Jack Kahane (20 July 1887, in Manchester – 2 September 1939, in Paris) was a writer and publisher who founded the Obelisk Press in Paris in 1929.
He was the son of Selig and Susy Kahane, both immigrants from Romania. Kahane, a novelist, began the Obelisk Press after his publisher, Grant Richards, went bankrupt. Going into partnership with a printer — Herbert Clarke, owner of Imprimerie Vendôme— Kahane published his next novel Daffodil under his own imprint, and under one of several pseudonyms he used, Cecil Barr. A publisher of "dbs" ("dirty books"), Kahane mixed serious work with smut in his list; he was able to take advantage of a legal hiatus whereby English-language books published in France were not subject there to the censorship otherwise effectively practised in the UK and elsewhere, though they remained potentially subject to confiscation when they were imported into English-speaking countries.
The Obelisk Press published Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer and other works that other publishers would not touch for fear of prosecution, among which were Lady Chatterley's Lover , James Hanley's Boyand some of James Joyce's books.
Jack Kahane was the father of Maurice Girodias, who created the Olympia Press.
This article contains information about the literary events and publications of 1929.
John Cowper Powys was an English philosopher, lecturer, novelist, critic and poet born in Shirley, Derbyshire, where his father was vicar of the parish church in 1871–1879. Powys appeared with a volume of verse in 1896 and a first novel in 1915, but gained success only with his novel Wolf Solent in 1929. He has been seen as a successor to Thomas Hardy, and Wolf Solent, A Glastonbury Romance (1932), Weymouth Sands (1934), and Maiden Castle (1936) have been called his Wessex novels. As with Hardy, landscape is important to his works. So is elemental philosophy in his characters' lives. In 1934 he published an autobiography. His itinerant lectures were a success in England and in 1905–1930 in the United States, where he wrote many of his novels and had several first published. He moved to Dorset, England, in 1934 with a US partner, Phyllis Playter. In 1935 they moved to Corwen, Merionethshire, Wales, where he set two novels, and in 1955 to Blaenau Ffestiniog, where he died in 1963.
Robert Herrick was a 17th-century English lyric poet and Anglican cleric. He is best known for Hesperides, a book of poems. This includes the carpe diem poem "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time", with the first line "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may".
Neil John Pearson is a British actor, known for his work on television. He was nominated for the 1994 BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor for Between the Lines (1992–1994). His other television roles include Drop the Dead Donkey (1990–1998), All the Small Things (2009), Waterloo Road (2014–2015), and In the Club (2014–2016). His film appearances include all three of the Bridget Jones films. He is also an antiquarian book dealer who specialises in the expatriate literary movement of Paris between the World Wars.
Robert Menzies McAlmon was an American writer, poet, and publisher. In the 1920s, he founded in Paris the publishing house, Contact Editions, where he published writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce and Ezra Pound.
Tropic of Capricorn is a semi-autobiographical novel by Henry Miller, first published by Obelisk Press in Paris in 1939. A prequel of sorts to Miller's first published novel, 1934's Tropic of Cancer, it was banned in the United States until a 1961 Justice Department ruling declared that its contents were not obscene.
James (Joseph) Hanley was a British novelist, short story writer, and playwright from Kirkdale, Liverpool, Lancashire, of Irish descent. Hanley came from a seafaring family and spent two years at sea himself, during World War I. He published his first novel Drift in 1930. In the 1930s and 1940s his novels and short stories focussed on seamen and their families, and included Boy (1931), the subject of an obscenity trial. After World War II there was less emphasis on the sea in his works. While frequently praised by critics, Hanley's novels did not sell well. In the late 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s he wrote plays, mainly for the BBC, for radio and then for television, and also for the theatre. He returned to the novel in the 1970s. His last novel, A Kingdom, was published in 1978, when he was eighty. His brother Gerald was also a novelist.
Olympia Press was a Paris-based publisher, launched in 1953 by Maurice Girodias as a rebranded version of the Obelisk Press he inherited from his father Jack Kahane. It published a mix of erotic fiction and avant-garde literary fiction, and is best known for the first print of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita.
The Amalgamated Press (AP) was a British newspaper and magazine publishing company founded by journalist and entrepreneur Alfred Harmsworth (1865–1922) in 1901, gathering his many publishing ventures together under one banner. At one point the largest publishing company in the world, AP employed writers such as Arthur Mee, John Alexander Hammerton, Edwy Searles Brooks, and Charles Hamilton. Its subsidiary, the Educational Book Company, published The Harmsworth Self-Educator, The Children's Encyclopædia, and Harmsworth's Universal Encyclopaedia. The company's newspapers included the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror, The Evening News, The Observer, and The Times. At its height, AP published over 70 magazines and operated three large printing works and paper mills in South London.
Maurice Girodias was a French publisher who founded the Olympia Press, specialising in risqué books, censored in Britain and America, that were permitted in France in English-language versions only. It evolved from his father’s Obelisk Press, famous for publishing Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. Girodias published Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, J. P. Donleavy’s The Ginger Man, and works by Samuel Beckett, William S. Burroughs, John Glassco and Christopher Logue.
Obelisk Press was an English-language press based in Paris, founded by British publisher Jack Kahane in 1929.
William Heinemann Ltd., with the imprint Heinemann, was a London publisher founded in 1890 by William Heinemann. Their first published book, 1890's The Bondman, was a huge success in the United Kingdom and launched the company. He was joined in 1893 by Sydney Pawling. Heinemann died in 1920 and Pawling sold the company to Doubleday, having worked with them in the past to publish their works in the United States. Pawling died in 1922 and new management took over. Doubleday sold his interest in 1933.
Proletarian literature refers here to the literature created by left-wing writers mainly for the class-conscious proletariat. Though the Encyclopædia Britannica states that because it "is essentially an intended device of revolution", it is therefore often published by the Communist Party or left wing sympathizers, the proletarian novel has also been categorized without any emphasis on revolution, as a novel "about the working classes and working-class life; perhaps with the intention of making propaganda". This different emphasis may reflect a difference between Russian, American and other traditions of working-class writing, with that of Britain. The British tradition was not especially inspired by the Communist Party, but had its roots in the Chartist movement, and socialism, amongst others. Furthermore, writing about the British working-class writers, H Gustav Klaus, in The Socialist Novel: Towards the Recovery of a Tradition (1982) suggested that "the once current [term] 'proletarian' is, internationally, on the retreat, while the competing concepts of 'working-class' and 'socialist' continue to command about equal adherence".
My Life and Loves is the autobiography of the Ireland-born, naturalized-American writer and editor Frank Harris (1856–1931). As published privately by Harris between 1922 and 1927, and by Jack Kahane's Obelisk Press in 1931, the work consisted of four volumes, illustrated with many drawings and photographs of nude women. The book gives a graphic account of Harris's sexual adventures and relates gossip about the sexual activities of celebrities of his day.
Sidney Ernest Dark was an English journalist, author and critic who was editor of the Church Times, among other publications. Dark wrote more than 30 books on subjects ranging from the church to literature and theatre, as well as biographies and novels.
Charles Beadle was a novelist and pulp fiction writer, best known for his adventure stories in American pulp magazines, and for his novels of the bohemian life in Paris.
Nautical fiction, frequently also naval fiction, sea fiction, naval adventure fiction or maritime fiction, is a genre of literature with a setting on or near the sea, that focuses on the human relationship to the sea and sea voyages and highlights nautical culture in these environments. The settings of nautical fiction vary greatly, including merchant ships, liners, naval ships, fishing vessels, life boats, etc., along with sea ports and fishing villages. When describing nautical fiction, scholars most frequently refer to novels, novellas, and short stories, sometimes under the name of sea novels or sea stories. These works are sometimes adapted for the theatre, film and television.
Boy, James Hanley's second novel, first published in 1931 by Boriswood, is a grim story of the brief life and early death of a thirteen year old stowaway from Liverpool. After several editions had been published in 1931 and 1932, a cheap edition, published in 1934, was prosecuted for obscene libel and the publisher heavily fined.
Norah Margaret Ruth Cordner James was a prolific English novelist whose first book Sleeveless Errand (1929) was ruled obscene at the Bow Street Police Court.
Gladys Sheila Donisthorpe, born Gladys Millie Leon, was a London-born novelist and playwright.