New Leonard Cohen biography by Sylvie Simmons

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lizzytysh
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Re: New Leonard Cohen biography by Sylvie Simmons (Fall 2012

Postby lizzytysh » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:11 pm

AT LAST!!! I'm Your Man by Sylvie Simmons arrived! Now, I will take it with me to Austin in hopes of running into Sylvie, even though we'll arrive too late for her performance with Roscoe and others from the band :((( . Was beginning to wonder why I hadn't gotten it, yet... now I can relax and read... This BOOK feels SOooooooooo good in my hands! Substantive in both its content and its nature 8) .
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Re: New Leonard Cohen biography by Sylvie Simmons (Fall 2012

Postby jarkko » Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:14 pm

This thread was about to turn into a political discussion about Obama/Romney. Seven messages removed to keep this in the topic.
--- Meanwhile I have heard that the Norwegian translation of Sylvie's book is coming sooner or later, and other languages are being discussed as well (hopefully also a Finnish edition!)
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Re: New Leonard Cohen biography by Sylvie Simmons (Fall 2012

Postby its4inthemorning » Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:35 pm

Thank you for doing that Jarkko.
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Re: New Leonard Cohen biography by Sylvie Simmons (Fall 2012

Postby quetzalcoatl80 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:04 am

Thank you Jarkko.
I thus keep hope to see this bio translated into french
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Re: New Leonard Cohen biography by Sylvie Simmons (Fall 2012

Postby jarkko » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:59 am

I am pretty sure there will be a French edition!
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Re: New Leonard Cohen biography by Sylvie Simmons (Fall 2012

Postby quetzalcoatl80 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:20 pm

Thank you. I'am great happy.
It would be a very beautiful Christmas present
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Re: New Leonard Cohen biography by Sylvie Simmons (Fall 2012

Postby jarkko » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:13 pm

We know of the Spanish., Ducth, and German translations. Here are some latest news from Sylvie (who is currently in Austin to promote her book AND to see Leonard in concert):
There will be Norwegian, Hebrew, Danish and Polish translations, I know for sure. I don't have any details of when they'll be released though.
I have been approached re. a French edition, also a Chinese one, but there's not yet been a deal, so I can't say for sure.
I think the UK edition will be coming out in Australia some time in November also.
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Re: New Leonard Cohen biography by Sylvie Simmons (Fall 2012

Postby John Etherington » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:18 pm

Sail on, sail on, sail on!...
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Re: New Leonard Cohen biography by Sylvie Simmons (Fall 2012

Postby Cheshire gal » Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:25 am

Talking about sailing. I think a nice cruise to somewhere warm, maybe Hawaii would be great right now, to escape this bad weather we are having.
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Re: New Leonard Cohen biography by Sylvie Simmons (Fall 2012

Postby comehealing » Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:32 pm

Anothere excellent review in the Independent on Sunday (UK)

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-enter ... rnalSearch
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Re: New Leonard Cohen biography by Sylvie Simmons (Fall 2012

Postby TommyJ » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:52 pm

Just received my copy from Amazon (UK). "Excited" doesn't come close to covering it. It will help take my mind off a rather worrying (given predicted weather conditions) and imminent flight to Toronto ...

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Re: New Leonard Cohen biography by Sylvie Simmons (Fall 2012

Postby John Etherington » Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:10 am

I finished reading Sylvie's book a couple of days ago, and she has produced a truly superb piece of worK, which definitey merits five stars. Unfortunately, one of the two reviews currently on amazon.co.uk only gives the book one star because of the poor quality of the photos in the U.K. edition. I have to say that the U.S. edition is much better, for several reasons: the pictures are on a glossy section in the centre of the book (even though they are quite small); the layout is better; the pages fall right open so it is easier to read the text; and the the picture on the front cover is, in my opinion, also better. However, the U.K. edition does seem to include some different pictures.

Compared to some other books on Leonard, Sylvie's book is remarkably error-free. There are a few blips however and, to get these out of the way, I will correct them here. Leonard didn't play two concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970 (just the one on May 10th); he didn't come to the U.K. on his 1975 tour (only Europe); and contrary to what Bob Johnston says, and Sylvie later repeats, it didn't rain during Leonard's set at the Isle of Wight Festival (in fact, it didn't rain at all during the two days that I was there). The time given by Sylvie for Leonard's birth is 6.45 am, which was the exact moment of dawn in Montreal. I'm still not convinced that Leonard's exact birth time is known. When I wrote to him about this in the late 90s, he told me that he didn't know what time he was born, but that he believed he was born in the early morning. Just one other thing surprised me about Sylvie's book, and that was that NeEMa's wonderful "Watching You Think" only got one sentence of reference (I thought there might be more of a story there...)

Anyway, the other review currently on Amazon is by myself! So to end on a positive note, I'll post it again herewith:

"This is unquestionably the finest biography of Leonard Cohen to date, and one that is unlikely to be bettered in the foreseeable future. Sylvie Simmons illuminates Leonard's life in greater detail than any of the previous biographies, and covers his family background and the main developments in his artistic and spiritual journey. This achievement results from the author having interviewed numerous key figures in Leonard's life, as well as the great man himself. Sylvie's book is lucid, beautifully-written, and truly hard to put down. It is also well-structured, with an appropriate amount of space being given to the various stages of Leonard's life. His early days as a young poet and author in Montreal, Hampstead, and Hydra are brought alive as never before, as is his transition to recording artist. All of his best-known relationships with women are put into context, and I particularly took interest in the part covering New York, Nico, and Janis Joplin. Leonard's use of drugs in the Sixties and early Seventies is also well-covered. Thus, we see the complexities of his life unfold before our eyes, through depression, to happier days in recent years.

Although I have followed Leonard's career consistently since 1968, Sylvie's book still brings many revelations. Stories that were only touched upon by the music press are explained more fully; Leonard's tour of mental hospitals in the late Sixties; his communication with artist/psychiatric patient Daphne Richardson; his stint with the Israeli army; his arrival onstage at a festival in France on a horse; his interest in Velikovsky, and most surprisingly an early encounter with Jimi Hendrix. Sylvie doesn't attempt any deep critical analysis of Leonard's writings, but she gives sufficient outlines, and makes astute observations about some of his songs such as "The Gypsy's Wife". She also writes a relatively lengthy piece about "Hallelujah". The later years are covered thoroughly, with mention of all of Leonard's lesser-known projects in the Nineties and new millennium. There is a vivid evocation of his life as a Buddhist monk, and a detailed description of the financial crisis that led to his remarkable return to touring in 2008, and the release of his album "Old Ideas" in 2012. That said, I would still like to see the recorded evidence for Leonard's birth time!"

All good things, John E
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Re: New Leonard Cohen biography by Sylvie Simmons (Fall 2012

Postby merton » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:32 pm

Hi,

The postman arrived Friday and had a package for me. Oh the familiar brown cardboard wrapping. No downloading, uploading or exploding here! Here it is. Happiness is a warm tome!
One point so far and I wonder if there is a correct answer to this? Simmons translates Leonard's Jewish name (Eliezier) as 'God is help'. Nadel translates this as 'God is my help'

All the best,
merton
Last edited by merton on Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Leonard Cohen biography by Sylvie Simmons (Fall 2012

Postby Wybe » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:37 pm

Willy finished the book now it's my turn.
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Re: New Leonard Cohen biography by Sylvie Simmons (Fall 2012

Postby st theresa1 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:37 pm

ahh what a perfect birthday gift--from my son and his fiancee--I have only just peeked into it but was happy to see that Eija had two pictures included. A nice tribute to the Arjatsalo family and of course to Eija's artistic ability. John Etherington mentioned the quality of the writing and I can already feel that, in just the first two chapters. For those who are not Canadian, I am not sure if you can appreciate the nostalgia of reading about the early days, and the environment in which Leoanard was raised--Being born in 1950 I may not fully remember all those things myself, but my Canlit interests perhaps provide me with a feeling of having been there at that time. Hugh McLennan, Roberstson Davies, Margaret Atwood, and Gabrielle Roy to mention only a few. Sylvie Simmons has done an amazing job--in the first two chapters of capturing the milieu in which Leonard was raised. I am almost a child again in 1955-60 walking up Portage Avenue in Winnipeg, on my way to Eatons or The Bay. Of course, I hadn't heard of Leonard then--that was to come much later in 1970 or so. I will have to continue reading to see if the first two chapters's promise is fulfilled. My other birthday gift to myself this month is of course, tickets to see Leonard on November 18--glad I also got tickets for my son and his fiancee--they deserve it!

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