By Lee Hill
"When they are now not shocked or astonished or engaged via what you are saying, the ball online game is over. in the event that they locate it repulsive, or outlandish, or disgusting, that is okay, or in the event that they like it, that is o.k., but when they simply shrug it off, it is time to retire."
-- Terry SouthernA Grand Guy
He was once the hipster's hipster, the best icon of cool. A small-town Texan who disdained his "good ol' boy" roots, he bopped with the Beats, hobnobbed with Sartre and Camus, and known as William Faulkner pal. He used to be one in all the main inventive and unique avid gamers within the Paris Review caliber Lit online game, but his maximum literary good fortune was once a semi pornographic pulp novel. for many years, the gang he ran with was once composed of the main recognized inventive artists of the day. He wrote Dr. Strangelove with Stanley Kubrick, Easy Rider with Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, and labored on Saturday evening stay with a more youthful, louder breed of sacred cow torpedoers. he is a face within the crowd at the disguise of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts membership Band (the man within the sunglasses). anywhere the cultural motion was once, he used to be there, the lifetime of each occasion -- Paris within the '50s, London within the swinging '60s, Greenwich Village, and large undesirable Hollywood. tremendous, dynamic, irrepressible, he loved striking luck after which squandered it with nearly superhuman extra. there has been, and ever might be, just one Terry Southern.
In a biography as bright and colourful because the lifestyles it celebrates, Lee Hill masterfully explores the low and high instances of the original, incomparable Terry Southern, some of the most real abilities of this or the other age. Illuminating, exhilarating, and sobering, it's an intimate portrait of an unequaled satirist and satyrist whose urge for food for all times used to be huge, immense -- and whose goal used to be yes and actual as he took pictures at consumerism, America's repressive political tradition, upper-class amorality, and middle-class banality.
But greater than easily the tale of 1 guy, here's a wide-screen, Technicolor view of a century within the throes of profound cultural switch -- frorn the 1st cold blasts of the chilly battle and McCarthyism to the Vietnam period and the Reagan years; from Miles and Kerouac to the Beatles, the Stones, and past. And continuously on the heart of the whirlwind was once Terry Southern -- outrageous, unpredictable, captivating, erudite, and endlessly cool; a brazen innovator and unappreciated genius; and such a lot of all, A Grand Guy.
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Additional info for A Grand Guy: The Art and Life of Terry Southern
Then he would walk ten or fifteen steps and stop, not looking at any particular grave or headstone, but just sort of standing there in some sort of daze or maybe he was collecting vibes. Who knew what he was doing! He would potter off to another portion and then he would stand there for a while. ” The writer’s apparent stoicism concealed a level of pain and regret about his early years that remained an enigma to those who knew and loved him. “I think that in order to understand Terry, you must remember he’s from Texas,” Carol Southern, his wife from 1956 through 1968, said.
I want to save it for my fiction,” he told me in 1993. Sadly Southern never wrote a book about World War II. Nor can any fragments of war-related fiction be found in his papers. Perhaps Southern’s deep admiration for Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five held him back. Instead Dr. ” When pressed to talk about his years in the Army, Southern would reply almost like the nostalgic hero of Neil Simon’s play Biloxi Blues. “The main effect of the war on me was the opportunity to travel.
The countless hunting trips inspired a favorite Southern anecdote that sounds so quintessentially Texan it would be heartbreaking if it weren’t true. After a deer was shot, the hunters rushed over to where the animal fell. According to Southern, as blood pumped out of the dying beast, one of the party would put a cup next to the wound to catch the flow. ” As Terry entered his teens, his father’s drinking and its effect on home life became less tolerable. On the few occasions when he discussed his family background with Gail, he would talk about his father’s Saturday-night binges.