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America in 1964 \(and illegitimately, seeing that there were many pirated ediCandy was also made into a confused and ultra-campy overbudget movie shot in Italy. The cast of the 1968 film included Richard Burton, Ringo Starr, and even Marlon Brando, who so freaked out the young Swedish actress who played Candy \(not just because of his hitting on her, but also due to the weirdly surreal, shoulder-length wig he the starlet having a complete nervous breakdown. In the final settlement, capping years of litigation as complicated as anything in a Dickensian chancery, there was $9,000 of the book’s American profits left after lawyer’s fees, a pitiful sum to be divvied up among the three squabbling Candy men. Hoffenberg died chronically unemployed, Girodias lost his publishing house and died unsuccessful at any business attempt afterwards, and Southern, well past the peak of his literary celebrity and having spent the considerable money he made in Hollywood, collapsed on the steps of a Columbia University building in 1995, dying at the age of 71. He had lately been overextending himself by teaching two long, back-to-back workshop classes in screenwriting once a week to support himself and his second wife, the former movie and TV actress Gail Gerber. The Candy Men is well-written, an engaging study. Any suspicions I had about Nile Southern getting the opportunity to write it only because he is Terry Southern’s son were soon dispelled. As the narrative starts gaining momentum, the reader is definitely taken in by the sense of pacing and overall structuring that spins the material out with valid suspense and solid dramatic import, even if some of the many reproduced letters from minor figures involvedespecially the American editors and agents spouting boring business mattersgum it up a bit. The book prompted me to check a copy of Candy out of the library and reread it for the first time since an extremely well-worn paperback copy of it was being passed around my freshman dorm in 1966. I can subsequently report that Candy is by no means a major work of literature, and it shouldn’t be lumped with those masterpieces mentioned earlier that first saw the light of print with Olympia. Choppy and looking decidedlypatched together, as would be expected from a collaborative effort churned out episodically, the novel seems to show its real achievement in the general spirit of it: funny and irreverent and certainly more a laugh-out-loud satire onor even parody oferotic writing than anything vaguely close to the genuine article. The prose’s abundance of wild metaphors for things usually described by “dirty words” provides an ongoing verbal sideshow in itself. Candy captures the youthful, hiply exuberant mood of the times perfectly, a significant early poke at the American square life and much of its up-tight credo \(i.e. outdated sexual codes and a country of censorship that was often ignoring the First Amendment with close to policecultural changes of the sixties decade in earnest. Actually, the fact that it might not be in line with what sometimes feels like the puritanical correctness of today makes it that much more an object of that special era. nd maybe I should wrap this up with a little more on that visit Terry Southern made to UT in 1981. He flew down from his home in Connecticut. I don’t think he was getting much opportunity to go on the reading circuit by then, but you would never know it by his look and attitude. A barrel-chested, smiling sort with a dangling gray forelock and wearing a fine tailored silver suit and an open-collar dress shirt, Hollywoodish, he was supposed to speak to a writing class or two and give a public reading; plus, there was a big reception party scheduled out in suburban Westlake Hills at the posh home of some local restaurateur, a longtime fan of the writer’s work. In true Terry Southern tradition, the visit was not without controversy. A poster to advertise his reading had been designed by a UT staff publicity artist, who worked with a couple of us creative writing teachers who gave him info to build on for the design. The artist came up with a scene of a naked young woman, maybe Candy, as seen from behind and wearing only a floppy-brimmed hippie hat; she’s rising out of a Dr. Strangelovestyle mushroom cloud decorated with marijuana sprigs, a string of balloons in her hand. The way I remember it, one continued on page 42 8/13/04 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 29