Quotes about Terry Southern
"Terry Southern is the illegitimate son of Mack Sennett and Edna Saint Vincent Millay."--Kurt Vonnegut
"Terry Southern's fiction, in short form or long, is a national treasure."--Bruce Jay Friedman
"Terry Southern writes a mean coolly deliberate, and murderous prose--and in it we may have at last found the righful heir (saints protect me from sacrilege) of Nathaniel West."--Norman Mailer
"The counter-culture's secret genius"--The Independent, 1999
"Wickedly funny to read and morally bracing as only good satire can be."--William Styron
"In this world, [of Flash and Filigree] nothing is true, and censure or outrage is simply irrelevant."--William S. Burroughs
"One of the world's coolest writers." --The Catalog of Cool
"The writer Terry Southern...has emerged in hindsight as a kind of real-life Forrest Gump figure--present at the creation of virtually everything new, liberating and free-spirited in post-World War II arts and culture."--Steve Rosen, The Denver Post, 1999
"Terry Southern is a dirty Red and a marijuana head and one of the major American satirists of the twentieth century."--Tony Hendra
"Sex in America, after [Candy], will never be the same."--LIFE
"Impressive...He is both acutely aware of, and the absolute master of the nuances, the ludicrous snobbishness, the deliberate exclusivity of clique vocabulary...with demoniacal cunning he masquerades as the guardian of taste, of responsibility, and of common decency (Mr. Southern's italics, of course.)"--C.D.B. Bryan; The York Times Book Review
Terry Southern is the American writer most capable of handling frenzy on a gigantic scale." --Esquire
"Southern in his savage sense of satire, seems a kissing-cousin of Nathanael West, while for sheer horror he compares favorably with Roald Dahl. He has an ear, a superb ear, for recording the way people talk and in that he's as good as Lillian Ross or John O'Hara. Southern has never learned the art of being dull."--New Society
"If there were a Mount Rushmore of American humor, Terry Southern would be the mountain they'd carve it from"--Michael O'Donoghue, writer-producer: Saturday Night Live
"[Red Dirt Marijuana] contains most of the great short stories in English that are not by Mr. Hemingway or Mr. O'Hara." --Robert Anton Wilson
"Terry Southern was one of the first and best of the new wave of American writers, defining the cutting edge of black comedy. It's a joy to have these wonderful works of his back in print."--Joseph Heller
"Southern has managed to lay a kind of prose on us that can perpetrate a complete hoax while telling a mother's own truth."--Chicago Tribune
"Terry Southern has produced a remarkable collection...They reveal Southern not only as a master of dialogue but as a major talent in contemporary American writing, with an ability comparable to Scott Fitzgerald's to alchemize the essence of his times into literature.
...Terry Southern is a great, refreshing shatterer of the American Dream; he jerks his illusion-prone, sham-intellectual public off their safe fences where facts are not cushioned by cliches. He casts the sacred cows of American society into a tumbling burlesque."--The Irish Times
"Mr. Southern has an astonishing talent." --Evening Despatch
"A witty and profound collection."--William S. Burroughs
"...A griping, unflagging exercise in impersonation by a master storyteller, who can assume any identity...Whether he is writing of hip culture or complacent bigotry in the deep South, his restraint is as astounding as his versatility. He knows the price of cool, the price of war, the price of living, but he is too clever to ram home his message. His victims speak for themselves."--The Sunday Telegraph
"Thanks for putting this site up. I've been a Southern addict for 35 years. I'm 50; started reading him in my teens. Had him for a semester writing seminar at the School of the Arts, NYU, in 1971. Still have his written notes and counsel on my work, along with the brilliant piece he wrote for Esquire on the Chicago Democratic connvention, back in '68...."The Night the Bird Blew for Doctor Warner" and "The Road Out of Axotle" remain among the finest short fiction pieces I've ever read.Anyway, finding this was a buzz. Thanks."--Fran Maier
"Just dropped a line to say that Terry Southern was my favorite author."..--Robert Ward
"This is the first site i have seen in five years of webdom that finally offers info i cant get at my local library. ts has been a fave for years since finding and old copy of "red dirt and others" in an old freak shop about 15 years ago. keep up the good work and give me your hump."--SARGE
"I cannot tell you how happy I am to finally be digging into Terry's writing after so many years of pointless searches. For a time, it seemed, I could find not one bookstore nor a single library that carried anything beyond, say the "Dr. Strangelove" or "Easy Rider" videos. I read through "The Magic Christian" is a single sitting and am already half way through "Blue Movie" and loving every goddamn second. Thanks so much for all the work you have done to bring these words to those of us born too late to catch them the first time 'round."--Matt Pinkerton
"Dear You: Terry Southern was a genius."--Ann
"I couldn't even get all the way through your site without stopping to email you! I am overjoyed that finally there is something on the web about your dad. I am such a longtime fan. I read The Magic Christan in 1969 and it is what got me into writing today. Thanks (in part) to his great works I continued my writing and eventually became writing parners with another great rebel (sadly, no longer with us): Graham Chapman of Monty Python. Anyway, all I really wanted to say was thank fucking christ somebody finally recognized your dad as the genius he was. I am certain one day Mr and Mrs Front Porch America will also realize this and we will all pitch in and build a great monument to him."--Jim Yoakum, Director, The Graham Chapman Archives
"Terry Southern is my favourite writer. Blue Movie is my favourite book. His biog is out when? Thanks. I'll be visiting again soon. " Chay.
"Thanks for posting this Website. TS has been one of my favorite writers for a long time. I don't know when I first got turned on to him, so there's really no point in saying that "Oh yeah, when I saw Dr. Strangelove for the first time or Flash and Filigree was the thing that got me interested in " ...Terry was (and still is) the embodiment of what the cutting edge is all about. I'm just glad to see this information on the Web; I hope more people get exposed to him."--Kyle Simpler
"Dear Estate of Terry Southern: I...was gratified to find your excellent site. I am a programmer and generalist in Berkeley, CA. I have read and admired TS for decades. I reread his works more or less continuously. I turn my friends and acquaintances on to his talent whenever there is opportunity to do so. It would be fair to say I am a Terry Southern crusader. What a GREAT writer he was. Wonderful you put up the web pages -- I'll be emailing the URL to all my universe. Many thanks for your efforts.
Sincerely, Gordon Whiting"
"Even sober i believe i would say that your fathers writing and
viewpoint transformed my life. He's my fave. Keep up the good work." --W. Abbott
"Thank you so much for creating this web site in honor of your father's memory. Your father's work, particularly his film writing, has been an inspiration for me in my writing, and in my dealings with "Hollywood Types". In many ways, I share your father's revoutionary, anti-establishment views. I believe anyone who enjoys your father's work must also share these views-- beliefs that should never be let go of in these artificial, turbulent, and materialistic times."--A.
"Gentlemen! Great web site! I have recently purchased and thoroughly enjoyed Flash and Filigree and The Magic Christian and list Dr. Strangelove as my favorite movie of all time. I also remember as a kid seeing (and being totally delighted/dumbfounded/disturbed by) The Loved One...Anyway, Terry Southern is at the top of my list when anyone asks me (a journalist) for a literary recommendation. I admire his fearless eye, like another hero of mine, Orwell. Except Terry was a lot funnier..."--Glen Charles
Just a quick note to the Executor, whom I imagine is Nile Southern:
Wanted to let you know what an inspiration Terry Southern has been for me recently. I'm about to start reading 'Flash & Filigree' today and have just completed 'Candy,' 'The Magic Christian' and several short stories from 'Red Dirt Marijuana.' What turned me on to Southern was catching the 'Candy' film about a month or so ago on HBO. I've always been an avid enthusiast of '60s music, film and literature. When I looked up information about the movie I was amazed at the credits and accomplishments that were listed for Southern. I remember as a young kid (I'm 33) a neighbor who was renting an apartment from my Dad and had been a camera operator for years at a local drive-in near Buffalo, N.Y., speaking about this great film that portrayed a funeral/wedding business rolled into one. How absolutely hilarious it was and was perhaps the best movie he'd ever seen among the myriad movies he showed at the drive-in. I hadn't thought about that since I was a kid as my neighbor could not remember the title. Of course the memory came back when I read about 'The Loved One.' And to see further that Southern wrote or collaborated on 'Dr. Strangelove,' 'Easy Rider' and 'Barbarella' was another great surprise. Great stuff!
I loved the novel 'Candy' and I thought my wife was going to strangle me when reading 'The Magic Christian' in bed as she lay trying to fall asleep. I strove to control my laughter, but it eventually erupted in uncontrollable coughing fits. My God! What a funny and illuminating book! I'm very excited and look forward to reading the rest of Southern's works. Not as pompously stated as Mephisto, but humbly I like to say: 'I've read a lot of books. . . ' and Terry Southern is without question one of the most enlightening and comedic writers I've ever had the pleasure to read. Good luck with all the work in the estate. And keep up the nice job on the website.
"It's nice to see that the author of one of my favorite books, Candy, is finally getting his due. I became interested in Terry Southern after I stumbled onto his biography on a now discontinued software program called Microsoft Cinemania. I noticed that he had written a book, Candy. "--Erin
"Thank you for this collection of work. Since my first exposure to Terry Southern as a teenager (in Texas, in the sixties), I've considered him the one indispensable author who never fails to reinspire and reinvigorate. As the writer of one of the greatest films ever made (Dr. Strangelove) and the funniest American novel of the century (Candy), Southern's sparse output surpasses in quality just about any other writer you can think of. Keep it up!"--Robert Hiett, San Francisco
"I found your amazing, incredible new website! Thanks!...It's cool to see "new" (new to us, anyway) writing from Terry, because it kind of brings back his unique voice while we're reading...--"Jerry's Kids" might be retarded, but "Terry's Kids" are insistent on somehow bringing your dad back to the masses, where he belongs!! --Chuck Zigman
"Terry Southern addicts like myself (and the late Larry Chisolm and many others) will be delighted by a new website, www.terrysouthern.com about this writer (1924-1995) who played an important role in lifting the dead hand of the fifties in such magnificent work as THE MAGIC CHRISTIAN and DR. STRANGELOVE. The site went up last month on what would have been Southern's 75th birthday. Take a look. I hope there will be discussion of Southern's work on H-Amstdy."---Jesse Lemisch
"Do you have any idea when a Grove Press reader will come
out? I'm working on another book for awhile but will pursue my Terry studies, particularly if the Ransom Center at the University of Texas ends up with the archive. They're good folks and Terry would fit over there."--Dick Holland
"greetings: I have been looking for something like this website for a long time. I am saddened that Terry has not gotten his due, but I praise you for trying to right that problem. Any luck with getting his papers placed at a university or research institution?"--Ron Moss
"Hi You have a wonderful web site. I'm always thrilled to find new
resources on Terry Southern's life and work. Your efforts are much
appreciated. At one time I owned a copy of the book-on-tape version of 'Candy', read, I believe, by Terry Southern himself. It's genuinely the funniest thing that I've ever heard, and his reading is incredible. I would love to get another copy of the tape, but I believe that it's long out of print. Do you have any leads as to where I should look?"--Scott Ressler
Attached is a diary entry of mine called Terry Southern Returns to Black Oak [Ed's NOTE: a bookstore in Berkeley, CA--where there will be a reading from NOW DIG THIS June 17th!]. A bit wistful, lamenting better days now gone, but always and ever, hopeful.
It seems to be dated Oct 3, 1997, but my recollection is that it was '94.
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