meta-novel

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