26 December 2010

The 75-Year-Old Virgin and Others I Acquired

Published in 1935 by les Éditions du Quotidien, a first edition by one of the most important Canadian writers of the twentieth century. I bought Sébastien Pierre this year for ten dollars. A full 75 years after publication, its pages remained uncut. Three of the 23 illustrations featured are revealed here for the first time.

Such a sad commentary on the country's literature, and yet... and yet this same sorry situation enables souls like myself to amass a fairly nice collection of interesting and unusual Canadiana.

Case in point: Thomas P. Kelley's pseudonymous No Tears for Goldie (1950), which was purchased in February for a mere five dollars. No hits on Worldcat, absent from Abe, nothing at all at AddAll.

Rare, bizarre, but not really worth a read.

Of the obscurities reviewed here these past twelve months, the three I most recommend:

These are not great works of literature, but they are engaging and very interesting. Each depicts a dark, disturbing and gritty Canada found in very few novels of their time.

Financially speaking, my best buy was a very nice first edition (my second) of Tender is the Night (sans dust jacket), which I found just last month for $9.50 in a Montreal bookstore. The year's favourite purchase, however, is of negligible commercial value: a 1926 edition of Anatole France's Under the Rose. I came across this at a library sale, flipped through a few pages, and happened to spot the name Peregrine Acland, a subject of ongoing research, stamped ever so discretely in the front free endpaper.

What luck!

Still no luck, I'm afraid, in tracking down Sexpo '69, that elusive novel of lesbian erotica set at Expo 67. Will I never find a copy?

Of course, I will.

A Happy New Year to all!


  1. http://www.lesbianfunworld.com/books/pulp/details/37470.html

  2. My thanks for the link, TenMile. It's the most detailed description of the book I've seen thus far. The 1969 Brandon House is not the first edition? Really? Yet another mystery.

  3. I would pay real money to see a comedy called "The 75 Year Old Virgin." Because I know he'd end up doing it with Betty White, and she's a delight. Happy Christmas, Dusty! See you at the book party in April! There'd better be box wine.

  4. Betty White, an older woman, even to a 75-year-old. But who to play the lead? I note that Charles Grodin is the right age (as is - shockingly - Donald Sutherland).

    Looking forward to April.