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KENTON, MAXWELL [pseud., recte: TERRY SOUTHERN AND MASON HOFFENBERG]. - [FIRST ISSUE OF ONE OF THE "25 SEXIEST NOVELS EVER WRITTEN"]

Candy.

lyn46276

Paris, The Olympia Press, (1958). Original printed green wrappers. Green border on title-page. Spine a bit worn, with minor loss of upper layer of paper to hinges and capitals. Light wear to extremities. Lower corner of front wrapper slightly bent. Internally nice and clean. ¶ The scarce first edition, first issue (Traveler's Companion Series, number 64, printed October 1958, with the Francs 1.200 to back wrapper, not overstamped. - N.B. the 1.200 has been crossed out by hand, with a pen, but it is NOT stamped over) of Southern and Hoffenberg's greatly scandalous novel, which was confiscated by the Brigade Mondaine (i.e. "La Brigade de répression du proxénétisme" (BRP)) and officially banned in France. "Candy" not only caused an inevitable furor for its vulgar take on contemporary culture, but brought about landmark changes in how the First Amendment applied to erotic literature.

The work, which constitutes the unison of three greatly provocative and time-changing minds (Southern, Hoffenberg, and Girodias), quickly gained classic status and is now one of the most famous "Beat"-novels. It was famously made into an all-star film (starring Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, James Coburn, Charles Aznavour, John Huston, Ringo Starr, Walter Matthau, John Astin, and Ewa Aulin) by Christian Marquand in 1968, and in 2006 Playboy Magazine listed it among the "25 Sexiest Novels Ever Written", describing the story as a "young heroine's picaresque travels, a kind of sexual pinball machine that lights up academia, gardeners, the medical profession, mystics and bohemians."

The work was published pseudonymously by Maurice Girodias, owner of the scandalous "Olympia Press", in October of 1958. Almost immediately noticed by the BRP, who seized copies of it in the Paris bookshops, "Candy" was officially banned in France in May of 1959 (under a statute called the "1939 Decree", an amendment to the law of 1881, which gave the French government more power to ban offensive publications in foreign languages).
In December of 1958, Maurice Girodias changed the title of "Candy" and reissued it as "Lollipop" in order to fool sensors and sell the remaining copies of the work. This supposedly work quite well and many copies of the book survived thus, leaving the first edition with the original title quite a scarcity, both in the first (not-overstamped) issue and the second issue. Later on, "Candy" was published in North America, by Putnam, under the authors' own names, those being Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg.

In an interview, Terry Southern explains the origin of the pseudonym as thus: "Yeah. And the name of the author was Maxwell Kenton. A name I first used with David Burnett, of all people. He was the son of Martha Foley and Whit Burnett of The Best American Short Stories fame. We were collaborating on some short detective stuff, and even sold a couple to Argosy Magazine, and we used the pseudonym 'Maxwell Kenton'. So when Mason at one point had an attack of conscience and said, "Man, I've decided I don't want my mother to know about this book," we took the name Maxwell Kenton so his mother would be spared anguish at her Mah-Jong parties." (Smoke Signals).

Terry Southern, though mostly famous for his bestseller "Candy", which greatly influenced popular culture of the 1960'ies, was known for a lot of things, including writing much of the film dialogue of the landmark films "Dr. Strangelove" and "Easy Rider".

In his "The Candy Men. The Rollicking Life and Times of the Notorious Novel "Candy"", Nile Southern tells the story of the book, the men behind it, and the furor that it caused:
"When I was in grade school in 1967, one of my six-year-old classmates, Daisy Friedman (now a writer), turned to me and said, "Your father is a dirty old man!" I asked how she knew that, and she said, "He wrote a book called "Candy" - and it's a dirty, dirty book!" Again, I asked how she knew all this, and she said, "Because my parents told me - they have it on their bookshelf." Not knowing what a "dirty old man" was, I came away with the impression that whatever my father was, he was a great Upsetter. I would later learn that young, literate New Yorkers had no issue about having a copy of "Candy" in their libraries, but this was certainly not the case across the country - censorship and prudishness were in fact still alive and well, not only in the United States but abroad.

I first got the idea for "The Candy Men" after reading a letter in Terry's files from a British barrister advising how (even in 1968) the only way "Candy" could appear in England would be to undergo a "pornectomy" - eliminating about eighty instances of what was considered "indecency," which the barrister had handily indexed in a kind of blueprint for the operation. The assessment featured page after page of cryptic references to offending words and passages to be excised or modified: Page 60 line 7 "COME" amend to "come to you" without capitals; Line 15 "jack-off" amend to "liberate"; Page 93 line 2 "exactly like an erection." Delete.
(...)
There were three men responsible for bringing the erotic fantasy Candy to fruition - and they could not have been more different. The first, Maurice Girodias, was Europe's most infamous publisher and indefatigable survivalist. Girodias put out otherwise unpublishable works of (mostly) erotic literature in English when the English-speaking world needed them most: Lolita, Naked Lunch, Henry Miller's The Tropics, the Marquis de Sade. As Girodias wrote of himself, "The connecting link is clear enough: anything that shocks because it comes before its time, anything that is liable to be banned by the censors because they cannot accept its honesty." Girodias was also a seasoned gambler. "A day out of court is a day wasted," he used to quip.

Mason Hoffenberg, the second of the three, was one of the smartest, hippest, most undisciplined poets on the scene - whether it be Joe's Dinette, the Riviera bar in the Village, or the Old Navy on the Left Bank of Paris. A "permanently kicking junkie" as William Burroughs once described him, Mason the writer never really got started - though Terry, his best friend, described him as a "Nobel Prize-type genius."

And Terry Southern, a writer with a destiny and a killer ear for dialogue. Terry's mandate was to take things as far out as they could go - with absolute credibility. A prose stylist gone Hollywood - his Texan, Irish, and Native American roots made him Trickster and Taurus bull - oblivious to the rules of the Game.

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