In this essay, first published in Grand Street in 1994, Dr. Strangelove coscreenwriter Terry Southern offers a lively behind-the-scenes look at the film’s production. Source: Criterion Collection.
“Yes, [my texts] deal with distress. Some people object to this in my writing. At a party an English intellectual—so-called—asked me why I write always about distress. As if it were perverse to do so! He wanted to know if my father had beaten me or my mother had run away from home to give me an unhappy childhood. I told him no, that I had had a very happy childhood. Then he thought me more perverse than ever. I left the party as soon as possible and got into a taxi. On the glass partition between me and the driver were three signs: one asked for help for the blind, another help for orphans, and the third for relief for the war refugees. One does not have to look for distress. It is screaming at you even in the taxis of London.”
Michael Herr, the writer famous for authoring the gritty Vietnam War testimonial Dispatches, has died at 76, after a long bout with illness according to Knopf, his former publisher. (more…)