Saturday, 11 April 2015

Good as Gone

Anna Pottier has published a memoir about the 14 years she spent with Irving Layton in his declining years, leaving him in 1995 when she was 35. She explains the genesis of her title:
Towards the latter part of our time together when stress and anxiety began creeping into Irving like arthritis into bones, he would turn to me with increasing frequency for answers and reassurance as to who was coming over or had such-and-such a letter been answered, etc. My joking response was to say that I could title my eventual memoir One Minute and Forty-nine Seconds: My Life with Irving Layton. “Why?” “Because that is how long I have between questions.” I began writing Good as Gone in January 2006, almost immediately after Irving’s death. Some seven years later, I was writing the chapter about an epic road trip I took in 2008. In it, I respond to a Craigslist ad from a singer-songwriter seeking a travel companion from New York to LA. My email made an impression, and when Ray Tarantino called, saying meet me at Nietzsche’s Bar in Buffalo on Saturday, that’s all it took. I was good as gone. The moment I typed that line, I knew I’d found my title.


Anna Pottier said...

To which I'd add this: an artist's worth can be measured by the degree to which he or she is willing to let themselves be 'good as gone'. One of the hopes I have for this book is that it helps provide another perspective on Layton. So many stories, so little space! Anyway, for this Carmine.

Anna Pottier said...

Damn typo. Should read "Anyway, thanks for this Carmine.