That is where Nile comes in, the diligent son who refuses to let his father's death in the fall of 1995 get in the way of Terry's fame. Nile inherited his old man's debts, which were plentiful. He attempted to sell Terry's prodigious archives to any university willing to house his myriad unpublished pieces and unfilmed scripts (including one for Burroughs' Junky); he sought to have Terry's novels re-released and get his screenplays on the screen. But money is an ancillary issue: Nile is out not just to raise money but to raise Terry's profile. His life has become the ultimate Father's Day present.
To wit: This month, Grove Press is publishing Now Dig This: The Unspeakable Writings of Terry Southern 1950-1995, a collection of previously published gems and never-before-seen pieces that only hint at the works still buried deep within the archives. Edited by Nile and guitarist-songwriter Josh Alan Friedman (a frequent contributor to these pages and son of author Bruce Jay Friedman, one of Terry's old pals), Now Dig This assembles Terry's forays into New Journalism (a form he, more or less, invented), screenwriting (including his stabs at adapting the book Rhapsody, A Dream Novel for Stanley Kubrick, who would turn the novel into Eyes Wide Shut years later) and what Terry termed "Quality Lit," or what Nile refers to in the book as his father's "sardonic response to the commercialization of fiction and the consequential artistic limitations such commercialization breeds." The collection, along with Lee Hill's just-published Southern biography, serves as an indispensable introduction to the grand guy of American letters--a man who remains larger than life, even in death.