RARA-AVIS: Goodis and jazz

From: Jay Gertzman ( jgertzma@earthlink.net)
Date: 25 Jul 2007

Some Goodis novels show the consequences of love lyric cliches that still enthrall our culture. He dives into the psyches of his characters like jazz does, chipping away at the iron bars the cliches have built, and presenting a cosmic sadness instead of treacley nostalgia. Eddie's one moment of jealousy causes selfless Teresa's suicide and his own despair. (_Down There_ = helpless self hate). Mooney is so love sick for saintly martyred Catherine he gives himself the runs (_Moon in the Gutter_). Harbin loves Gladden but can only idolize and fatherly protect her; they get together only to drown (_The Burglar)_. Whitey exchanges his greatest gift for Skid Row once he sees Celia as a goddess whom neither he nor any other male can approach, although any other cooch dancer gets them hot (_Street of No Return_). Sir Philip Sidney, meet Charlie Mingus.

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