Finally in English: So Long Marianne - A Love Story

News about Leonard Cohen and his work, press, radio & TV programs etc.
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Re: Finally in English: So Long Marianne - A Love Story

Postby lizzytysh » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:44 pm

Oh, that's PERFECT, hydriot! Please have a Mythos for me!
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Re: Finally in English: So Long Marianne - A Love Story

Postby jeremek » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:29 pm

...if someone in Poland was interested in this book: ... 11289.html
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Re: Finally in English: So Long Marianne - A Love Story

Postby hydriot » Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:52 pm

lizzytysh wrote:Oh, that's PERFECT, hydriot! Please have a Mythos for me!
I completed reading the book while on Hydra. I recommend it. It gives an interesting alternative perspective on Leonard's work, a view from the outside looking in.

And it is not just a paean to Leonard. The first half focusses on Axel Jensen, who reveals himself as a total sh*t, abandoning Marianne when baby Axel Joachim was just four months old. After that experience, it is a wonder Marianne ever trusted a man again.

I first came to Hydra as a schoolboy in the mid-sixties, so for me the best bits are her memories of Hydra from 1957 when she first arrived. For example, the lack of electricity. Even in the mid-sixties I can remember, when we borrowed a friend's house, using oil-lamps and having a non-electric ice-box instead of a fridge (for which a large brick of ice would be delivered from the ice-factory by a tiny boy towing it along the alleys at the end of a lead).

I knew Marianne very slightly. My memories of her are of a Nordic beauty who moved with extraordinary elegance, gliding across the polished stones of the agora like an ice-skater. She was also very fond of calf-length skirts that used to swirl around her alluringly, at a time when hems were rising and the mini-skirt was all the vogue. I was slightly in awe of her.

I knew Axel Joachim just a little better, although he was quite a few years younger than me and the ex-pat children I hung out with. My first memory of him was of a golden child scampering across the agora. In later years he seemed rather lonely. But we were always friendly to him and tried to make him feel included in the group.

My only disappointment with the book was the very brief epilogue. I would have liked to know more about Marianne's later life, post-Leonard. But she is a very private person.

For me, the most poignant moment in the book is right at the end, when Marianne muses: "Axel Joachim was swept along on my turbulent journey, but as a child with a sensitive, impressionable mind, he lacked the tools to cope with his experiences in the same way that I could. The difficulties that have persisted into his adulthood have compelled me to question myself continually, and to ask whether the price he paid for my insecurity and vulnerability was too dear."

Because she has written this, I feel able now to say publicly that I was horrified, even at the time, at the way in the sixties the children of trendy bohemians were just dragged around as if hand luggage. Children need stability and an emotionally-secure ordered framework within which to grow up safely. I was fortunate to have the stability of two boarding-schools but I saw so many youngsters (not just Axel Joachim) being repeatedly uprooted from one school and sent to another as their parents travelled about the globe that it both sickened and baffled me. What sort of parenting is that?

The sixties were a glorious time in so many ways as people finally began to liberate themselves from the stifling conventions of the fifties. But let us never forget that the sixties were also a staggeringly selfish and self-obsessed time, especially amongst the literati on Hydra. People got hurt.

Let us hope that we have all now learnt that children don't exist to fulfill their parents. Parents exist to fulfill their children.

Oh, and Lizzy: it's Henning who drinks Mythos. I drink Amstel.
“If you do have love it's a kind of wound, and if you don't have it it's worse.” - Leonard, July 1988
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Re: Finally in English: So Long Marianne - A Love Story

Postby DBCohen » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:11 am

I have compiled a review of the book for the Dublin Event’s booklet, but due to space limitation it was edited and cut short. Now Jarkko kindly posted the full version of my review. Those wishing to read it can find it on the Analysis page of the Files.

Hydriot, thanks for sharing your memories and thoughts, which I found very touching. I expressed some similar thoughts in my review.
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Re: Finally in English: So Long Marianne - A Love Story

Postby surrender » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:22 pm

Thank you, Doron for the review, written with circumspection and attention for detail.
1988: Amsterdam 1993: Nijmegen 2008: Amsterdam|Oberhausen 2009: Cologne|Antwerp|Barcelona 2010: Ghent (8/20-21-22)|Lille
2012: Ghent (8/12)|Amsterdam (8/21-22)|Verona|Lisboa 2013: Antwerp|Brussels|Rotterdam|Amsterdam

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Re: Finally in English: So Long Marianne - A Love Story

Postby david birkett » Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:57 pm

For anyone who hasn't bought it yet or needs another, also available from The Great British Book Shop: ... g-marianne
The Ogre does what ogres can,
Deeds quite impossible for Man,
But one prize is beyond his reach:
The Ogre cannot master speech.
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Re: Finally in English: So Long Marianne - A Love Story

Postby jarkko » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:14 pm

Now available also in paperback, 19,95 Can$
If you buy it directly from the publisher,
enter code MARIANNE25 at checkout and get 25 % off the price.
1988, 1993: Helsinki||2008: Manchester|Oslo|London O2|Berlin|Helsinki|London RAH|| 2009: New York Beacon|Berlin|Venice|Barcelona|Las Vegas|San José||2010: Salzburg|Helsinki|Gent|Bratislava|Las Vegas|| 2012: Gent|Helsinki|Verona|| 2013: New York|Pula|Oslo|||

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