New York Public Library:
When Candy Was Banned:
How The Olympia Press Thwarted Literary Censorship
A panel discussion
Humanities and Social Sciences Library; South Court Auditorium
Tuesday, November 9, 2004, 6:30 P.M.
|A discussion of transatlantic literary
freedom in the 1950s and the subversive tactics of the Olympia
Press, led by some of the most controversial publishers,
translators, and authors of the day.
served as the attorney for publisher Maurice Girodias
throughout the 1960s. He is currently of counsel to
Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
is an Assistant Professor of Literature at Yale University,
and the author of Sex Drives: Fantasies of Fascism
in Literary Modernism.
wrote numerous wildly popular and regularly banned erotic
novels for the Travellers Companion
series of Olympia Press under the pseudonym Harriet
Nile Southern is the
author of The CANDY
Men: The Rollicking Life and Times of the Notorious
Novel CANDY. The son
of Terry Southern, he serves as co-Trustee of the Terry
Southern Literary Trust.
(Moderator) is the co-founder of Arcade Publishing.
An esteemed translator of French literature, he served
as the Parisian publisher of Beckett and Genet, and
has translated numerous works by Marguerite Duras, Eugène
Ionesco, and the Marquis de Sade, among others. Before
founding Arcade, Mr. Seaver was Editor-in-Chief at Grove
Press and Penguin USA.
|Cost: $10 regular admission,
$7 friends and conservators.
Contact (212) 930-0855,
weekdays between 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. for further Public
Program information or call (212)
930-0571 for a 24-hour
ticket availability announcement.
Erotica Readers & Writers Association
Review by Rob Hardy
|"The Candy Men thus turns out to be a sad book with lots of funny stories about how a really funny book came into being. Anyone who values Candy will be fascinated with this complicated biography of the novel."
Everyone Was a Fool
The Unruly, Unappreciated, Unparalleled
Genius of Terry Southern
By Max Watman
October 15, 2004
This is the grand guy who wrote the best hipster fiction ever done, invented the independent film movement, and cracked New Journalism fully grown right out of his skull. He drove across the country and back again while Neil and Jack were still scraping nickels off the kitchen floor for gas money and dex. He was the blockbuster, bestselling author of "Candy."
version of the review...
Connecticut Was Cool
The state's cold war
cut-ups make a comeback
by Christopher Arnott
Fairfield County Weekly
August 12, 2004
"...Nile Southern's written his own book about loss of innocence in the 1960s: The Candy MenThe Rollicking Life and Times of the Notorious Novel Candy (Arcade). It traces the uneven collaboration between Terry Southern and his pal Mason Hoffenberg to create a book which not only caused an inevitable furor for its vulgar take on contemporary culture, but brought about landmark changes in how the First Amendment applied to erotic literature. Terry Southern's slang-laden language may have become dated over the years, but his ideas never got stale, and he's the best guy to read (or watch) for an honest, empowering laugh when the world seems to be collapsing around you."
By Kent Carroll
The East Hampton Star
September 2, 2004
"The Candy Men" ... captures many of the sights and sounds of those years and that strange terrain. His history is colorful, a mostly engaging portrait of some lively moments in our recent cultural past.
BY PETER LaSALLE
The Texas Observer
August 13, 2004
The Candy Men: The Rollicking Life and Times of the Notorious Novel Candy
By Nile Southern
The late Terry Southern was known for a lot of things, including doing much of the writing on the screenplays of the landmark films Dr. Strangelove and Easy Rider. But for most it will always be his association with the supposedly racy 1960s best-seller Candy that comes to mind when his name gets mentioned. Southern co-authored the novel, and I must say right off that the subtitle of this book by his son Nile Southern saves the reviewer the chore of providing a working precis of its contents, also establishing the right mood for the entire offbeat tale: The Rollicking Life and Times of the Notorious Novel Candy.
The Candy Men
by William McKeen
Professor and Chair
Department of Journalism
The University of Florida
". . . a wonderful, stirring and ultimately tragic book, and the whole tale was started by a piece of writing intended to a quick sell for a cheap thrill. Who knew it would turn out to be art?"
The Denver Post:
'Southern's impact immeasurable':
By Steve Rosen
August 22, 2004
Review of The
Candy Men: "...
doggedly researched and engrossing..."
On Terry Southern: "He broke down one very big barrier separating sexually explicit language from art, and everyone from Lenny Bruce to Madonna has tried to one-up him since."
New Jersey Courier-Post
looks back at beat generation classic
By Frank Halperin
July 11, 2004
"Flawlessly detailed and presented with a spellbinding verve, The Candy Men is a truly captivating biography of both the milestone novel and its furiously original and unwavering writers."
The New York Times:
Candy Men': Biography of a Dirty Novel
By JAMES CAMPBELL
June 6, 2004
"...a highly successful example of an underexploited genre, the biography of a book..."
"The adventures of ''Candy'' have been related before, but never as fully and sympathetically as here, with letters, contracts, legal minutiae, multifaceted biography and, now and then, a wistful personal detail, all conspiring to take the story forward..."
(Link to The New York Times review of The Candy Men here; free registration needed)
Candy Men" by Nile Southern
By CHARLES TAYLOR
June 10, 2004
"Terry Southern's son tells the wacky tale of his dad's '60s pornographic masterpiece "Candy," whose heroine is both dirtier and more innocent than today's dead-eyed Britney nymphets."
Salon.com article: (Free one-day trial)
"In its crassness, its lust for celebrity, its pornographication, in the willed yahooism of its politics, America has seemed, for some time now, to be operating according to a Terry Southern scenario. For the last 30 years or so, he has been the Edgar Bergen of the American zeitgeist. I wish there had been more Terry Southern books, but his voice is a constant. For me there is no other writer whose voice is more present in American public life, whose distant cackle can be detected in the (often overlapping) lingo of showbiz and advertising and corporations and politics."
"A giant of American literature, the late writer Terry Southern blended first-rate storytelling, boho cool, outrageous humor, and forthright sexuality and produced some of the most enduring novels (The Magic Christian, Blue Movie), screenplays (Dr. Strangelove, Easy Rider), and short story collections (Red-Dirt Marijuana And Other Tastes) of the 20th Century. In 1958, shady Parisian porn lit king Maurice Girodias published a satire called Candy by Southern and fellow mad dog hipster Mason Hoffenberg. The book went on to sell millions of copies and a decade-long, dual-continent legal battle -- against censors as well as between business partners -- ensued. From the fictitious heroine Candy Christian and her motley suitors to the real-life authors and myriad publishers, everybody got fucked one way or another.
Nile Southern, Terrys son, reconstructs this colorful literary history in The Candy Men: The Rollicking Life and Times of the Notorious Novel Candy. The original best sellers title character is a hot, young naïf whose generous spirit allows men repeated access to her nubile chassis. While delightfully prurient, the comedic depiction of masculine rapacity cloaked in mock-serious dialogue elevated the tome to a work of art. The visionary Girodias also pubbed Burroughs Naked Lunchand Nabokovs Lolita; other classics initially banned for dirty themes or language. He was equally as infamous for ripping writers off, copyright shenanigans, and hiding assets in other ventures.
By threading the controversys narrative
with letters between the players and the army of lawyers retained
to sort out the intrigue, Nile allows us to live amongst a crew
of mavericks whose highly evolved intelligence matched their ability
to shock. The mastery of language contained in the correspondence
between Terry and Mason, in particular, is a groove to behold
and reminds us that there was a not-so-distant-time when geniuses
armed with typewriters fought the thought cops and won."
An interview with author Nile Southern
on KGNU 88.5 FM
June 2, 2004
Non-Fiction: Editor's Pick for May!
The Candy Men: The Rollicking Life and Times of the Notorious Novel Candy
In the spirit of VH1's Behind the Music comes this revealing behind-the-scenes look at the making, breaking, remaking, pirating, filming and legal wrangling of the '60s cult phenomenonm Candy. An erotic satire vaguely inspired by Voltaire's Candide and penned under the name Maxwell Kenton (the nom de plume of its ex-pat coauthors, Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg), Candy was first published in 1958 by the notorious French publisher, Maurice Giordias. The book was immediately banned, then reissued under the title Lollipop, barred again, then reissued again, sanitized in England and eventually shipped stateside, where thanks to Putnam and a slew of publishing pirates, it leapt to bestsellerdom and was eventually crowned "the world's most talked about book." Southern's own son, Nile, has recounted the novel's bumpy and adventurous journey in a magnificent epistolary style, reprinting the correspondence between Candy's authors, its publisher and its increasingly complicated web of involved parties. The compilation perfectly captures the "growing misunderstandings, temper tantrums, paranoid fixations, jealousies, dreams and utter despair that each of these men went through as they tried to regain control over their book lost in a miasma of cloudy copyright." (Miasma is an apt term: by the second half of the book the legal fog is so thick that it's nearly impossible to keep track of who's suing whom.) Raucous and voyeuristic, this biography of a book offers valuable insight into the Beat scenes of Paris and New York, as well as into the publishing world during an era of shifting attitudes toward censorship. Perhaps most importantly, it also offers a window onto the lives and minds of two wildly creative literary characters: the authors Southern and Hoffenberg themselves. (April 22nd, 2004)
BOOKLIST, May 2004:
Southern, Nile. The Candy Men: The Rollicking Life and Times of the Notorious Novel Candy. May 2004. 408p. illus. index. Arcade, $27.95 (1-55970-604-X).
The late satirist Terry Southern is best known as the screenwriting genius behind Stanley Kubricks black-comedy masterpiece, Dr. Strangelove. Less well known in contemporary letters is Southerns friend and lifelong correspondent, Mason Hoffenberg, like Southern a product of the 1950s beat movement. In the mid-sixties, the pair jointly wrote Candy, an erotic parody of Voltaires Candide that became an underground sensation and later a victim of its eras censorship and copyright laws. Southerns son here engagingly recounts the colorful history of the novels composition and success, from gestation in Parisian and Greenwich Village cafés and pubs to being pirated by other underground publishers to its eventual rendition in an embarrassing film starring, among other luminaries, Marlon Brando and Richard Burton. At times more fascinating and readable than the original novel, the Candy saga constitutes an important chapter in the history of popular culture and a worthy second look at one of the now largely forgotten masterpieces of erotic literature.
"Old poops, puritans, the politically correct, and our fun-loving Attorney General may choke on indignation and outraged sensibilities, but the rest of us must laugh along with these anarchic voices. Such wild metaphors and riffs of fervid imagination, daring to celebrate our frailties and folly, are the stuff of literature and life." Peter Mathiessen