Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Grove Press Revisited

On Saturday, Newsweek published a story about Barney Rosset, whose tiny publishing house--Grove Press--brought some of the most famous--and infamous--books of the last century to the United States.

My favorite quote from the article is this:
When talking about the major obscenity trials of the mid-19th century, Norman Mailer once said, "There's a wonderful moment when you go from oppression to freedom, there in the middle, when one's still oppressed but one's achieved the first freedoms. By the time you get over to complete freedom you begin to look back almost nostalgically on the days of oppression, because in those days you were ready to become a martyr, you had a sense of importance, you could take yourself seriously, and you were fighting the good fight."
That quote says a lot about Barney Rosset.

Rosset spent as much of his time fighting legal battles over his releases as he did in publishing them. He led a legal battle to permit Grove Press to publish the uncensored edition of Lady Chatterley's Lover. Following that success, he fought all the way to the Supreme Court for the right to publish and distribute Henry Miller's novel, Tropic of Cancer.

The article is well worth reading. Go here to read it.