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Southern, Terry

funny

(US, 1924–97)

Southern was the screenwriter of films such as Dr Strangelove, Easy Rider, and Barbarella, but he also wrote a number of outlandishly funny novels full of sex and drugs. The best known of these weirdly plotted social satires are Candy (1958) and The Magic Christian (1960). In Flash and Filigree (1958), an underrated and very funny book, the targets are the medical profession, the courts, and the media; a typical scene involves a stoned dermatologist and a private detective stumbling into a live television show called What's My Disease. Southern's short stories, collected in Red-Dirt Marijuana (1967, reissued 1990), are more conventional, sometimes reflecting upon his Texas background and time spent in Paris.

William Burroughs, John Barth, Thomas Pynchon. See HUMOUR  JS

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