The Olympia Reader. Maurice Girodias, William S. Burroughs, Samuel Beckett, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Durrell, Charles Henri Ford, Jean Genet, Henry Miller, Marquis De Sade.
The Olympia Reader
The Olympia Reader

The Olympia Reader

New York, NY: Grove Press, Inc., 1965. First Edition. Hardcover. "The Olympia Press was founded in Paris in the spring of 1953 by Maurice Girodias, "conceived," he writes, "as a desperate move on my part to escape complete social and economic annihilation."...From the beginning it was unique among publishing houses. Located in Paris, it published in English. Its authors included some of the greatest of the past and the present day, as well as a stable of young Americans and Britons sojourning in the world capital of art...Many of its books could not at that time be published or imported into the United States or Great Britain." (from front flap) The definitive compendium of highlights from Girodias' Olympia Press's now-iconic Traveler's Companion Series. With their deceptively drab green wrappers (evoked on front cover & sometimes with artful dust jackets), the TCS introduced readers to the first printed incarnations of major works by authors too daring & way ahead of contemporary convention to be published except as contraband outside of France. For our purposes, the most important among Olympia's "stable" of expatriate writers was William S. Burroughs- Naked Lunch ("The Naked Lunch"), The Soft Machine & The Ticket That Exploded all first appeared under the Olympia Press imprint, all with dust jackets illustrated by WSB & Brion Gysin; these three productions are now among the most collectible in the WSB canon. The TCS also published then-unacceptable-to-the-mainstream now-classics by Samuel Beckett, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Durrell, Charles Henri Ford, Jean Genet, Henry Miller, the Marquis De Sade & many others. This 725-page, doorstopper collection includes excerpts from TCS editions by all the authors noted above, & many more. With a hilarious yet ultimately serious (as is so much of the contents) introduction by Girodias, who stands in the pantheon of brave upholders of literary freedom along with Barney Rosset (whose Grove Press published this edition), James Laughlin et al; commentary by Girodias about the authors following most excerpts; & many illustrations throughout including frontispiece photograph of Girodias & his siblings in early childhood. This is the first edition, first printing as stated on copyright page, hardcover in clipped dust jacket. A cornerstone collectible & resource. Book in fine condition with only mild wear & a few tiny bumps at edges & corners of front, back covers & spine; mild rubbing, browning & occasional spotting at edges of text block. Interior fine with mild browning, spotting to front & rear paste-downs & endpapers; stamp (of what appears to be a vial?) across blank front endpaper at an angle; small oval sticker of previous bookseller on inner rear endpaper; all printed page leaves substantially mint. Dust jacket in fine condition with only very slight rubbing & a few tiny spots to front, back covers & spine; mild wear & a few tiny bumps, creases at edges & corners of same; thin band of paper reinforcement-restoration at upper spine edge extending slightly onto covers. Fine / Fine. [Item #3424]

Price: $30.00 save 10% $27.00