No “serious student of American culture from the post-World War II era right up into the 1970s” ever doubted “that were it not for the indefatigable Rosset, our lives would be very different. That one person fundamentally reshaped the way we think, perhaps more than any other, in the modern era: he unleashed upon us “Lady Chatterly’s Lover,’ the intellectual puzzles of Beckett, Genet, Pinter, Oe, Robbe-Grillet, Ionesco and Stoppard; The ‘Tropics’ of Miller, the outrages of Burroughs and Rechy and so much more … that is the last century, the idea of ‘normal’ sexuality has changed owes not a little to Rosset’s exploration of such concepts.”

And that’s not all. Once language was liberated, and ideas along with it, along came the “liberation” of almost everything else we now take for granted.

For Rosset, says Oakes, “every book was a battle and he was the pirate exhorting his crew to slaughter. In fact, the list of censorship obstacles overcome by Grove Press under his tenure is so extensive it might be argued that the company was more likely to publish a book because it was ‘forbidden.’ ”

Read the full piece here.

Verified by MonsterInsights