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memoirs

The Tender Hour of Twilight: Paris in the '50s, New York in the '60s: A Memoir of Publishing's Golden Age

 
 
Author
Richard Seaver. Jeanette Seaver, ed. James Salter, intro.
Publisher FSG  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6.25 x 1.4 inches
ISBN 9780374273781
Pages/Publication Date 457/2012
Daedalus Item Code 40254
This item is not available.
Description
From Samuel Beckett to William S. Burroughs, from The Story of O to The Autobiography of Malcolm X, this memoir by iconic editor, publisher, translator, and literary troublemaker Richard Seaver is his frontline perspective on liberating American publishing in the mid-20th century.

"Richard Seaver was a glamorous and cultured publisher who lived in Paris in the 1950s, where he befriended Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco, and in New York in the 1960s, where he led the fight against censorship and championed William Burroughs, Henry Miller, and D.H. Lawrence. Fluent in French and Spanish, he acted as an important conduit between European and American literature. He was what every writer would want his editor to be: urbane, loyal, sensitive to aesthetic values, and fierce in his defense of freedom of speech. This honest, companionable book is an eloquent testament to his exciting life."—Edmund White

"Richard Seaver played a vital role in America's discovery of France and vice versa in the years after World War II. This fascinating memoir of his career as an editor is crammed with unexpected appearances of such notables as Ionesco, Genet, William Burroughs, Buster Keaton, and Henry Miller. Who knew that Samuel Beckett once played tennis with Barney Rosset in East Hampton? Edited by Seaver's widow Jeannette, The Tender Hour of Twilight finally brings into focus the career of this much-loved and influential impresario."—John Ashbery

"I knew Dick Seaver as a friend and fellow wrestler; he was later my publisher at Arcade. As a wrestler, Dick had strong hands. I didn't know him in the '50s, when he was a young editor in Paris, where he read (and first wrote about) Beckett, or in the '60s, when he published Burroughs's Naked Lunch at Grove Press in New York. But some of the stories in this memoir are the ones Dick told over dinner—falling in love with his wife, Jeannette, on New Year's Eve, 1953; meeting Robbe-Grillet, who was 'charming and witty, with a soupçon of malice lurking not far from the surface'; taking Beckett to a Mets doubleheader in New York; correcting a flawed English translation of Genet's Our Lady of the Flowers in Paris; even escorting Genet through the hazards of the '68 Democratic Convention in Chicago. It was only after Seaver's death that he was revealed to be Sabine D'Estrée, the translator of the 'infamous' Story of O, though many of his friends knew—or we had guessed. (The 'infamous' word, said with a smile, is Seaver's.) Dick was loved for his exemplary life in literature and envied for his remarkable and cherished family—I mean both his actual family and the extended family of fiercely beloved writers Dick Seaver so passionately looked after. I remember and miss those strong hands."—John Irving

 
 
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