Re: RE : RARA-AVIS: David Goodis and jazz influence

From: Ed Lynskey (
Date: 22 Jul 2007

Yes, thanks for all of the good points you raise. From my reading, Goodis seems to be doing more with his use of jazz (and other music) than creating an ambience or a background mood. IMO, the jazz pieces he listens to heighten his sense of isolation and detachment. Anyway, I'm enjoying DARK PASSAGE. One scene midway is great, a device I don't remember reading before in a noir.

--- "E. Borgers" <> wrote:
> Back to the original question : Goodis, jazz and his work.
> You certainly remember the fascination Goodis had for the
> low end of the entertainment places (bars, clubs…) and his
> attraction for places run by Blacks.
> Knowing this we can say that at least he was tolerant to
> jazz and r&b (the real stuff, not this pale tasteless soup
> they serve under the r&b label nowadays).
> You will remember also that in quite a number of his novels
> music plays a role, direct or indirect (the pianist of Down
> There, a singer in street of No Return). Besides, in another
> novel he gave a realistic and frightening description of a
> poor and violent Black neighbourhood (Street of the Lost)
> wherein music is present in a kind of low class bar.
> There must be other references to jazz in his novels, but I
> cannot remember details.
> By the way, he also liked to use classical music performers
> as characters (Down There…)
> As I remembered that Philippe Garnier in his Goodis'
> biography described some of Goodis music tastes, as confirmed
> by friends and witnesses, I quickly searched the book and it
> appears:
> -Goodis learned the violin when he was a kid
> -he always owned jazz records, and classical
> -he liked Count Basie, Lionel Hampton (under others)
> -he often played kazoo to support the records he was
> listening
> -he liked to go to jazz clubs in Philadelphia West (he met
> Duke Ellington)
> -his favourite song: "How High the Moon" -he played it
> himself
> And of course, a lot of confirmations that he liked to spend
> nights in Black neighbourhood, looking for women, music and
> depravation (but he was not a heavy drinker)

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