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Maurice Girodias; ‘Lolita’ Publisher

From Reuters

Maurice Girodias, the French publisher who put Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita” in print and spent much of his life fighting censors, has died of a heart attack, publishing sources said Wednesday. He was 71.

Girodias died Tuesday shortly after suffering the attack during an interview with a French Jewish radio station. The interview was to have been broadcast to coincide with the publication of his memoirs.

The son of Jewish publisher Jack Kahane, who caused a national furor by releasing Henry Miller’s explicit “Tropic of Cancer” in the 1930s, Girodias fled to exile in the United States from 1964 to 1974 after his own battles with the censors.

Authors he published in both French and English included Samuel Beckett, Chester Himes, Iris Owens, William Burroughs, J. P. Donleavy, Nikos Kazantzakis, Nina Berberova, the Marquis de Sade, Georges Bataille, Jean Genet and Raymond Queneau.

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But it was Girodias’ discovery of Nabokov’s sensual “Lolita” that brought him fame, as well as immense trouble over censorship.

He was also dragged through the courts on pornography charges for publishing Miller’s later works, “Tropic of Capricorn” and “Sexus.”

Girodias published the first volume of his autobiography, titled “The Frog Prince,” in 1980.


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