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Biography & Autobiography General

Memoirs of Montparnasse

by (author) John Glassco

Publisher
Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
Apr 1995
Category
General
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780195409772
    Publish Date
    Apr 1995
    List Price
    $26.95

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Description

First published to great acclaim in 1970, this new edition of a Canadian poet's fascinating memoir contains a series of captivating vignettes of life on the left bank in the 1920s. Many of the great figures and personalities of that era make appearances here - Joyce, Kay Boyle, Ford MadoxFord, and Gertrude Stein, among others. The introduction and notes are by Michael Gnarowski who knew John Glassco and saw much of him in the 1960s, especially in 1964 when the Memoirs were being "crafted." Gnarowski explores the process by which Glassco, a self-confessed "collagiste," created abrilliant work of autobiographical fiction almost entirely out of the facts and incidents of the lives of others whose paths had crossed his in those insouciant days in Montparnasse.

About the author

John Glassco was a Canadian writer known for his reputation as a modern-day dandy as well as for his sophisticated poetry and prose. Born in 1909 to a wealthy family in Montreal, he attended McGill University where he became part of the Montreal Group of modernist writers. He later abandoned his studies to head to Paris, where he encountered many luminaries of the 1920s expatriate community, several of whom populated his popular fictionalized memoir, Memoirs of Montparnasse. Glassco returned to Canada in the 1930s, settling in Foster in Quebec's Eastern Townships. He went on to publish a wide variety of writings, from critical essays and book reviews to short stories and pornographic novels. His Selected Poems won the Governor General's Award for Poetry in 1971. Glassco died in 1981. Author photo cropped from 'Saucer eye', Robert McAlmon, Buffy Glassco, Graeme Taylor, from Library and Archives Canada/John Glassco collection/e010767804.

John Glassco's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A charming memoir of life in Montparnasse in the late nineteen-twenties-written at the time and shortly after -when the author, a Canadian poet, was in his late teens, a dropout from McGill. The obligatory portraits of famous writers and of the originals of famous literary characters areincluded, but the real interest lies in Mr. Glassco's own precipitous skid from bohemian writer, living on an allowance from home, to pornographic model and gigolo, to desperate case of tuberculosis, shipped home to Montreal just in time." New Yorker

"A charming memoir of life in Montparnasse in the late nineteen-twenties-written at the time and shortly after -when the author, a Canadian poet, was in his late teens, a dropout from McGill. The obligatory portraits of famous writers and of the originals of famous literary characters areincluded, but the real interest lies in Mr. Glassco's own precipitous skid from bohemian writer, living on an allowance from home, to pornographic model and gigolo, to desperate case of tuberculosis, shipped home to Montreal just in time." New Yorker

"John Glassco's Memoirs of Montparnasse is a literary memoir of interest both in Canada and abroad. In the late 1920's he went as a young man from Canada to Paris to join the expatriate literary society there, whose much more established members included such writers as Gertrude Stein, JamesJoyce and Ernest Hemingway. Memoirs of Montparnasse is Glassco's valuable and candid record of the literary springtime more than 40 years ago." Maclean's

"Glassco's Paris memoirs...are thoroughly delightful, bringing that much over-exposed period to life in a way that few other expatriate reminiscences have done." Globe and Mail

"John Glassco's Memoirs of Montparnasse strikes me as the best book of prose by a Canadian that I have ever read. I simply devoured the book. It's extraordinary, delightful, thoroughly enlightened. The pleasure comes, I think, from reading someone who is an accomplished literary stylist, aman of strong personal taste, a devotee of literature." Louis Dudek, Montreal Gazette

"Glassco's Paris memoirs...are thoroughly delightful, bringing that much over-exposed period to life in a way that few other expatriate reminiscences have done." Globe and Mail

"John Glassco's Memoirs of Montparnasse strikes me as the best book of prose by a Canadian that I have ever read. I simple devoured the book. It's extraordinary, delightful, thoroughly enlightened. The pleasure comes, I think, from reading someone who is an accomplished literary stylist, aman of strong personal taste, a devotee of literature." Louis Dudek, Montreal Gazette

"John Glassco's Memoirs of Montparnasse is a literary memoir of interest both in Canada and abroad. In the late 1920's he went as a young man from Canada to Paris to join the expatriate literary society there, whose much more established members included such writers as Gertrude Stein, JamesJoyce and Ernest Hemingway. Memoirs of Montparnasse is Glassco's valuable and candid record of the literary springtime more than 40 years ago." Maclean's

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