22
Feb
12

r.i.p. barney rosset

using grove press and evergreen review, “Rosset published Samuel Beckett, Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Jean-Paul Sartre, Allen Ginsberg, Henry Miller, D.H. Lawrence and William Burroughs”

NYT obit.

In 1954 a copy of “Chatterley” was mailed from Paris to New York. Officials seized it and charged Rosset with promoting “indecent and lascivious thoughts,” a policy that dated back to obscenity legislation passed in the 1870s. Rosset sued the U.S. Post Office in 1959 and his attorney, Charles Rembar, crafted a defense based on a Supreme Court decision written two years earlier by Justice William Brennan that “all ideas having even the slightest redeeming social importance — unorthodox ideas, controversial ideas, even ideas hateful to the prevailing climate of opinion — have the full protection of the guarantees.”

A federal judge, Frederick van Pelt Bryan, ruled in Rosset’s favor. An appeals court upheld Judge Bryan and the government declined to take the case to the Supreme Court. The Post Office’s ability to declare a work obscene had effectively been ended.

not so long ago (for me anyway), but what a different world.

which wouldn’t exist without people like barney rosset.

it’s not an easy world, but at least the lunch is naked.

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