The Paris Review Goes Southern


It’s “Terry Southern Month” at The Paris Review Daily—the quarterly’s online “culture gazette,” the goal of which is to stay in touch with The Paris Review’s audience between print issues. Today, read an interview with Terry Southern from Issue 138.

Terry Southern is a good thematic choice being that he was one of the forces behind the birth of The Paris Review though maybe lesser known than its glorified founders George Plimpton, Harold L. Humes and Peter Matthiessen. And as Southern was a provocative aesthete he cut a smart fit with the post-war Paris literary crowd along with Plimpton, Susan Sontag, Henry Miller and Allen Ginsberg.

Among his many accomplishments the comic genius counted numerous screenplays—Dr. Strangelove, Easy Rider, The Cincinnati Kid; novels—The Magic Christian, Blue Movie and maybe most famously Candy, an erotic novel in the picaresque tradition of a young lady’s travels, which Playboy listed among its “25 Sexiest Novels Ever Written”; and writing for Saturday Night Live.

So what can we expect from the Southern oeuvre in the days to come at The Paris Review Daily? Well, thus far, there’s been an excerpt of an interview with Southern (Issue 138) from his time in Paris in the 50s, and today, the interview in full including a discussion of making Easy Rider with Dennis Hopper. And we hear they’ll be publishing “Worm-Ball Man,” which gets editor Lorin Stein‘s vote for “funniest pitch-letter ever.” Well, in the words of Guy Grand, eccentric billionaire protagonist of The Magic Christian, That’ll make it hot for them.

Rozalia Jovanovic is a founding editor of Gigantic, a magazine of short prose and art. She is the Deputy Editor of Flavorpill and has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and Columbia University. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming from Unsaid, The Believer, Everyday Genius, Guernica, elimae, and She blogs at The Astonishing Egg and is The Rumpus New York Editor. More from this author →