Bank Holiday weekend musings: Maurice Girodias
First, the cover artwork, from which the author's name has been cunningly clipped...
Next, my chum's (correct) response, and his followup question:
> Clyde Allison. > Where on earth did you dig him up from??
My answer entails...
... a trip back to Harpenden in the mid-1960s:
The story actually began when I read an article by David Stafford-Clark, who was a doctor and an author. At the age of 17 he was awarded the Gate Poetry Prize, and he went on to publish books of poetry, critical essays, and articles in many magazines. He wrote a study of the aims and impact of Sigmund Freud (What Freud Really Said) and had also been a member of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Commission on Divine Healing; made frequent television appearances; and wrote scripts for radio, TV, and films, including work on John Huston's 1962 film Freud1 (which I've just snaffled on DVD). Huston has not typically been well-represented by DVDs of his work...
Stafford-Clark's article appeared in my parents' "Weekend Telegraph" colour supplement, as these newly-appearing advertisement-stuffed freebies were then called, in or very close to 1966. It was about the "dirty book" publishing operation run by Maurice Girodias2 (in Paris, beginning in 1953) that had in turn risen from the ashes of the pre-war Obelisk Press that had been run by his father, ex-Bengal Lancer Jack Kahane. Of course, with the benefit of hindsight some of Stafford-Clark's musings are now clearly way off-beam3 but you work with what you know at the time, I guess.
Moving along a little to the summer of 1969, in Monte Carlo,4 I found a bookshop near the marina with a set of shelves set aside for some fairly, erm, robust ex-pat reading. I bought, pretty much at random, a bright-pink softcore novel called "Uptight" by one "Carl Ross". Of course, back in Blighty I foolishly lent this to a fellow student, and probably unsurprisingly never saw it again... It was published by the Ophelia Press — an offshoot of the Olympia Press. Fast forward to the Interweb thing. Olympia eventually oozed on to it, and I duly obtained an electronic copy of the Missing Sheep when it showed up.
Today I got one of the very occasional email shots from them, pushing their updated website and marketing strategy. QED