(Gerald Howard’s article appeared in n+1, 2/28.)

Gore Vidal once quipped that at his age the only thing that really got him going in the morning was the prospect of a good lawsuit. The late publisher Barney Rosset had a similar appetite for going to law, though in his case the taste for litigation arrived earlier, and he tended to be the defendant rather than the plaintiff. Obituaries of the incorrigibly maverick head of Grove Press have justly emphasized the epic court battles he waged on behalf of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Naked Lunch, Tropic of Cancer, Last Exit to Brooklyn, and other works that blasted open the doors of free expression in language, sexual expression, and subject matter.


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