Loren Glass, Counterculture Colophon

George Hunka reviews a new volume about Grove Press, the Evergreen Review, and the Avant-Garde
Photograph of Barney Rosset, taken by Allen Ginsberg in New York City, 1991.
From George Hunka (The Theatre Bar):
For those of a certain age and literary inclination, Grove Press was more than a publishing house — it was a philosophy to hang a worldview on. Between its dedication to publishing the novels and plays of the late modernists, from Beckett and Pinter and Stoppard to Burroughs and Henry Miller and Kerouac, its resolute mission to eradicate censorship laws and publish in the mainstream some of the most transgressive sexual literature in history, and its opportunistic but prophetic publication of the works of political radicals like Malcolm X, Che Guevara, and Frantz Fanon, Grove Press and its founder Barney Rosset might be said to have revolutionized American drama and literature, the nation’s erotic life, and its political discourse. In the end, if Grove Press and Barney Rosset hadn’t existed, these revolutionary upheavals might well have occurred anyway. But they wouldn’t have happened the way they eventually did if it hadn’t been for the publishing house and Rosset himself. The mass-market paperback Black Cat series and the more “literary” quality paperback Evergreen Originals remain essential volumes in any bookshelf devoted to English-language theatre and the late modernist movement. Like his British equal, John Calder, Rosset may have been the last of the genuinely, culturally influential publishers. [Read More]

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