Barney Rosset, Trailblazing Publisher, Dies at 89By JOHN WILLIAMS
Barney Rosset, the legendary owner of Grove Press who fought legal battles to publish provocative writers, including Henry Miller and Samuel Beckett, has died at 89. The Associated Press obituary is here. The Times’s obituary will be up soon.
Mr. Rosset’s experiences and his legacy are amply documented online. Hisinterview with The Paris Review, which was published in 1997 but “culled from over a dozen conversations held between 1993 and 1996 in Mr. Rosset’s East Village loft,” is a chronicle of interactions with, and opinions about, Miller, Beckett, William Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Malcolm X and just about every other notable literary figure of the 1950s and ’60s. “They banned [Beckett] in the Soviet Union,” Mr. Rosset told the magazine. “‘Waiting for Godot’ was not allowed. Neither was Henry Miller. The Soviets condemned them both. Miller would have been used as an example of decadence, being a very good analyst of how terrible and monstrous American culture was. That they liked, but they wouldn’t publish him. I guess it must have been the sex. With Beckett, it must have been the hopelessness.”
The full NYT obit just went up, here.