Now Dig This: The Unspeakable Writings of Terry Southern, 1950-1995

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9780413772411: Now Dig This: The Unspeakable Writings of Terry Southern, 1950-1995
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Acclaimed novelist, Beat godfather, prolific screenwriter, and one of the founders of New Journalism, as well as the only guy to wear shades on the Sgt. Pepper's album cover, Terry Southern was an audacious, outrageous American original. Now Dig This is a wild, uncensored, and hugely entertaining collection that spans the gamut of his stellar career. From an interview with Henry Green during the salad days of The Paris Review, to his account of life neck-high in girls and cocaine aboard the Rolling Stones' tour jet, Now Dig This is a journey through Terry Southern's America, spanning the buttoned-down 1950s through the sexual revolution, and continuing on to his death in 1995. It places Southern's more formal, early short stories alongside the uproarious "Wormball Man" skit he wrote for Saturday Night Live, based on items in the Weekly World News. It collects his Esquire piece covering the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention with Jean Genet and William S. Burroughs and his remembrances of twentieth-century legends like Abbie Hoffman, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and director Stanley Kubrick, with whom he wrote Dr. Strangelove. Now Dig This is a vivid testament from an American literary lion, and a hilarious, engrossing, and enlightening statement on the changing America in which he lived and worked.

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From Publishers Weekly:

With this outstanding, volatile m‚lange of short pieces, Nile Southern repositions his father "the conduit between the Beatles and the Beats" as a Class Four hurricane in the Hipster Pantheon. Labeled "the Mt. Rushmore of modern American humor" by Saturday Night Live head writer Michael O'Donoghue (who hired him), Southern (1924-1995) is best remembered for his Oscar-nominated screenplays (Easy Rider; Dr. Strangelove) and novels (Candy; The Magic Christian). He also unleashed assorted anarchic articles, reviews (in the Nation), short stories and photo captions (Virgin: A History of Virgin Records, his last book). The opening interview from 1986 is followed by four stories that animate characters via expressive, askew vernacular. Letters to Lenny Bruce and George Plimpton, plus a hilarious commentary on female orgasms mailed to Ms. in 1972, are included. The famed pie-throwing sequence deleted by Kubrick from Dr. Strangelove is described in detail in "Strangelove Outtake: Notes from the War Room." Southern's sharp Esquire piece on the 1968 Chicago police attacks on protesters remains potent. Affectionate portraits of pranksters, poets and friends Plimpton, Maurice Girodias, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Abbie Hoffman, Vonnegut, Frank O'Hara make the closing pages sparkle. Readers will be grateful to Nile Southern for unearthing Terry's "unclassifiable schools of literary invention" from mini-storage for this variegated, entertaining book. (June 1)Forecast: Psychedelic cover art angles full-tilt towards the target audience. Arriving four months after Lee Hill's biography of Southern (HarperCollins), this is promoted at www.terrysouthern.com, a site that suggests there is more material forthcoming.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Southern is probably best known for his screenplays, which include Dr. Strangelove, Easy Rider, and Barbarella, and for Candy (1958), the erotic novel he coauthored with Mason Hoffenberg for the Olympia Press. Overseen by his son Nile, this posthumously published collection contains interviews, stories, letters, and memoirs, some of which appear here for the first time. Among the more interesting pieces are those that deal with filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, including a proposed scene for the movie that would become Eyes Wide Shut. There are memorable portraits of contemporaries such as William Burroughs, Frank O'Hara, and Larry Rivers and reminiscences of the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention, which he covered for Esquire alongside Burroughs and Jean Genet. As in most collections of this kind, the quality of the writing is sometimes uneven, but Southern's irreverent wit and outrageous humor usually make for lively reading. Recommended for contemporary literature and film collections. William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780802138941: Now Dig This: The Unspeakable Writings of Terry Southern, 1950-1995

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ISBN 10:  0802138942 ISBN 13:  9780802138941
Publisher: Grove Press, 2002
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9780802116895: Now Dig This: The Unspeakable Writings of Terry Southern, 1950-1995

Grove Pr, 2001
Hardcover

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