Our film Barney’s Wall” has just been profiled in “The Paris Review”, as a tribute to Barney Rosset and his fierce battles for free expression.

Barney’s Wall today on the Paris Review Daily:

Barney Rosset founded Grove Press in 1953.

George Plimpton became Editor of The Paris Review in 1953.

For five decades, these two literary hounds brought us many of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Yet they never socialized.

Rosset and Plimpton Kennel
Rosset and Plimpton Kennel

In the year before George Plimpton’s death in 2003, George made frequent visits to Barney Rosset’s East Village loft, to interview Barney for a New Yorker profile.

Barney and George bonded over ping-pong games, fiercely fought, while George interviewed Barney.

George’s unexpected death was a blow to Barney who –– on three ring binder paper –– penciled this never-published tribute to his newest, now lost, friend:

Barney Rosset to George Plimpton

“Fifty years and six months ago and in this last year, the 50th plus the six months, I felt compacted and eclipsed the previous 49. It was true that in 1977 Paris Review had published what I considered the best and fairest interview with me yet done. But George was in the background. Ken Jordan was the editor of the piece. However, just before publishing the piece George came to see me and the 2 of us went over the galleys very carefully together. We made some important corrections. I liked that. WASPS weren’t all bad after all.

Then we played ping pong; two games. We each won one. I thought, “Let’s leave it that way.” It leaves the future open and we did just that. Then in the last year and a half or so … it seemed like 5 years … we saw George often. He was writing a piece about me. Would he ever finish? A few weeks ago he said he needed to see me one more time and he would bring along what he had written. I thought the occasion might call for that third ping pong game. Perhaps, six years had passed since the last one. I noticed George had taken more time to come up from our four flights on his last visit, but closed off those thoughts.The Irish Jew from Chicago and George Plimpton, the handsome, kindly patrician from the East coast. Almost like saying ‘England’. We’d have one more happy engagement at the table. But it did not take place.

But George I will wait. You have been late before. God Bless my friend,

Barney Rossett.”

Literary hound and Barney's Wall backer
Literary hound and Barney’s Wall backer

Dear backers:

Our film “Barney’s Wall” is made in tribute to Barney and his fierce defense of freedom of expression. Please help us bring our film to completion. You have only two days in which to make it happen. We must make 100% of our goal to receive any funding: Kickstarter is all or nothing. You are now part of our project and your names will appear in our film credits if you get us to the finish line: a total win-win.

Please consider upping your pledges and please copy and paste the image below into your emails and social media posts, telling your friends that you have backed a great project because you care about an uncensored, tolerant and open culture.

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Thanks to all of you from Team Barney.


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