Beautiful Losers?

Debate on Leonard Cohen's poetry (and novels), both published and unpublished. Song lyrics may also be discussed here.
JayS
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:29 pm

Re: Beautiful Losers?

Postby JayS » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:16 pm

Tchocolatl...

Well said! The comparison to painting was right on the money! Good writing certainly should never deliberately obey the tenants of what is "proper" and accepted. My dad was an english teacher, and wrote a novel that wasn't bad, but his obsession with structure really made the read very dry and difficult to finish. Beautiful Losers is gorgeous, despite its journey to extremes.
Athnuachan
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Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:29 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Beautiful Losers?

Postby Athnuachan » Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:33 pm

JayS wrote: Good writing certainly should never deliberately obey the tenants of what is "proper" and accepted. My dad was an english teacher...
Tenants = those who pay rent for land or buildings
Tenets = beliefs or principles
Ring the bells that still can ring...
Cate
Posts: 3457
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:27 am

Re: Beautiful Losers?

Postby Cate » Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:19 am

:D
I'd make the same mistake, but that was funny given the conversation.

I think artists, painters or writers, should first understand the rules and then break them. Mr. Cohen, like Picasso or e.e. cummings, certainly understands the rules.
Tchocolatl
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Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 10:07 pm

Re: Beautiful Losers?

Postby Tchocolatl » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:51 pm

This is the key Cate, he knew the rules and we know that he knows them.

One of the rules in arts is : know the rules to the perfection to master the medium completely through discipline and practice, then and then only unleash your creativity.



Now, I guess that this rule can be broken like any other one.

Particularly regarding creativity.



As for English language, I am certainly not an authority. :lol:

JayS, something perfectly pure can be maybe dry and let say rigid and difficult to read, and nevertheless be a valuable art work, in my mind.

People here may like to read Les Fruits d'Or by Nathalie Sarraute. To push the philosophical side of this discussion. :razz: About something that is happening (or not) between the book and the reader of the book. I just checked and there is an English translation under the title... The Golden Fruits. (Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.)

*

In another order of idea, completely : who, here, reads Fall on Your Knees by the Canadian author Ann-Marie MacDonald?
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
Athnuachan
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:29 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Beautiful Losers?

Postby Athnuachan » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:53 pm

Cate wrote:

I think artists, painters or writers, should first understand the rules and then break them.
Well said, Cate.
These rules have evolved over generations to enable communication.

Being too lazy to master the rules, and expecting others to tolerate/admire one's chaotic utterances, is a type of selfish arrogance which most people grow out of, luckily!

Most children discover sooner or later that a game of football without any rules is not fun...it's just a mess. :(
Ring the bells that still can ring...
Tchocolatl
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Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 10:07 pm

Re: Beautiful Losers?

Postby Tchocolatl » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:35 am

Communication is not just about rules.

For example you are not communicating right now, you are playing I'm OK you're not OK.

I would like to know who (also) read Ann MacDonald's Canadian novel Fall on Your Knees.
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
Cate
Posts: 3457
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:27 am

Re: Beautiful Losers?

Postby Cate » Wed May 01, 2013 4:43 am

I'm snatching what you wrote in the news section and bringing it down here the poetry section where I don't feel the need to try and behave.
from viewtopic.php?f=3&t=33756&start=30
I am able to appreciate BL but I would not say that I am a BL lover
low guttural guuahl sound

well damn, I already bought the book and now you tell me that you're taste is less then perfect. :neutral:

actually I'm liking it so far
I am here, discussing everything else outside the Everything else section like a hamster in its ball
ohh there's a new everything else, everything else section but I can't seem to find it, just an ad for it in which people are debating the gender of birds.
Tchocolatl
Posts: 3781
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Re: Beautiful Losers?

Postby Tchocolatl » Thu May 02, 2013 3:54 am

The reason for this is : I am such an exclusive lover, therefore I can not call myself a BL lover, loving so many books along with this one.

You are responsible for your purchasings and your opinions, Cate.

I read that there is a new Everything Else forum that is dedicated to everything else that can not be discussed in the Everything Else section (sex, birds, etc.) which received the approval of Our Holyness the Jarkko. When we find it, we shall continue this dialogue de sourds over there. 8)

Feel free to continue here about BL.

*

JayS, how do you like this one :

"Too much good taste can be boring" - Diana Vreeland
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
Cate
Posts: 3457
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:27 am

Re: Beautiful Losers?

Postby Cate » Thu May 02, 2013 5:50 am

dialogue de sourds
interesting expression, I'll practice my sign language
Tchocolatl wrote:
You are responsible for your purchasings and your opinions, Cate.
I hate when people tell me I'm responsible for my own behaviour - it's much easier to blame others. :)
joking aside, I do thank you for pointing out a book that I wouldn't have thought that I would like but actually do. I think I can see why it came to mind when discussing beautiful losers. I have a personal bias towards the book (B.L.) because it connects me to thoughts that I had in my youth as well as to an important relationship.
My father read me Johnathan Living Seagull when I was very young and told that to keep reading it through my life as I'd see different aspects of it each time I read it. I think maybe beautiful losers is my Johnathan Living Seagull as I keep coming back to it, though I'm not sure it's the best place to look for life lessons. I hope that people continue discussing the book in this thread or anywhere. There are some amazing passages there.
imaginary friend
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Location: Vancouver, Canada

Re: Beautiful Losers?

Postby imaginary friend » Thu May 02, 2013 10:04 pm

Hello Cate and Tchoco,

Cate wrote:
My father read me Johnathan Living Seagull when I was very young and told that to keep reading it through my life as I'd see different aspects of it each time I read it.
I read The Old Man and The Sea every year, for the same reason.

xo
Tchocolatl
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Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 10:07 pm

Re: Beautiful Losers?

Postby Tchocolatl » Fri May 03, 2013 4:18 am

Summaries of Fall on Your Knees are to the book what a false idea of a pictogram of a picture of a seagull's feather - or eye, or beak - is to Jonathan Livingston.

Ah... The Old Man and the Sea. The hands and the thirst are what I remember the most of this book.

Books of Leonard Cohen are as peculiar as his songs.
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
JayS
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:29 pm

Re: Beautiful Losers?

Postby JayS » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:35 pm

All art is subject to perception. And yes, I got the "tenets" error! hahaha! I teach music, mainly guitar and bass. What's hot now is Nickleback, which is basically glossy, trendy and palatable fare that most people can hum along to. Now I have fellow teachers within my community who will not even take a student into "Back in Black" by AC DC, because they view such music as commercially aimed, unartistic, overly simplistic crap. I fall between the two extremes...one, that radio rock like that is a commercial vehicle for a band to achieve success, and if it brings people happiness as listeners, it has merit. The other extreme is that yes, it is simplistic, deliberately so, and thus easy for a wider audience to digest. In being such, it turns up noses within the world of "artistes". (I hate music snobs by the way) Cohen knew too that to achieve success, ultimately, he had to venture into music, as writing was simply not paying the bills, especially writing to such extremes as BL. He had to make an economic choice. We can compare Beautiful Losers to another extreme...a trunk novel crime fiction or similar genre. BL perhaps went to distant outer edges, but thats not to say that it isn't artistically sound, no less than Van Gogh's paintings. Trunk novels are churned out en masse and are designed for easy reading. Both approaches have a place on the landscape.
As for rules, yes you have to know them before you can break them, as far as I believe. If a student of mine doesn't know every position of a decided scale on the guitar, how can he develop his own voice? Many will try to merely copy a passage, (Thanks, Slash and Eddie) and thus learn nothing except the art of copying and duplicating an idea. When such students are asked to create a passage of their own they're lost; they haven't learned the "rules" (which to me are merely observations that make for effective and sonically pleasing music) There was a musical movement at the dawn of the "modern" era that focused on deliberately breaching key and time signature. (Atonality, father founder Schoenberg) It was an effort to prove that rules aren't as valid as we would like to believe. However, that music wasn't well received, and the movement faltered, for good reason. I like the fact that BL goes to wild extremes and plays with the English language, but it is equally structured in its own way with a balance of contrast and prose, in my opinion. If there was too much of any one of its many ingredients, the balance of it would be lost.
Last edited by JayS on Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:18 pm, edited 4 times in total.
JayS
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Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:29 pm

Re: Beautiful Losers?

Postby JayS » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:53 pm

Tchocolatl wrote:The reason for this is : I am such an exclusive lover, therefore I can not call myself a BL lover, loving so many books along with this one.

You are responsible for your purchasings and your opinions, Cate.

I read that there is a new Everything Else forum that is dedicated to everything else that can not be discussed in the Everything Else section (sex, birds, etc.) which received the approval of Our Holyness the Jarkko. When we find it, we shall continue this dialogue de sourds over there. 8)

Feel free to continue here about BL.

*

JayS, how do you like this one :

"Too much good taste can be boring" - Diana Vreeland
Love that quote!

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