New York Review of Books article. Feb. 21, 2013

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Hal E. Lujah
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Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:29 am

New York Review of Books article. Feb. 21, 2013

Postby Hal E. Lujah » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:40 am

Did anyone notice that in the third paragraph he misquotes from the song, Hallelujah? The line reads, "considering the fact that the most famous lyrics from that song are "remember when I moved in you, the holy DARK (?) was moving too.." Um, I have heard The Man sing this tune once or twice, and it's the holy dove, unless there's some other version that this guy's referring to; he is referring to the version in Shrek, a movie I did not see. What do others think?

Thanks.

Hal E. Lujah
NYC
Eskimo
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Re: New York Review of Books article. Feb. 21, 2013

Postby Eskimo » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:00 pm

Rufus Wainwright sings "holy dark"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xR0DKOGco_o

...which the writer of the article calls the "the most famous lyrics from that song" ... so I guess when asked to "play it again, Sam" that is how it may often be sung...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_a57ZNlU6o
Hal E. Lujah
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Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:29 am

Re: New York Review of Books article. Feb. 21, 2013

Postby Hal E. Lujah » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:08 pm

Who told Rufus to alter the lyrics?
Tchocolatl
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Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 10:07 pm

Re: New York Review of Books article. Feb. 21, 2013

Postby Tchocolatl » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:55 pm

John Cale did sing for the movie, and Rufus Wainwright for the CD soundtrack of the movie.

I don't think that the Leonard Cohen original will ever be replaced.





*

Sorry to be off topic but I have read the whole article, and even though I know from the beginning that the Man is universal and that he is eclectic and has many influences, it is his roots in Jewish tradition, particularly the kabbalistic ones, that does the trick for me. A holy dove was the messsenger.

And one thing leading to another :


"Anthem"


The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every government --
signs for all to see.

I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring ...

You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
***
"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
Eskimo
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:49 am

Re: New York Review of Books article. Feb. 21, 2013

Postby Eskimo » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:32 am

Hal E. Lujah wrote:Who told Rufus to alter the lyrics?

a little bird???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oe9RwAFVn9U

Probably not.
jazzmanchgo
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Re: New York Review of Books article. Feb. 21, 2013

Postby jazzmanchgo » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:23 am

Looks as if someone has fixed things and replaced "dark" with "dove" in the review . . .

. . . The reviewer tries too hard to evoke Leonard's sardonic self-depracating tone, especially at the beginning (and he says virtually nothing about Sylvie's book itself, which seems more than passing strange).

But I will say that I'm glad someone has finally pointed out the creepiness of that "hypnotized maid" scenario (which most of us originally encountered in The Favorite Game) . . . Even when I first read that in the flush of my misspent youth, it disturbed me; it seemed as if Breavman was taking horrible and inappropriate advantage of the girl (even more so, given the class/ethnic dynamics lurking behind it -- if Breavman had been a white southern plantation lad and the maid an African-American woman, I think we would have heard complaints even in the early '60s when the book was published). I couldn't believe then, and I don't believe now, that she would have responded so jokingly after discovering that he'd caused her to take off her clothes when she was under.

Today, of course, that scene would be considered a depiction of rape, or at least egregious sexual misconduct. It's one of the very few things I've ever encountered in Leonard's work -- novel, poems, songs -- that I've never been able to make peace with at all, no matter how much I try to summon enough irony, detachment, or even testosterone to make the job easier.
Tchocolatl
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Re: New York Review of Books article. Feb. 21, 2013

Postby Tchocolatl » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:13 am

I think that the author had no intention to make this scene pleasant to anybody, or to try to have people find it OK, or something.

Instead of preaching (talking to the rational only) he lets the lector naturally feels about situations, he does not tell the lector what to think or feel, or what the lector shall think or feel.

You know the style : "Show, don't tell". But used with chirurgical instruments.

Using another human being as an object can not feel good to anybody involved, in the long run. So much that you still feel uneasy about this, years after you have read the novel. That means a really skilled writer to say the less. I used to say that he is a genius, you know.

In the movie made after this novel, the adaptation of this novel as a film, the maid is faking, she was not really hypnotised, she was playing the game and he was the one that was fooled. I thought that this scene was so unbearable that it was meallowed into a mashmallow politically correct event.

Leonard Cohen is a tough deep guy besides being kind but nothing Walt Disneying about this.

His character in this novel is the bad bad boy that any mother would not like to have as a son-in-law, and every daughter would dream about as a Valentine. The bad boy is a magnet and a fire for women to be burned on. The author does not preach about this, he is just showing "the truth that you can't reveal to the ears of youth". He let the lector deals with that. The obvious.

Even in the song I'm Your Man he is pointing to the main flaw of the seductor : which is, "I can promise you everything, and I can deliver many pleasures, but you can not trust me."

If you want a lover
I'll do anything you ask me to
And if you want another kind of love
I'll wear a mask for you
If you want a partner
Take my hand
Or if you want to strike me down in anger
Here I stand
I'm your man
If you want a boxer
I will step into the ring for you
And if you want a doctor
I'll examine every inch of you
If you want a driver
Climb inside
Or if you want to take me for a ride
You know you can
I'm your man

Ah, the moon's too bright
The chain's too tight
The beast won't go to sleep
I've been running through these promises to you

That I made and I could not keep
Ah but a man never got a woman back
Not by begging on his knees
Or I'd crawl to you baby
And I'd fall at your feet
And I'd howl at your beauty
Like a dog in heat
And I'd claw at your heart
And I'd tear at your sheet
I'd say please, please
I'm your man

And if you've got to sleep
A moment on the road
I will steer for you
*
And if you want to work the street alone
I'll disappear for you
If you want a father for your child
Or only want to walk with me a while
Across the sand
I'm your man



(1)Or in other words : if you trust me even when you know that you should not trust me, you put yourself in jeopardy. You better trust yourself before anybody else.

This is not the same as abusing the vulnerability of a person (or in other words, using a person as an object) because well before these lines, the situation was said clearly, so clearly that it was clear that both parties are aware of the game they are at.



If you want a lover
I'll do anything you ask me to
And if you want another kind of love
I'll wear a mask for you



The guy is deep. And his persona is not the ordinary paternalist figure that will tell people how they should behave (though this is useful at times). He is the Triskter that is necessary for people to get into the process of individuation.
***
"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
jazzmanchgo
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Re: New York Review of Books article. Feb. 21, 2013

Postby jazzmanchgo » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:24 am

Good point about the Trickster -- I can see how that's the role Breavman was filling in that scene. Yes, usually the Trickster has a dispensation to do things that would normally be forbidden outside the context of the ritual . . . even so, though, that scene has always unsettled me, and assuming the role of "Trickster" is really no excuse for mistreating or exploiting others (I'm talking about the novel, not the movie, which I admit I haven't seen).

And remember -- in Trickster lore, there are times when even the Trickster goes too far and has to get his comeuppance (e.g., the African folk tales about the fellow we now call the Signifying Monkey -- or Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods [a Trickster's act of defiance] and ended up being severely punished for it) --

I think that in The Favorite Game, Leonard gives us some clues that eventually his protagonist will realize that he's taken advantage of his role during his life -- e.g., that line toward the end, where he says (I'm paraphrasing here) that someday the realization would hit Breavman with such a smash of guilt that he'd be unable to talk or move. . . so, at least when he's speaking in the author's voice, Leonard does seem to have that perspective.
Tchocolatl
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Re: New York Review of Books article. Feb. 21, 2013

Postby Tchocolatl » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:48 am

I think that you did catch what the author wanted to express very well, in my humble opinion.

In the oral documents of the North American's first nations, the figure of the Trickster always put himself in big troubles and he is extremely annoying while pursuing what he thinks is his good (his good being more often to the detriment of other beings). It turns out to mean growth for his surrending at the end.

But I had more in mind the Trickster of Carl Jung, the archetype who stimulates the individuation of other people, necessary for them to be more conscious of their "shadow" (which can contain "good" and "bad" as well).

As I said in the other thread, acknowledging a sane guilt (as painful as it can be) is an incontournable to anybody who wants to grow in maturity, but no need to live in guilt until the end of times. Responsibility must take the place of guilt at some point in life to continue to grow in maturity (and preventing the sane guilt to turn into insane guilt), and I do think that the sooner the better but all this is a process that people are living differently. It is not a pleasant process. But it is very intimate and real, as any honest individual is living this process at least once in a lifetime. And because it is true, it is beautiful and moving. Truth is always beautiful and moving. The sacred part of life can be feeled in truth.

Because the narrator has the strenght to face his weakness and the courage to support his guilt it is the beginning of the end for his mistakes and errors.

And the lector lets go a sight of relief.

The increase of conciousness process may be painful but not half as the burden of mistakes and errors not acknowledged (or not still conscious) that we were carrying with the narrator since the beginning.

The world seems really to be a better place to live, after this process.

This is how I have experimented the reading of this novel.

He is not an easy guy, Leonard Cohen. ;-) With this huge sensitivity that he has, his art work can't be easy and superficial.
***
"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
Tchocolatl
Posts: 3805
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 10:07 pm

Re: New York Review of Books article. Feb. 21, 2013

Postby Tchocolatl » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:43 pm

jazzmanchgo wrote:(...)I think that in The Favorite Game, Leonard gives us (...)
Jazzmanchgo how do you see the kabbalah in relation with this novel?

Don't you think (and feel) the density of the material world and human experiences of it being purified at the end by a light, ligthen pure finale scene?

Very Kabbalistic as far as I know which is not far as you may know. Or Holydove.
***
"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
holydove
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Location: Connecticut

Re: New York Review of Books article. Feb. 21, 2013

Postby holydove » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:34 pm

Tchocolatl wrote:
Don't you think (and feel) the density of the material world and human experiences of it being purified at the end by a light, ligthen pure finale scene?

Very Kabbalistic as far as I know which is not far as you may know. Or Holydove.
Tchoc, you are so cute! I read that book such a long time ago, & I would need to have another look at it, but from what I remember, I think what you say is quite accurate; that there is a process of self-probing/confession/purification, which Breavman goes through, that might not be specific only to Kabbalah, but could be associated with many spiritual traditions.

But, for what it's worth, I did want to say this: my knowledge about hypnosis is quite limited, but I do clearly remember learning that, contrary to popular belief, a person in a hypnotized state cannot be made to do anything that he/she would not do in a non-hypnotized state. I only have one direct, personal experience of being hypnotized, & the process induced a relaxed, receptive state, which could possibly make one more open to suggestion & perhaps loosen inhibitions to some degree (for instance, I cried at a moment when I probably wouldn't have cried if I wasn't hypnotized), but the difference between the hypnotized & non-hypnotized state of consciousness was really quite subtle, & I could definitely have refused to do something that I didn't want to do, & it did not leave me any more vulnerable to exploitation than I would otherwise be. (It's possible that I wasn't hypnotized as deeply as is possible, but I don't know, I only know what my experience was, & what I have read on the topic). From my memory of the novel, my impression was that Heather loved Breavman, was aware of his mischievous inclinations, & she was not coerced, but consented to being hypnotized by him; also, in the novel, the hypnosis is a literary technique (let's remember this is fiction), & so the hypnotic state is portrayed as more intense than I think it would be in reality; & it's left completely open to interpretation as to whether Heather was aware of what was happening, either during or after the process; my impression is that she did know (esp. given the fact that Breavman discovers her panties left behind in the cushions of the couch (or somewhere like that) after she leaves); & Heather doesn't seem to be distressed by it at all - she pats Breavman on the head & says something rather affectionate to him. Breavman does believe he had difficulty bringing her out of the hypnotic state, & she does leave her job with the family after that event, but again, it's open to interpretation as to whether her leaving has anything to do with the hypnosis event. Anyway, my main point is that, in reality, from the little that I know, I don't think a hypnotized person can be coerced into doing something that is really against his/her inclinations in a non-hypnotized state. How much one should apply the reality to the fictionalized version, is something I suppose one can decide for oneself.
Rodin
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Re: New York Review of Books article. Feb. 21, 2013

Postby Rodin » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:08 am

This is a full stop.
Misunderstood
holydove
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Location: Connecticut

Re: New York Review of Books article. Feb. 21, 2013

Postby holydove » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:02 am

Rodin wrote:This is a full stop.
What do you mean? If you mean that you are shocked, I'm sorry - sometimes the devil just gets hold of me - maybe I was in a hypnotic state - take it with the proverbial grain of salt, feel free to hurl things at me, strike me down, whatever - it's just ideas & I'm not very attached to any of them. . .

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