I just noticed that Barney Rosset, literary provocateur and founder of Grove Press and the Evergreen Review, is selling a few books in his collection. Fitting for somebody who was seemingly open to publishing anything, the 30-odd books available reveal a man who reads broadly—everything from the Spanish Civil War to Yukio Mishima to Theodore Dreiser to Terry Southern‘s infamous Candy.
One of the best parts of the book listings, though, is that they have very little of the dull language of an antiquarian catalog—these are listings written by somebody who used these books a lot, didn’t care what damage to the spine and dust jacket would do to resale value, and knows that books carry the history of the reader with them. Rosset’s listing for Anita Brenner‘s cultural history of Mexico, Idols Behind Altars, reads thusly:
Hardcover. No DJ. Possible first edition. Part of DJ glued to inside cover. Edges of spine are a little tattered. Pages unevenly cut. Pages barely yellowing. Many photographs, all intact. When Barney Rosset was first going to Mexico, at age 17, he was instructed to meet Anita Brenner in Chicago. He met Anita Brenner, who then introduced him to Frida Kahlo. This book can be signed by Barney Rosset upon request. Price: $300
Rosset will apparently sign most of the books he’s selling. The Google site isn’t handling direct sales, best as I can tell; contacting him through the Evergreen Review blog may be your best bet. (h/t Lauren Cerand)