Decades after his death, John Glassco (1909-1981) remains Canada’s most enigmatic literary figure. The Heart Accepts It All: SelectedLetters of John Glassco draws back the curtain on this self-described ‘great practitioner of deceit.’ We see the delight he took in revealing his many literary hoaxes to friends, and the scorn he had for literary fashion. The letters reflect his convictions about literature, other writers and his own talent, while documenting struggles with publishers, pirates and censors.
Born into one of Montreal’s wealthiest families, Glassco turned his back on privilege for a life in letters. At age eighteen, having been published in Paris, his voice suddenly went silent. His unexpected return to the literary scene in 1957 coincided with the great flowering of Canadian literature. In the years that followed, he produced a unique body of work that encompasses poetry, memoir, translation, and several bestselling books of pornography.
Collected here are the few surviving letters from his youthful adventures in France and three previously unpublished poems. Amongst his correspondents were Maurice Girodias, F.R. Scott, A.J.M. Smith, Ralph Gustafson, Leon Edel and Margaret Atwood.close this panel