Various Positions: A Life of Leonard Cohen

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Various positions: a life of Leonard Cohen - Ira Bruce Nadel - Google книги

Leonard Cohen is back! This book is a remarkable and rare look at Leonard Cohen, up close and personal. For nearly forty years, Leonard Cohen has endured the ups and downs of an international career that has alternately identified him as the "Prince of Bummers" and Canada's most respected poet and performer. Now, author Ira Nadel brings us closer to understanding these conflicting descriptions and allows us to enter Cohen's private world.

He peels back the many layers to reveal the man and explain the fascinating relationship between Cohen's life and his art. The following ISBNs are associated with this title:. ISBN - On the Content tab, click to select the Enable JavaScript check box.


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Nadel Kobo ebook October 29, Prices and offers may vary in store. Mort Rosengarten, whose parents knew the Pullmans, had stayed there, and two other close friends, Harold Pascal and Nancy Bacal, were still there, eagerly awaiting his arrival. Cohen was told that the only space left was a cot in the sitting room, where all new guests started out; only after someone left did you graduate to an upper floor. He was welcome to it if a he tidied the room every morning and b he fulfilled his intention of becoming a writer by meeting his announced goal of three pages a day.

Cohen agreed to her bargain and got to work, diligently producing at least three pages a day, a practice he followed for years. The Pullmans became a new anchor in his life. Cohen was excited about being in the capital of English literature and felt he was joining Shakespeare, Milton, and Keats.


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But after the initial excitement, Cohen found London dull and its nightlife unpromising. He later discovered a West Indian club called the All-Niter, where he found terrific music, marijuana, and dancing. With Nancy Bacal, who was in London to study classical theatre and begin a career in radio journalism with the CBC, he explored late-night London. They played pinball in East End dives, met pimps, explored the drug culture, went to clubs, and encountered some alternative politics. Cohen, with others, attempted to organize support for him but failed.

That, too, remained with him until it was stolen from a New York loft in In London, these objects acted as amulets, arming him to combat the world. His Olivetti broke only once in twenty-six years, when he threw the machine against the wall of his Montreal apartment after an unsuccessful attempt to type underwater.

It was eventually repaired, and he used that Olivetti to type most of his best-known songs and novels. Leonard Cohen. Jennifer Warnes titled her album Famous Blue Raincoat and used a drawing of the coat on the cover. Cohen quickly established a new social circle in London. She, in turn, introduced him to Jacob Rothschild, later Lord Rothschild. At one point he also considered calling it Stars for Neatness.

He began the book almost immediately upon his arrival, working diligently, despite interruptions from David the cat; he loved to scatter the pages. Cohen read passages to Nancy Bacal, who later said she felt that the lengthy first draft possessed a looseness and honesty that the published work lacked. The actual names of several friends appear, including Freda [Guttman] and [Robert] Hershorn; Mort Rosengarten appears as Krantz; Irving Morton, a socialist folksinger, appears as himself.

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Other names in the final version change: Freda, presented as a politically motivated student, and Louise, a Montreal artist, merge into a single character, Tamara. Stella, the housemaid from the Maritimes that Cohen hypnotized, becomes Heather. Poetry is so damn self-indulgent.

They should be large and black on the page. They should look as if they are meant to be chanted aloud, which is exactly why I wrote them.

Jack McClelland offered Cohen a choice: he could publish the manuscript in a common edition to appear in the fall of or do a more expensive and distinctively designed volume for the spring of His choice of the higher-priced, more artistic form for the book contradicted his earlier wish for a mass market paperback. The appearance of the volume suited the taste of the author. In his letter to McClelland, he also mentioned that he had almost finished his novel, which he would forward to him.

Earlier in March, when he had completed his manuscripts, Cohen was free to consider his position in London, and he found it wanting. After having a wisdom tooth pulled one day, he wandered about the East End of London on yet another rainy afternoon and noticed a Bank of Greece sign on Bank Street. He entered and saw a teller with a deep tan wearing sunglasses, in protest against the dreary landscape. He asked the clerk what the weather was like in Greece.

Cohen made up his mind on the spot to depart, and within a day or so he was in Athens. It was actually the island of Hydra that attracted Cohen. Jacob Rothschild encouraged Cohen to visit his mother, promising to write to her to say that Cohen was coming. The next morning he began the five-hour steamer journey to Hydra, which took him first to Aegina, Methana, and Poros, and then to Hydra.

Since the seventies, the Russian-built Flying Dolphins hydrofoils have replaced the once-elegant steamers, reducing the traveling time to one and a half hours. The trip was an opportunity to relax, drink, and meet women. At Hydra, the small semicircular port is flanked by white houses rising steeply in an orderly manner, like the seats of an amphitheater.

Ira B. Nadel

A cobbled esplanade runs along the waterfront, harmonizing the cluster of homes that surround it and reach up the hillside. The structure of the town emulates the classical theater of Epidauros, with the port the equivalent of the orchestra. Access to and from the port follows the theatrical frame of the parodos side entrances and exits with the houses mimicking the stepped seats of the theatron.

Towering above the port is the two-thousand-foot Mount Ere, and on a high hill just below it, the Monastery of Profitis Elias the Prophet Elijah.

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In the morning the port is the commercial center where boats are unloaded, where fish and vegetables are sold, and donkeys are hired. At midday and into the evening it becomes the social center, the focus turned toward the restaurants and cafes. During religious or public holidays, it is the site of celebration. When Cohen arrived in , only four coffeehouses and one bar ringed the waterfront.

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Tradition, rather than a master plan or building code, determined the urban layout and architecture of Hydra. When a child married, a new house was built within the uncovered space of the family lot, treated as a separate unit, and given direct entry from the public street. The doorways are unique in that they face downwards to the port, rather than horizontally to the street. Offsetting the whitewashed walls of the homes are the orange tile roofs and the weathered cobblestone steps.

The narrow island was named for water though it actually has little. Rain is rare, the average yearly precipitation being only an inch and a half. When the first home with a swimming pool was built by a Greek American in the late sixties, the owner had to pay for barges of fresh water to be brought in and pumped up the hilly streets.

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