He was openly gay at a time when this was very difficult, publishing his first novel, Place d'Armes, which dealt directly with homosexuality, two years before gay sex was decriminalized in Canada. He was an avid diarist and many of his observations and episodes from his life found their way into his novels.
He died in Toronto at the age of 75.
Symons is the subject of a documentary film, God's Fool (1998), by Nik Sheehan.
Dear Reader: Selected Scott Symons by Christopher Elson
Paperback: 316 pages
Publisher: Gutter Pr (November 1998)
Amazon: Dear Reader: Selected Scott Symons
Combat Journal for Place d'Armes: A Personal Narrative (Voyageur Classics) by Scott Symons
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Dundurn (March 1, 2010)
Amazon: Combat Journal for Place d'Armes: A Personal Narrative
Originally published in 1967, Combat Journal for Place d'Armes, set in Montreal, was initially met with shock and anger by most reviewers. As D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover once had, it challenged the attitudes and morals held by most people in its time regarding life and literature. Despite this initial reaction, the novel earned author Scott Symons the Beta Sigma Phi Best First Canadian Novel Award and went on to be regarded as one of the "most important statements about Canadian imaginative life in the 1960s."
Both a study of the emergence of a character's true self through his homosexual experiences and his critical examination of Canadian, and especially French-Canadian, culture and traditions, Place d'Armes was named one of the top hundred most important books in Canadian history. Peter Buitenhuis, the late autho ran dformer head of Simon Fraser University's English department, has written that Symon's novel is "a defiant assault on the Canadian Bourgeois mentality" that "celebrates human sexuality and spirtuality with all the gusto that language can command."
More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics
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