Sunday, December 04, 2005

More on the Killer

As far as recent Tosches scholarship is concerned Hellfire is orthodox and linear. It isn't a parable about Evil or the commerce of one's soul, but rather it is hinted indictment. It follows an almost Faulknerian taxonomy of the blighted region where the unnamed spectre of Race lingers like toxic angel over the soil. Muted screams and tainted legacy abound in the Louisiana of Lewis' youth. The fact that he is cousins with Jimmy Swaggert and Mickey Gilley is underdeveloped my Tosches, but perhaps the mere coincidence is sufficent for high drama. The oscillation of the kIller between full-bore debauchery and the hesitation of Milton's Lucifer, this is the integral paradox, these mechanics aren't cellestial but biochemical, lurking submerged in the measure of men.

His enkindling his piano after being snubbed in defference to Chuck Berry (follow that, nigger - Lewis growled) is a portrait in minature. It was a fascinating read, haunting in its allusion.


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