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.
Leon Friedman served as the
attorney for publisher Maurice Girodias throughout the
1960s. He is currently of counsel to Farrar, Straus
Laura Frost is an Assistant Professor of Literature
at Yale University, and the author of Sex Drives:
Fantasies of Fascism in Literary Modernism.
Iris Owens wrote numerous wildly popular and regularly
banned erotic novels for the Travellers
Companion series of Olympia Press under the pseudonym
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
The late Richard Seaver was
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
Erotica Readers & Writers Association
|"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
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
version of the review...
When Connecticut Was
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."
The Truth About 'Candy'
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
The Candy Men
Reviewed by William
Boston University College of Communication
". . . 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
Camden, New Jersey
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..."
to The New York Times review of The Candy Men here; free registration
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
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
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."
|From the Publisher, Arcade:
the early fall of 1958 there appeared in Paris, in the familiar
dull-green cover of the already notorious Olympia Press, a novel
entitled Candy, a Rabelasian satire loosely based on Voltaire's
Candide by one Maxwell Kenton, pseudonym of its coauthors
Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg. Following a modest first
printing, the book drew the attention of the French censors, was
banned, reissued by Olympia's intrepid publisher Maurice Girodias
under the title Lollipop, rebanned, then again reissued. Within
years it became one of the most talked-about novels of the tumultuous
1960s, selling in the millions of copies in America alone, its
success prompting Hollywood to turn it into a move.
The rollicking, hilarous, and sometimes
tragic story of Candy's public career is recounted here
full detail by Nile Southern, son of Terry Southern. From the
book's humble beginnings in Paris in the late 1950s through
an agonizing three-year gestation (often on paper napkins, lost,
stolen, or destroyed) and the authors' wily, often self-destructive
business dealings with their equally wily French publisher,
to its chaotic and controversial publication in the United States,
The Candy Men follows with unblinking scrutiny Candy's
underground then mainstream success, the legal shenanigans surrounding
it, the blatant piracy that plagued it almost from the start,
and the star-studded cast with whose help it was made into one
of the worst motion-pictures of all time.
Replete with deceptions and self-deceptions,
midnight dope runs, betrayals left, right and center, court
cases galore, and, in short, general pandemonium, The Candy
Menstarring Terry Southern, Mason Hoffenberg, and
Maurice Girodias--is as much fun to read as the original novel
Santa Monica Mirror: review
by Nile Southern
Was it erotic satire or was it a dirty
book? Its authors thought it was both. The notorious novel Candy
was written by friends Terry Southern (father of author Nile)
and Mason Hoffenberg, bad-boy ex-pats who met in 1948 in Paris,
where they hung out in cafes, smoked hash, listened to jazz,
slept with women and met Maurice Girodias, the audacious publisher
who delighted in putting out books that the government would
ban and spent much of his life flirting with prison because
of it. Girodias gathered a stable of ex-pat writers and inaugurated
an erotic series called the Travellers Companion.
Candy was 64th in the series, published in 1958 and quickly
confiscated by the Paris vice squad. It was reissued under the
title Lollipop so that it could be smuggled into England.
In 1964, it appeared in the United States, where Newsweek
called it the first genuinely comic pornographic novel.
Nile Southern draws from his fathers correspondence with
Hoffenberg, Girodias and others in this ribald story of a book
and its authors, who thumbed their noses at the sexual mores
of their time.
Sunday, November 7th, 11pm
BOWERY POETRY CLUB;
308 Bowery foot of First Street, between Houston & Bleecker
across from CBGBs
Nile Southern will read from The
The fabulous Phoebe Legere
and Nile will read/perform scenes
from the 1958 banned novel.
will read a new poem for the occasion.
Midnight Ubu-Dance Party after the reading.
magazine, publishing party:
Issue # 19,
Rebels + Outlaws
The Standard Hotel
550 S. Flower St.,
downtown Los Angeles
with DJ Har Mar Superstar,
and special guests
Sunday, September 26, MYOPIC
1564 N. Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60622
Illinois State University in Normal
7 p.m. reading, followed by
CVA 147 as part of
Banned Books Week.
The event is free and open to all.
New York Public Library:
Candy Was Banned:
How The Olympia Press Thwarted Literary Censorship
Tuesday, November 9, 2004,
York Public Library acquired
Terry Southern literary archive April 1, 2003.
about the collection here!
August 12, KERA
90.1 FM, National Public Radio
for Dallas and North Texas
The Glenn Mitchell Show
Interview from Greece, by cell phone: a FIRST for KERA!
Tuesday, June 1st, Boulder
Boulder, Colorado, 7:30 p.m.
of the event HERE..
Wednesday, June 2, "Live at Penny
Lane" KGNU 88.5
Boulder, Colorado, 8:35 a.m.
Friday, June 18th, 6:30 p.m. Book
126 Main Street
Sag Harbor, New York
Saturday, June 24, 7:30 p.m., New York
Barnes & Noble Bookstore
396 Avenue of the Americas
(in the Village, 6th and 8th)
reviews, comments, literary
and love letters to Candy
Deadly Arts: a review of The CANDY Men
: Movies, literature, music
"No staid literary bio (for these
were not staid literary men) "The Candy Men" becomes
a frantic portrait of two men riding on the fringe of a cultural
change, watching their book evolve from stoned fantasy to cause
celebre, from a smut-for- hire job to contractual nightmare.
But there's not a dull page in it
Message to hipsters,
cultural anthropologists, 60's diehards and book fiends:
Check out Nile Southern's
THE CANDY MEN
out today [5.7.04]
Nile has set down the premier exposition of the storied birth
and aftermath of runaway bestseller and scandàle literàire
CANDY, an addictive read you simply could not avoid if you were
alive in the 1960s. A bona fide phenomenon in a decade
rife with outrè happenings, the true story behind
CANDY is as heartbreaking as it is hilarious; you will not want
to miss this insider's account of two real-life Candides (or Quixotes)
as they whip the Quality Lit world but ultimately succumb to inner
demons they could not vanquish.
The Candy Men. Buy it. Read it. If you like it, recommend
I wouldn't do you wrong.
Gordon Whiting, San Francisco, Calif.
Written in the uptight Eisenhower 50s in
tag-team style by a poet/narcotics addict (Hoffenberg) and 'the
ultimate hipster' (Southern), the novel Candy began life as a
larka quick way to make a few bucksand ended up a
landmark work that not only defined what was (and was not) funny
but also what was (and was not) obscene.
Candy's strange tripfrom initial conception, to completion,
and eventual condemnationis stylishly told, warts-and-all,
in The CANDY Men via the letters of its main players as they conspire,
debate, vilify, and argue with each other over the course of several
years. This is engrossing and hilarious stuff at times, petty
and mean-spirited at others, as 'he said/she said' type arguments
rise and fall over authorship, ownership, division of labor, and
(of course) division of money.
In The CANDY Men, Nile Southern (son of Terry) comes clean about
the making of the ultimate dirty book. "Good grief, it's
Jim Yoakum, Director, The Graham Chapman Archives
Literary Executor, The Graham Chapman Estate
|An inspiring cautionary tale
Candy remains a delightful
anomaly...a funny, poetic, and insightful (and still hot) book.
Nile Southern's The Candy Men
is a near forensic account of its inauspicious beginnings as a
Left Bank lark between Terry Southern, Mason Hoffenberg, and Olympia
Press impresario and mad scientist, Maurice Girodias. The book
became an underground phenomenon in 1958 and then a mainstream
bestseller in 1964. Sadly, Hoffenberg and Southern saw little
of the book's profits thanks to the near insane business and legal
logic of Girodias (a man who was at once a shyster, patron, and
Nile has created a timely and long overdue narrative of an exciting
period in literary and cultural historythat weird transition
from the Beat world of the 50s to the psychedelic meltdown of
the 60s - in a prose style that communicates the idealism and
passion of those years. However, the book is far from a nostalgia
trip. It also serves as a cautionary tale to writers who get sucked
into the crevice where art and commerce mix. Funny, inspiring,
sad, and tragic. The Candy Men
is just what we need in these grim and depressing times of the
Lee Hill, author, A
Grand Guy: The Art and Life of Terry Southern