Saturday, December 14, 2013

Dull Brown and Indigo Rays: More on People Emanating Colors

I posted on August 19th about the idea of people emanating colors, which appears in Chapter 5 of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki in the story told by one of the characters, called Midorikawa.  But I ran across this theme again last week when reading a vintage mystery by Margery Allingham.  Given Murakami's liking for mysteries and the fact that he was inspired by the American hard-boiled genre when writing his early novels and some short stories, I thought I would post the relevant passage here -- just for fun.

'No,' he said. 'Inspector Oath is not particularly interested in Lisa.'
'Of course he's not,' said Donna Beatrice. 'He's not interested in anyone, I hope. It's perfectly obvious that poor misguided Dacre committed suicide. I told the Inspector there were angry dull brown and indigo rays round the boy's head last night. Read what all the authorities say about dull brown and indigo rays. I don't supposed even the Inspector is going to question the authority of men like Kunst and Higgins. Dull brown and indigo rays mean violence, depression, and a lowering of the cosmic tone. A perfectly simple case of suicide. After all, that's the only charitable way to look at it.'
'You saw the rays? said Max, fixing her with a dark unwavering eye. 'Are you prepared to swear in court that you actually saw colored rays of light encircling young Dacre's head any time in your life?'
Donna Beatrice's gaze wavered for an instant, but not for long. 
'Yes,' she said exasperatingly. 'I can see rays round all your heads now. There are too many dark colors in your own aura, Max.'

From Margery Allingham, Death of a Ghost (London: Heinemann, 1934), pp. 58-59.

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