(Liverpool): Liverpool University Press, (2007),
First Edition. octavo, black boards in dust jacket. 360 pp. Liverpool University Press, Item #19326
Obelisk: A History of Jack Kahane and the Obelisk Press details the history of one of the most extraordinary—and controversial—publishing enterprises of the twentieth century. Publisher simultaneously of the infamous novels of the literary elite as well as low-budget erotica and “dirty books,” Jack Kahane’s Obelisk Press published the likes of Henry Miller, James Joyce, Anaïs Nin, and D.H. Lawrence, alongside a lengthy list of censor-baiting eccentrics like N. Reynolds Packard, the New York Daily News’ Rome correspondent and the self-styled “Marco Polo of Sex.” Here, for the first time, is the story of this remarkable venture, which captures some of the twentieth century’s most outrageous literary personalities and their often scandalous exploits, including the failed golf club society magazine run by Nin, Miller, and Lawrence Durrell and the tortured relationship between Obelisk author Marjorie Firminger and Wyndham Lewis. A richly illustrated cultural history of 1920s Paris, a fully-narrated bibliography of works published by an unforgettable literary institution, and a glimpse into the remarkable life of the Press’s creator, Jack Kahane. Illustrated with 32 color plates. Very fine.