[ilds] Last Villa Seurat Book Finally Published in America

Sky Blue Press skybluepress at skybluepress.com
Thu Aug 30 15:13:25 PDT 2007

Hello Durrellians...

When Lawrence Durrell funded Anais Nin's 'The Winter of Artifice' in 1939, little did he know that within a few weeks of its publication war and the death of the publisher, Jack Kahane of the Obelisk Press, would destroy the book's future. Unlike Henry Miller, who waited for decades before his 'Tropics' could be published in America because of the so-called obscenity laws, Nin went to work after coming to New York, surgically removing the story 'Djuna' (the first treatment of the Henry-June-Anais love triangle), and severely cutting the other two novellas, 'Lilith' and 'The Voice'. On the first page of this doctored copy, she wrote: "I have removed all of the scabreux passages--everything difficult and what shocks here." In 1942 she published, on her own press, the new version of the book, and the original was never published again anywhere. It became Villa Seurat's "lost book".

Two years ago, Benjamin Franklin V, the foremost Nin bibliographer in the country, lent me a copy of the original Paris edition, and together we made a plan to create from it a facsimile in a limited edition of 500 copies. It took more than a year to scan each page and digitally erase the ravage of time. It was our goal to create a duplicate of what rolled off the press in 1939, and I'm happy to say we've achieved this.

So, finally, after 68 years, the final book of the Villa Seurat Series is being published in America, uncut, and an important gap in the bibliography of Nin, Durrell and Miller is now closed.

The book is available at www.skybluepress.com. 

Paul Herron
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