RARA-AVIS: Goodis and Willeford

From: Jay Gertzman ( jgertzma@earthlink.net)
Date: 09 Oct 2007

> Does anyone know if Willeford ever acknowledged reading or having been influenced by David Goodis?
> I was really struck recently when reading Willeford's 'Pick Up' how
> close in style, theme and subject matter -- except for the twist
> ending -- it was to Goodis's work.
> Anyone else have the same reaction?
I agree abut _Pick-Up_, except Springer, like most CW heroes, loves to eat rich, greasy food and Goodis' heroes seem to eat only .50 cent chop suey or canned peaches. Alcoholism, a certain passivity, skilled use of their fists and artistic talent are marks of Harry Jordan and many Goodis heroes. But other than that, CW's protagonists are bundles of very effective social action and vicious betrayal, esp. of anyone who cares about them or any group they can and sometimes do help. They seem to have learned these traits from a predatory social system, which they symbolize. Goodis' heroes are certainly trapped in themselves also, but they are much more scrupulous and self-hating. They do end up walking in the rain. CW's are more scary, and on fire.

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