Paris: The Olympia Press, 1962. 2nd Printing. 3 vols., 12mo, publisher's green paper wraps printed in black and white.
"In the workings of violence, the normal man—and only he—may perceive the negation of the rule, the refusal directed not only against human and divine law but against the universe and very existence. And he is able to know that refusal, revolt, is the foundation of human existence and sets up voluptuousness as the measure of a universe that annihilates it" (Georges Bataille in his introductory essay to vol. I). Three-volume set of the first edition in English (2nd printing) of "the most impure tale ever written." Famous for first publishing Nabokov's Lolita, among other scandalous classics, it's no surprise that boundary-pushing Olympia Press was the first to issue Sade’s sexually explicit 18th-century tale of debauchery in English. Girodias briefly revived his father Jack Kahane's notorious imprint, Obelisk, during World War II, before founding his own press, publishing the likes of Henry Miller (who originally published with Kahane), Beckett, and John Glassco, as well as the Atlantic Library series, a short-lived erotica imprint, forerunner of the green wrappered Traveller's Companion series. Introductory essay by prominent French intellectual and eroticist Georges Bataille, whose work was heavily influenced by Sade; translated by Pieralessandro Casavini (pseud. of Austryn Wainhouse), who produced the first unexpurgated English translation of Sade's Justine for Olympia in 1953. Originally published in 1957, this is the second Olympia printing. Issued as number 50 in the Traveller's Companion series. Handwritten numeral 3 to half-title of vol. I. Light rubbing to spine-ends and edges of all three volumes. Very good. Item #2471