Both A Kiss Before Dying (KBD) and The Grifters are examples of what William Marling has called the American roman noir. Noir in this instance echoes another genre, film noir, and refers to a whole repertoire of narrative elements including settings, characters, plot devices, and diction. More generally it signifies a degraded moral condition and a pessimistic, even deterministic, view of the world. The noir universe is one where dark impulses drive action and appearances are often deceptive. Though romans noir often play out in the demimonde— cheap bars, casinos, shabby boardinghouses, etc.– moral darkness also pervades sun-struck suburban streets and opulent penthouses.
Supper with the Sieppes:
The Girl Ch. 17 page 72:
I had got desires now. It all broke on my tongue like some wild sweet fruit. As if my bark was breaking in spring, or mama rising in me, telling me how the flesh can die, be beaten and lost. I felt a great root springing down and a great blossom springing up, like my hair sprang out of my skull green, or a terrible root went into the dark with a hundred mouths looking for food.
Here’s some accurate, easily understood information about COVID-19.
Bill Duke directed this adaptation of Chester Himes’s 1958 crime novel A Rage in Harlem.
A Great Depression soundtrack: https://analepsis.org/2018/10/28/depression-soundtrack-310-485/
A filmography from/about the Great Depression: https://analepsis.org/2009/10/14/films-of-and-about-the-great-depression/
Images taken from Artstor.org, available via the library: