I gotta say that any man responsible for distributing WAITING FOR GODOT is no longer waiting. God has welcomed Barney Rosset with open arms and an eternal library.
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Barney Rosset, 1922 - 2012
Written by David Hudson
From John Gall, art director for Vintage and Anchor Books, comes word that legendary publisher and film distributor Barney Rosset has passed away at the age of 89. Gall points us to a lively profile by Louisa Thomas that ran inNewsweek in late 2008: "Rosset's publishing house, Grove Press, was a tiny company operating out of the ground floor of Rosset's brownstone when it published an obscure play called Waiting for Godot in 1954. By the timeBeckett had won the Nobel Prize in 1969, Grove had become a force that challenged and changed literature and American culture in deep and lasting ways. Its impact is still evident — from the Che Guevara posters adorning college dorms to the canonical status of the house's once controversial authors. Rosset is less well known — but late in his life he is achieving some wider recognition. Last month, a black-tie crowd gave Rosset a standing ovation when the National Book Foundation awarded him the Literarian Award for 'outstanding service' to American letters. This fall, Rosset was also the subject of a documentary, Obscene, directed by Neil Ortenberg and Daniel O'Connor, which featured a host of literary luminaries, former colleagues and footage from a particularly hilarious interview with Al Goldstein, the porn king. High literature and low — Rosset pushed and published it all."