Memoirs of Montparnasse

Memoirs of Montparnasse

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Overview

Memoirs of Montparnasse by John Glassco

Memoirs of Montparnasse is a delicious book about being young, restless, reckless, and without cares. It is also the best and liveliest of the many chronicles of 1920s Paris and the exploits of the lost generation. In 1928, nineteen-year-old John Glassco escaped Montreal and his overbearing father for the wilder shores of Montparnasse. He remained there until his money ran out and his health collapsed, and he enjoyed every minute of his stay. Remarkable for their candor and humor, Glassco’s memoirs have the daft logic of a wild but utterly absorbing adventure, a tale of desire set free that is only faintly shadowed by sadness at the inevitable passage of time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590175378
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 02/15/2012
Series: NYRB Classics Series
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 296
Sales rank: 771,964
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

John Glassco (1909-1981), born in Montreal, attended McGill University without graduating, visited Paris as a sixteen-year-old and two years later, in 1928, accompanied by his friend Graeme Taylor. It was on this more lengthy and eventful stay, in the city he loved, that he based his Memoirs of Montparnasse (1970), which was published, and presented by Glassco, as an authentic memoir though it was later discovered to be in many respects a work of fiction. Before publication he had confided to his friend Kay Boyle: “It has the form of fiction—i.e. with lots of dialogue, speed, rearranged and telescoped action; never a dull moment—and is more a montage of those days than literal truth.” It is, however, firmly based in reality and felt experience, and probably contains as much fact as fiction. Glassco once remarked that he was “as much a novelist, anthologist, translator and pornographer” as he was a poet or a memoirist. His Selected Poems (1971) won a Governor General’s Award, then Canada’s leading literary honor.

Louis Begley is a novelist and retired lawyer. He has written eight novels, including Wartime Lies, About Schmidt, and Matters of Honor, which was published in 2007. He is a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres of France and served as the president of PEN American Center from 1993 to 1995. He lives in New York with his wife, Anka Muhlstein, an historian of France.

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