Following the author through Toronto in the 1940s and 1950s, this engrossing memoir depicts the evolution from a middle class childhood into an unconventional adulthood. Escaping his origins to fulfill his dreams, the author gains a surprising perspective, discovering that Europe’s old world cultural superiority is just as hollow as the institutions of his homeland.
Young Hunting Author: Martin Hunter Table of Contents CONTENTS Acknowledgements THE BOYS IN THE TOWER 11 GOING DOWN HOME 17 THE REBELS OF GOLFDALE ROAD 35 A TENDERFOOT IN GOTHAM 53 THE REMARKABLE MRS. G. 67 THE BELLS OF HELL 90 CULTURE CLASH 109 RIVALS 125 MAKING THE DEBS’ LIST 146 SEA LEGS 165 TROOPING THROUGH THE GROVES OF ACADEME 185 WORKING MAN BLUES 195 AULD LANG SYNE 204 AWAY DOWN IN BLIGHTY 216 SEVILLANA 233 THE ROAD FORKS 246 Description Following the author through Toronto in the 1940s and 1950s, this engrossing memoir depicts the evolution from a middle class childhood into an unconventional adulthood. Escaping his origins to fulfill his dreams, the author gains a surprising perspective, discovering that Europe’s old world cultural superiority is just as hollow as the institutions of his homeland. Excerpt THE BOYS IN THE TOWER It was a bright, sunny day in early September when, with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation, I made my way to Parliament Hill to begin my career as a boy diplomat. I had a vague idea that I might be able to make some small contribution toward a better world. At the same time I was very uncertain about my ability to measure up to the high standards of the elite world I was about to enter. I was assigned a desk in the large, rather bleak room at the top of the tower of the East Block. It already had another occupant. Jim, a grinning blond guy with a California tan and an easygoing manner, greeted me with a sleepy smile and suggested we go for a coffee. It became clear as we talked that neither Jim nor I had much idea of what we were supposed to do, but we returned to our desks to find our in-baskets laden with files, dispatches, and clippings that had been delivered by Shirley, the fille d’office, a seventeen-year-old with straggly brown hair and no front teeth. She was the only one of the four women in the division’s typing pool who was prepared to climb the two flights of stairs to our attic o?ce. Jim kidded her about her boyfriends. She blushed and beat a retreat but a few days later she admitted she had gone out once or twice with a guy she liked, but didn’t know if he’d ask her out again. After a day or two I was summoned to the o?ce of Arthur Menzies, the head of Far Eastern Division. He was a small slightly roly-poly figure with a rather stern demeanour. He informed me that I was in charge of the Southeast Asian desk and asked me to draft a report on the six countries that were apparently my territory: Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines. I returned to my office and told Jim about my assignment. “Hell, that’s not fair. I’ve only got two lousy countries, Laos and Cambodia.” At the time Canada was part of the International Joint Commission that had been set up to bring some political stability to the three countries of Indochina after the departure of the French. The other members of the commission were Poland and India. “Okay, but Canada has missions in your two countries and no missions in my six.” “So why should we care what’s going on in any of them?” “That attitude isn’t going to advance your career in this department, my friend.” “Yeah, well I’m not sure how much I care about that. Hey, I hear there are two women o?cers coming in next week. I can’t wait.” “I don’t imagine they’ve been picked for their looks.”“Hope springs eternal.” I knew nothing about Southeast Asia. I got out all the files on my six countries, read them and made notes. All of them seemed to be rife with insurrections and revolts; most of them had many parties whose leaders had unpronounceable names and unfathomable political goals. Except for Thailand and Singapore, which seemed relatively peaceful and prosperous. I set out to make an orderly analysis of the situation in each country in prose that was clear and simple but at the same time as elegant as I could make it. Jim meanwhile skimmed the masses of telegrams from his two missions, wrote a brief précis of the ones he considered of any importance, and spent the rest of his time reading Kerouac and Camus. Jim had done a graduate degree in... Author Bio Martin Hunter Martin Hunter is the former artistic director of Hart House Theatre at the University of Toronto. He has written for several magazines and produced a number of programs for CBC radio and is the author of Romancing the Bard. He lives in Toronto, Ontario. Reviews "An entertaining and easy-to-read memoir that puts the lie to the common perception of post-war Toronto as a stuffy, boring outpost."
Pages to are hidden for
"Young Hunting"Please download to view full document