A Gentleman of Pleasure by Brian Busby
One Life of John Glassco, Poet, Memoirist, Translator, and Pornographer

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Is this Glassco’s fate? Busby quotes Glassco’s self-assessment as “trifler, dilettante, petit-maître,” and maintains this is too harsh. Certainly Glassco was more than a trifler and a dilettante — he pursued his writing for years under the most adverse conditions — but petit-maître sounds about right. It is not such a bad thing to be.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

A Gentleman of Pleasure not only spans Glassco's life but delves into his background as a member of a once prominent and powerful Montreal family. In addition to Glassco's readily available work, Brian Busby draws on pseudonymous writings published as a McGill student as well as unpublished and previously unknown poems, letters, and journal entries to detail a vibrant life while pulling back the curtain on Glassco's sexuality and unconventional tastes.

In a lively account of a man given to deception, who took delight in hoaxes, Busby manages to substantiate many of the often unreliable statements Glassco made about his life and work. A Gentleman of Pleasure is a remarkable biography that captures the knowable truth about a fascinatingly complex and secretive man.
 

About Brian Busby

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Brian Busby is an independent scholar and the author of several books, including Character Parts: Who's Really Who in CanLit.
 
Published March 14, 2011 by MQUP. 407 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Philip Marchand on Apr 22 2011

Is this Glassco’s fate? Busby quotes Glassco’s self-assessment as “trifler, dilettante, petit-maître,” and maintains this is too harsh. Certainly Glassco was more than a trifler and a dilettante — he pursued his writing for years under the most adverse conditions — but petit-maître sounds about right. It is not such a bad thing to be.

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