Polly Samson's novel about Hydra in the 60s (and David Gilmour's perfoming Cohen songs)

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Polly Samson's novel about Hydra in the 60s (and David Gilmour's perfoming Cohen songs)

Post by tomsakic » Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:32 pm

As it was already mentioned elsewhere in this forum, David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd) has been covering early Leonard's songs in online promotion of Polly Samson's new novel about Hydra in the 1960s, in which Leonard also appears as one of the characters.

Novel's title is A THEATRE FOR DREAMERS (Bloomsbury Circus, April 2020).
1960. The world is dancing on the edge of revolution, and nowhere more so than on the Greek island of Hydra, where a circle of poets, painters and musicians live tangled lives, ruled by the writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston, troubled king and queen of bohemia. Forming within this circle is a triangle: its points the magnetic, destructive writer Axel Jensen, his dazzling wife Marianne Ihlen, and a young Canadian poet named Leonard Cohen.

Into their midst arrives teenage Erica, with little more than a bundle of blank notebooks and her grief for her mother. Settling on the periphery of this circle, she watches, entranced and disquieted, as a paradise unravels.

Burning with the heat and light of Greece, A Theatre for Dreamers is a spellbinding novel about utopian dreams and innocence lost – and the wars waged between men and women on the battlegrounds of genius.
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More about the novel: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/theatre-f ... 526600554/

The Guardian review: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/ ... son-review

Online YouTube promotion w/ David Gilmour:
April 1st 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dE47uvIF5Zc (David Gilmour performs "Bird on the Wire" at 07:46 and "So Long, Marianne" at 30:08)
April 11 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zIoe_duKY8 (David Gilmour performs "Fingerprints" at 15:45 and "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye" at 32:30)

Rolling Stone news: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/musi ... er-980307/ and https://www.rollingstone.com/music/musi ... ts-982615/
Elsewhere in the broadcast, Gilmour and Samson say that they’ve been listening to little but Cohen during the past year or so. Gilmour says his current favorite song is “Going Home,” from Cohen’s 2012 LP, Old Ideas.
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Re: Polly Samson's novel about Hydra in the 60s (and David Gilmour's perfoming Cohen songs)

Post by stephencharlton » Wed Apr 15, 2020 3:54 pm

Just watched the Gilmour family offering.
Lovely, looking fward to reading the book. Thankyou.
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Re: Polly Samson's novel about Hydra in the 60s (and David Gilmour's perfoming Cohen songs)

Post by HugoD » Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:26 pm

Received my copy yesterday. Since there will be no travel plans for the nearby future time enough to read!
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Re: Polly Samson's novel about Hydra in the 60s (and David Gilmour's perfoming Cohen songs)

Post by LisaLCFan » Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:01 pm

So, this is a fictional novel which happens to use the real names of actual people (most of whom are famous and thus well-known) who lived on Hydra in the 1960s, and, from the sounds of it, it also uses their real life stories (or parts thereof).

Is that even legal? Did this writer (Polly Samson) get permission from the named individuals or their estates to use the names and details of their lives in this quasi-fictional manner? And how much licence has she taken in how she represents these individuals in her book, since they are not really "fictional characters" at all? She is presumably putting words in their mouths and creating stories about them. I really have to question her right to use their real names and situations in a work of supposed fiction. I have some serious ethical qualms about this book, since it seems to rather blatantly exploit the names and lives and reputations of real people.
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Re: Polly Samson's novel about Hydra in the 60s (and David Gilmour's perfoming Cohen songs)

Post by HugoD » Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:58 pm

LisaLCFan wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:01 pm
So, this is a fictional novel which happens to use the real names of actual people (most of whom are famous and thus well-known) who lived on Hydra in the 1960s, and, from the sounds of it, it also uses their real life stories (or parts thereof).

Is that even legal? Did this writer (Polly Samson) get permission from the named individuals or their estates to use the names and details of their lives in this quasi-fictional manner? And how much licence has she taken in how she represents these individuals in her book, since they are not really "fictional characters" at all? She is presumably putting words in their mouths and creating stories about them. I really have to question her right to use their real names and situations in a work of supposed fiction. I have some serious ethical qualms about this book, since it seems to rather blatantly exploit the names and lives and reputations of real people.
Lisa,

Maybe this info helps: It is in the "acknowledgements" section of the book (345-348). It even mentions Jarrko! I am sure he can provide us with the best info on this matter.

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Re: Polly Samson's novel about Hydra in the 60s (and David Gilmour's perfoming Cohen songs)

Post by LisaLCFan » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:53 pm

HugoD wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:58 pm
...Lisa,

Maybe this info helps: It is in the "acknowledgements" section of the book (345-348). It even mentions Jarrko!...

Thank you, Hugo! Clearly, the legal bases have been covered and permission has been granted. Enjoy the book, and Cheers!
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Re: Polly Samson's novel about Hydra in the 60s (and David Gilmour's perfoming Cohen songs)

Post by vlcoats » Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:15 am

I have just finished A Theatre For Dreamers and I was quite sad to reach the end. I have been pining for Hydra since our trip last June. Polly's book transported me back there as surely as if I was smelling the ripe scent of jasmine in our courtyard and tasting the dust of sea salt on our skin.
Thank you Ms. Samson!
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Re: Polly Samson's novel about Hydra in the 60s (and David Gilmour's perfoming Cohen songs)

Post by B4real » Fri May 01, 2020 5:31 am

Hi Vickie,
I thought you and other Hydra visitors might like to refresh your visual memories with the photos in this link below - love the first one! It also speaks about PS's novel and other things. I still haven't bought or read the book.

https://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture ... -1.1012624
vlcoats wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:15 am
I was smelling the ripe scent of jasmine in our courtyard and tasting the dust of sea salt on our skin.
Ha! The jasmine in my front garden has just finished flowering and is threatening to take over the driveway entrance again - it's entangled in a large purple Jacaranda tree. Last year my car radio aerial got caught in it and was broken. I had to get a new not so high one and I don't fancy buying a new one again this year. Ah well, another chore to do!

As for your sea salt quote, because I breathe it in every day I can't smell it or taste it - except when the coral is spawning and believe me, you wouldn't want to smell or taste that! I sometimes long for fresh high mountain air :)
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Re: Polly Samson's novel about Hydra in the 60s (and David Gilmour's perfoming Cohen songs)

Post by vlcoats » Fri May 01, 2020 5:08 pm

Hello B4!

I loved the article you shared. I remember talking to a shop owner across the lane from Roloi's where we stopped to purchase a mask and snorkel. When I told him how awesome I thought it would be to live there, he responded that I should! When I answered something along the lines of 'easier said than done', he replied, "You never know, you keep it in the back of your head and think of it, okay?" Of course I agreed and said, "Okay!" What else could I do?

There was definitely something different about the salt spray in Hydra from the salt left on your skin after swimming in other places we have been. Maybe it is the Aegean and all of Greece is the same, I don't know. But it was so fine, more like sparkling dust than grains of salt. Having had more than his share of salt spray left on him in his life, Dave was particularly taken by it. Me, I was taken by everything about the place!

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Re: Polly Samson's novel about Hydra in the 60s (and David Gilmour's perfoming Cohen songs)

Post by B4real » Thu May 07, 2020 12:41 am

Glad you enjoyed that article, Vickie 8)

And who knows, maybe you really will end up living at Hydra one day! Anyway, the seed is planted ;-)
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Attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy ~ me ...... The magic of art is the truth of its lies ~ me ...... Only left-handers are in their right mind!
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Re: Polly Samson's novel about Hydra in the 60s (and David Gilmour's perfoming Cohen songs)

Post by Mordy » Thu May 21, 2020 1:40 pm

Thank you for posting those links, Tom. I had tickets for this, not only because there was a Leonard connection, but also being a huge admirer of Polly Samson and David Gilmour. It's re-scheduled for sometime in September, I think. I've just watched the first of the videos - I didn't know anything about these. What a lovely family. I'll watch the second one tonight. Looking forward to reading the book, too.
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Re: Polly Samson's novel about Hydra in the 60s (and David Gilmour's perfoming Cohen songs)

Post by its4inthemorning » Thu May 21, 2020 6:22 pm

Just started reading this novel, as soon as it takes you to Hydra you can visualize everything in an extraordinary way if you've been lucky enough to have been there. Samson has a very appealing writing style.

It is interesting that Polly Sampson's chose to write about Hydra and Leonard, I never would have imagined that a connection could develop between Cohen and Pink Floyd, one of my favorite rock groups. I was thinking whether there are "parallel" lyrics written by Cohen and PF and immediately came up with these about wasting time:

"Baby I've been waiting,
I've been waiting night and day.
I didn't see the time,
I waited half my life away."

Vs

"And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun."

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Re: Polly Samson's novel about Hydra in the 60s (and David Gilmour's perfoming Cohen songs)

Post by Mordy » Fri May 22, 2020 2:21 pm

Yes, it looks as if David Gilmour is a long-time admirer of LC. He was on the BBC's Desert Island Discs back in 2003 and his selection included Dylan, Joni Mitchell and LC's Anthem.
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