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A Gentleman of Pleasure: One Life of John Glassco, Poet, Memoirist, Translator, and Pornographer Hardcover – March 14, 2011

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A Gentleman of Pleasure: One Life of John Glassco, Poet, Memoirist, Translator, and Pornographer + Memoirs of Montparnasse (New York Review Books Classics)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mcgill Queens Univ Pr (March 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0773538186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0773538184
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,794,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Original and richly detailed, A Gentleman of Pleasure gives John Glassco the audience he deserves." Andrew Lesk, University of Toronto

"Black-leather dandy, and elegant, martini-sipping beat, John Glassco was a one-man, literary underground. Impeccable in style and provocative in intent, his pornography is poetic, his poetry is arty, but all his writing has the precision and grace of beautiful lies. Yet, his genius has gone too long unheralded and unsung in his native land. Bravo to Brian Busby, then, whose exhaustively researched, exquisitely written, and endlessly interesting biography reveals Glassco's vivid complexity, intricate deceptions, and the convoluted genesis of his deathless triumphs in memoir, translation, lyric, and, yes, his odes to the joys of womanly sadism and boyish masochism. Busby gives us a detailed portrait of a grand bon vivant and a singular intellectual, who was likely English Canada's most gifted, truly radical writer." George Elliott Clarke, Department of English, University of Toronto

"In his own elegant prose and with a profound appreciation of his subject's life and work, Brian Busby introduces us to the life, the times, and the writings of a man who was not merely a gentleman of letters and pleasure but also a fabulist of the first order. Busby's treatment and analysis of Glassco's best-known work, the controversial Memoirs of Montparnasse, should lay to rest any questions still surrounding its composition. Read this book too for an exceptional and intimate gaze into the life and times of a pioneering translator of Franco-Québécois writers into English; an award-winning poet; and a noteworthy author of literary pornography. All combine quite comfortably to make A Gentleman of Pleasure a tremendously good and satisfying read." Sheila Fischman, literary translator

About the Author

Brian Busby is an independent scholar and the author of several books, including Character Parts: Who's Really Who in CanLit.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul Gardner on July 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Glassco is a fascinating literary figure. He was not a
conventional guy and this is, thankfully, not a conventional
author's bio. Glassco went to Paris as a youth, leaving behind
his rich, loathesome Canadian parents. (His dado enjoyed whipping
the child while mumie got sexually aroused). He survived TB operations
in his 20s (during the '30s) and became a poet and porn writer. He also
married a woman who went mad and believed she was related to the
last Russian Tsar.

Glassco's "Memoirs of Montparnasse," (much of it imagined, but so
what) should be read first. Except for Chapter #1, which reads like
the phbook - as if writ x someone else - this bio is recommended.
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