[ilds] Who funded 'The Winter of Artifice'?

Sky Blue Press skybluepress at skybluepress.com
Sat Sep 1 17:00:47 PDT 2007


In the introduction to 'The Winter of Artifice: a facsimile of the original 1939 Paris edition,' Benjamin Franklin V states:

Maurice Girodias, son and successor of Jack Kahane, owner of the Obelisk Press, relates the understanding between publisher and authors about the payment of printing costs for the three books that Obelisk published in the Villa Seurat series, a series named after Miller's Paris residence, 18 Villa Seurat. According to Girodias, his father would pay the costs for the first volume, Miller's Max and the White Phagocytes ; Nin, for Durrell's The Black Book ; Durrell, for Nin's The Winter of Artifice. Girodias also records that, at Durrell's suggestion, Nin and Durrell would pay for the printing of each other's book rather than their own in order to avoid the sense of defeat that vanity publication might have created. (However, Gunther Stuhlmann and Jay Martin claim that Nancy Durrell, wife of Lawrence, paid the printing costs for all three books. Martin also notes that the Villa Seurat series ceased publication (with The Winter of Artifice) when she could no longer support it. Commenting about underwriting Nin's "Chaotica" (a working title for The Winter of Artifice) in a letter to Lawrence Durrell (5 November 1938), Henry Miller writes, "Let us know, will you, if the money is still available for this book? Hope you are not bankrupt yet". Lawrence Durrell's biographer (Ian MacNiven) observes that "the 150 pounds it cost to print the three titles came from Nancy's capital". In a diary entry dated 1 November 1937, Nin states that "Larry is putting up the money [to Kahane] for three books". In an entry dated 13 December 1938, she notes that "Durrell is bringing [The Winter of Artifice ] out in February [1939]," implying that Durrell published this book. In an entry dated January 1943, Nin records that "Lawrence Durrell backed the publication of Winter of Artifice ". Nin dedicates The Winter of Artifice to the Durrells: "To/NANCY and LARRY/with love." 

Paul Herron
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