Memoirs of Montparnasse (New York Review Books Classics)
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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.
flowering of her genius—also its circumscribed quality, its suggestion of being both sheltered and a shelter—see?—and its economy of structure.’ ‘An edible mushroom?’ ‘You’ve got it. That will be the whole mystery of the portrait. The viewer won’t know and she won’t know either. We will all partake of Jane Austen’s doubt, faced with the appalling mystery of sex.’ We must have been talking with an animation unusual for one of Gertrude Stein’s parties, for several of the guests had already
could never bore me,’ I said. ‘I think we just don’t respect each other’s minds. You think I’m a nitwit, for example—a kind of bright insect.’ ‘I do. And you think I’m a false face attached to an attitude.’ ‘You’re quite right. Your wit deceived me. You’re the most amusing woman I’ve ever known. But think how awful it would be if we’d really fallen in love. All the tears, fights, swearing, breaking dishes, partings at midnight—me tramping the streets in a rage—’ ‘And me sobbing into a wet
‘Tell him it’s Mrs Sally Marr, and be quick about it. Frank’s worried about duns,’ she said as the butler went away. ‘And the police too, I think. They’re all after him for that funny book.’ ‘You should have let him know ahead,’ said Terence. ‘And give him time to cook up some fancy scheme for getting money out of me? Not on your life.’ The butler came back smiling. ‘Monsieur Arriss will be delighted to receive Mrs Marr and her company. Please enter.’ ‘Bob,’ said Sally, turning around,
boulevard Beauséjour the project had seemed trivial, unimportant, even amusing; here it appeared as what it really was, a brash vulgar stroke. I was glad I was not figuring in it under my own name. ‘Lucien, my writing-board, if you please.’ He sprang forward and arranged in front of her an ingenious contrivance, rather like a small card-table, with a blotter and stationery. She jabbed a long steel pen into the inkwell and began scratching away with great force and speed. Lucien stood before
novel my partner had been writing for many years in—as a romantic prose-writer would put it—the privacy of her soul. I found my experiences in the rue Blanche far from pleasant. The attitude of these greedy women would soon have destroyed me altogether if I had been obliged to continue for long in their service. Worst of all, I found I was no longer able to write my poetry. Fortunately Bob McAlmon returned to Paris in December. 25 ‘How did you get into these shenanigans?’ Bob wanted to