By Colette Colligan
From 1890 to 1960, a few of Anglo-America s so much heated cultural contests over books, intercourse, and censorship have been staged now not at domestic, yet out of the country within the urban of sunshine. Paris, with its remarkable liberties of expression, grew to become a different position for interrogating the margins of sexual tradition and literary censorship, and a wide selection of English language soiled books circulated via unfastened expatriate publishing and distribution networks.
A writer s Paradise explores the political and literary dynamics that gave upward thrust to this expatriate cultural flourishing, which incorporated every little thing from Victorian pornography to the main bold and arguable modernist classics. Colette Colligan tracks the British and French politicians and diplomats who policed Paris variants of banned books and uncovers offshore networks of publishers, booksellers, authors, and readers. She appears to be like heavily on the tales the soiled books instructed approximately this publishing haven and the smut peddlers and literary giants it introduced jointly in transnational cultural formations. The e-book profiles an eclectic crew of expatriates residing and publishing in Paris, from fairly vague figures reminiscent of Charles Carrington, whose checklist integrated either the image of Dorian grey and the pornographic novel Randiana, to bookstore proprietor Sylvia seashore, well-known for publishing James Joyce s Ulysses in 1922.
A writer s Paradise is a compelling exploration of the little-known historical past of international pornography in Paris and the relevant position it performed in turning the town right into a modernist outpost for literary and sexual vanguardism, a name that also lingers this day in our cultural myths of middle of the night in Paris.
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Extra resources for A Publisher’s Paradise: Expatirate Literary Culture in Paris, 1890-1960
These catalogues invite purchase of various obscene articles and pictures, and Mr. Asquith would be obliged if the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs could be moved to send letters or to make such communication as he thought proper to those foreign governments whose laws forbid the production of these articles, with a view to steps being taken to suppress the nuisance. 18 Following up on Asquith’s request with letters of inquiry to various governments in Europe, America, India, Australia, and beyond, the Foreign Office began exchanging information about specific dealers while remaining in close communication with the Home Office.
Lazenby, who operated under numerous aliases, was one of the most active London dealers during the 1870s and 1880s. A note on the warrant made this connection explicit: “Lazenby is a man who is well known . . as one of the most inveterate dealers in indecent wares in London. He has been 3 or 4 times convicted. His name was inserted in the warrant . . 48 From information gleaned from this postal surveillance, the authorities began targeting these agents when they came into Britain— sometimes even going so far as to lure them into the country.
His blitz advertising strategy was miscalculated, however, given his restricted target audience, triggering complaints from the public that raised the alarm for the postmaster general. The scale of this advertising campaign, plus concern about a public made vulnerable by increasingly international postal traffic, put Carrington and Lemallier on the government’s radar and drove several attempts to put them out of business by means of the postal warrants and diplomatic structures first set in place by Matthews and Asquith in their roles as Home Secretary.