Olympia Press  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Olympia Press was a Paris-based publisher, launched in 1953 by Maurice Girodias as a rebadged version of the Obelisk Press he inherited from his father Jack Kahane. It published a mix of erotic novels and avant-garde literary works, and is best known for the first print of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita.

Most, if not all, Olympia Press publications were promoted and packaged as "Traveller's Companion" books, usually with simple text-only covers, and each book in the series was numbered.

Olympia Press was also the first publisher willing to print the controversial William S. Burroughs novel, Naked Lunch. Other notable works included J. P. Donleavy's The Ginger Man; the French trilogy Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett; A Tale of Satisfied Desire by Georges Bataille and Story of O by Pauline Réage.

Girodias had troubled dealings with his authors including copyright issues; Nabokov was not satisfied with the publisher and its reputation, and another long-running dispute over the rights to The Ginger Man ended with Donleavy's then-wife Mary buying out Girodias at what was intended to be a closed auction. Girodias briefly reestablished Olympia Press in the U.S. in the 1960s.

Grove Press in the U.S. would later print The Olympia Reader, a best-selling anthology containing material from some of Olympia's most popular works, including material by Burroughs, Miller, Trocchi and others. Another well-known collection was The Best of Olympia, first published by the Olympia Press in 1963 and reprinted by New English Library in 1966.

An unrelated modern publisher of erotic books, based in the Isle of Wight, trades as Olympia Press Ltd. Other incarnations of the company, some with Girodias' support, emerged in Germany and Italy.

Supporter of New York intelligentsia

During the 60s (and perhaps later) many starving artists and intellectuals wrote erotic work under various pseudonyms. For instance, Tor Kung, Ann Fettamin, and Frank Newman were all prominent in the New York arts scene.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Olympia Press" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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