Publishing, the Rules of the Trade

I shall spit on your graves

Vernon Sullivan, The Vendôme Press, original edition, 1948, La Cohérie BV

In April 1948, Vian went under the penname of Sullivan once again: he translated J’irai cracher sur vos tombes into American, I Shall Spit on Your Graves. At the hearing, the author admitted that Vernon Sullivan was a pseudonym, a fact of which the press was already convinced. Boris Vian, his publisher and his printer were judged at a hearing closed to the public in 1950. The writer, defended by Maître Izard, a distinguished barrister, was supported by several notable personalities, including the author Raymond Queneau. Heavy fines were given for offending public decency; the court also ordered the withdrawal and destruction of the book. An appeal was rejected, but the amnesty law of 1953 exempted them from executing the sentence.