Barney Rosset, Grove Press, Avant-Gard, Censorship, Evergreen Review, Syracuse University Library
Arts and Humanities
The phenomenon known as Grove Press began in 1952 when Barney Rosset bought the small Manhattan publishing venture. It ended in 1985 when Grove was sold to Ann Getty.
On the sixth floor of Bird Library, in the closed stacks, a huge room with row upon row of tall shelves full of boxes, 775 linear feet of Grove Press archives are preserved. They started arriving here in the early 1960s because, as Barney Rosset explained, Syracuse University asked for them. Kathleen Manwaring, who has tended the Grove archives since 1985, gave me a tour.
There was a whole range of nothing but Grove Press manuscripts, authored by Samuel Beckett, Eric Berne, William S. Burroughs, Marguerite Duras, Jean Genet, Allen Ginsberg, Nat Hentoff, Eugene Ionesco, Jack Kerouac, Pablo Neruda, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Alan Watts, and many others. Several large boxes contained transcripts of the censorship trials of D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover, Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, and the film "I Am Curious (Yellow)". Manwaring commented, "One tends to think ofGrove in connection with censorship, but they had a lot of South American, African, and Asian, as well as European writers. They translated into English things that we still wouldn't know about but for them. They published in lots of areas: pop culture, psychology, cookbooks."
Hinton, Mary Beth, "An Interview with Barney Rosset" (1993). The Courier. 306.