A Gentleman of Pleasure

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McGill University, where his father was secretary and bursar, the young Glassco quickly found stupid and boring, and in , in company with his friend, fellow writer and McGill student Graeme Taylor, he made his way to Paris, supported by a precarious allowance from his family. Glassco, a self-declared bisexual, had a weakness for this kind of arrangement, although it brought in its wake nothing but trouble.

Alas, nature abhors a triangle.

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Busby, editor of several literary anthologies, is far from moralistic in his approach, but his biography is a lesson, nonetheless, in how quickly the pursuit of pleasure turns to misery. Paris certainly was more exciting than Montreal, but even in this milieu Glassco displayed a talent for humiliation. Dreams of literary glory faded.

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Taylor initially seemed destined for success, with several pieces published in notable literary journals in Paris, but on return to Canada, he received nothing but rejection letters from American and Canadian periodicals until he finally gave up writing entirely. Glassco, who had one piece of juvenilia published during his Paris days, continued to work on his own writing but had no breakthrough either until a poem of his appeared in Canadian Forum. Taylor, meanwhile, sank even deeper into self-pity, depressed by his failures as a writer, a farmer, a soldier — he had enlisted during the Second World War but was subsequently dismissed from the army.

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A Gentleman of Pleasure : One Life of John Glassco : Poet, Memoirist, Translator, and Pornographer

A photograph in the biography of Taylor in his mid-forties shows a ruin of a man. His relationship with Glassco acquired something of the flavour of the relationship between British playwright Joe Orton and the man who killed Orton out of jealousy and isolation, his long-time lover Kenneth Halliwell. Scott and William Toye, his editor at Oxford University Press in the days when that institution was a force in Canadian poetry.

Crowley - "Pleasure Gentlemen" S7E8

They encouraged and nurtured his growing career as a poet and translator of French Canadian verse. His career as a pornographer, boosted by the commercial success of his The English Governess, written under the nom de plume of Miles Underwood, can be largely chalked up to the famous Parisian publisher of scandalous literature, Maurice Girodias.

Critical evaluation of this literary career is difficult. Ezra Pound, whose record as talent spotter was spectacularly good, accorded McAlmon high praise. But McAlmon failed to develop, lost many of his manuscripts during the war, and ended up as a salesman in a surgical supply company owned by his brothers in Phoenix, Ariz.

Gentleman of leisure - definition of gentleman of leisure by The Free Dictionary

Now he is a footnote to literary history. It is not such a bad thing to be. A man who makes his living off of prostitutes. A pimp, mack , or easy rider. Cyrus styles hissself a gentleman of leisure but he nothin' but a low-down , raggedy-ass pimp, if you axe me.


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