Welcome to this cyberplace, set up as a space for news and reviews of A Gentleman of Pleasure and occasional jottings about John Glassco. Five years have now passed since publication, and I've moved on to other projects, but I'm leaving this up with the thought that those drawn to Glassco's writing will find something of interest.

23 October 2013

Steven W. Beattie on The Heart Accepts It All

Steven W. Beattie earns the distinction of publishing the first review of The Heart Accepts It All:
Glassco's letters are addressed to a veritable who's who of Canadian and international literati: the Margaret's (Atwood and Laurence), Northrop Frye, F.R. Scott, Irving Layton, Malcolm Cowley, and Leon Edel, among others. Glassco enjoys caricaturing people based on their physical appearances, and can be vicious in his assessments (referring to a documentary about Leonard Cohen, he expresses shock that the National Film Board "was induced to collaborate on the indulgence of a 5th-rate poet's megalomania"). Morley Callaghan, in particular, is subject of repeated salvos.
     And yet the correspondence also displays the workings of an adroit and capable literary mind (his assessments of the Marquis de Sade and D.H. Lawrence are cogent and persuasive), and a man with a keen understanding of the business side of publishing. There is a certain amount of the quotidian details and repetition one might expect from a collection of personal letters (Busby points out that none of the entries has been edited), but overall the book provides an interesting glimpse into the private world of one of Canada's most enigmatic literary figures.
More in the November issue of Quill & Quire!

No comments:

Post a Comment