Caresse Crosby - Later Work

Later Work

Harry left Caresse US$100,000 (about $1,353,000 today) in his will, along with generous bequests to Josephine, Constance, and others. His parents Stephen and Henrietta had it declared invalid, but reassured Caresse that she would receive US$2000 (approximately $21,000 today) a year until she received money from Walter Berry's estate. Upon her return to Europe, Polleen was brought from Chamonix by Caresse's friend Bill Sykes, Billy was brought home from boarding school by another friend,, and the family and friends spent some time at the Mill. Polleen stayed with her mother for a few months, refusing to return to school. Billy returned to Choam, and in 1931 returned to the U.S. to attend the Lexox School.

After Harry Crosby's suicide, Caresse dedicated herself to the Black Sun Press. She also established, with Jacques Porel, a side venture, Crosby Continental Editions, to publish paperback books. Their friend Hemingway offered her a choice of The Torrents of Spring or The Sun Also Rises as their debut volume. Caresse unfortunately picked the former which was less well received than the other volume. She followed Hemingway's work with nine more books in 1932 included William Faulkner's Sanctuary, Kay Boyle's Year Before Last, Dorothy Parker's Laments for the Living, and Antoine de Saint-Exupery's Night-Flight along with works by Alain Fournier, Charles-Louis Philippe, Paul Eluard, George Grosz, Max Ernst, and C. G. Jung. After six months of sales the books had only grossed about US$1200. Crosby was unable to persuade U.S. publishers to distribute her work, as paperbacks were not yet widely distributed and they publishers were not convinced that readers would buy them. Her paperback books, an innovative product in the 1930s, were not well received, and she closed the press in 1933.

Crosby pursued ambitions as an actress that she had since her 20s, and appeared as a dancer in two short experimental films directed by artist Emlen Etting, Poem 8 (1932) and Oramunde (1933). The Black Sun Press broadened its scope after Harry's death. Although it published few works after 1952, it printed James Joyce's Collected Poems in 1963. It did not officially close until Caresse's death in 1970.

Read more about this topic:  Caresse Crosby

Famous quotes containing the word work:

    Though collecting quotations could be considered as merely an ironic mimetism—victimless collecting, as it were ... in a world that is well on its way to becoming one vast quarry, the collector becomes someone engaged in a pious work of salvage. The course of modern history having already sapped the traditions and shattered the living wholes in which precious objects once found their place, the collector may now in good conscience go about excavating the choicer, more emblematic fragments.
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933)

    How did you get in the Navy? How did you get on our side? Ah, you ignorant, arrogant, ambitious—keeping sixty two men in prison cause you got a palm tree for the work they did. I don’t know which I hate worse, you or that malignant growth that stands outside your door. How did you ever get command of a ship? I realize in wartime they have to scrape the bottom of the barrel. But where’d they ever scrape you up?
    Frank S. Nugent (1908–1965)