Finding David Goodis
Louis Boxer, organizer of GoodisCON
From GoodisCON program book
Cover from Mystery File blog
A year and a half ago, I had never heard of David Goodis.
A year and half later, I have been to his house at 6305
North 11th Street, I have gone through years of his
meticulously kept tax returns, and I have been to his grave
I have seen his movies. I have read his books. I have read
essays, critical studies, and just about everything about
I have talked to anybody and everybody about him from all
over the world.
I have met with his family. I have met with his friends. I
have met with his admirers.
In the process of discovering who David Goodis was, I have
learned that he was a man of great complexity.
As Philippe Garnier (whose seminal work Goodis, La Vie En
Noir Et Blanc [Goodis: Life in Black And White] 1984 which
remains to be translated from the French) told me when I
first began this quest, “Don't delude yourself: you'll
never know what made him tick. I don't. Sallis don't know.
Nobody knows that much.” He was right.
What I do know is that David Goodis was a man of incredible
talent, with an incredible sensitivity toward a forgotten
segment of society. He was constantly haunted by a sense of
failure yet was able to maintain a near impossible
balancing act that teetered between his alleged eccentric
behavior and his struggle to fulfill his responsibilities
as a son and a brother.
Ultimately, he lived his life the way he wanted to and
harmed no one in the process.
In my humble analysis, he was a gifted artist bent on
telling one helluva story the only way he knew how!
I owe a great deal of thanks to so many for their
willingness to revisit the past, for their kindness in
answering my never ending e-mails and phone calls and for
their great generosity and support in making this project
Gabriel (left) author of "The Sermon" with Louis
This list of friends is in no way comprehensive and I
apologize in advance for neglecting anyone.
M. Kelly Tillery
Jay M. Gertzman
Melinda A. Jacobs
Councilman Jack Kelly