His desire was for something salacious, produced by genius


Jack Kahane arrived in Paris from Manchester in the 1920s, bent on making his name as a novelist and publisher. As a writer, he leaned towards the flippant, dashing off a series of tales, the saucy titles of which are surely more entertaining than the contents: Suzy Falls Off, It’s Hard To Sin, Amour French for Love, The Gay Intrigue, etc. It was as a publisher that Kahane hoped to be a true original – the daring pioneer who uncovers a scandalous masterpiece. From 1929 onwards, he was the proprietor of several imprints (collectively discussed here as the Obelisk Press). He wanted a book that would appeal to the discerning and the vulgar reader at once, “an unprintable book that is fit to read”, in the words of Ezra Pound. Lady Chatterley’s Lover was such a book, and Kahane published it in 1936, though there had been half-a-dozen previous editions, including the expurgated one produced by Secker in 1932.

more from the TLS here.