Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years

News about Leonard Cohen and his work, press, radio & TV programs etc.
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LisaLCFan
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Re: Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years

Post by LisaLCFan » Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:35 am

Geoffrey wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:17 pm
Mary72 wrote:
...>Oral history isn't the polite name for gossip and if that is the case many holy books and traditions should also be considered under the same umbrella, of the gossip.

yes, an excellent point!! :-)

Interesting reaction to Mary's comment. My first thought was, "I thought they were."

Of course, that is not to pass judgement on the veracity of the contents of any of these things: in many cases, one cannot know if they are true or not, or if they were even meant to be. "Stories" can be all of the above, whether told as gossip, oral history, call it what you will.

Cheers!
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Geoffrey
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Re: Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years

Post by Geoffrey » Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:29 am

LisaLCFan wrote:
>Interesting reaction to Mary's comment. My first thought was, "I thought they were."
>
>Of course, that is not to pass judgement on the veracity of the contents of any of these things: in many cases, one cannot know if they are true or not, or if they were even meant to be. "Stories" can be all of the above, whether told as gossip, oral history, call it what you will.

unsure why i am answering this, because i know not what to say. passing judgement on anything is almost always a precarious pastime, and gossip seems to be a difficult word to pin down - even more so after having investigated its definition. perhaps the wisest thing to do, in most situations, is to try to understand why someone has become the person they are. some people don't like certain foods, certain music, certain authors, etc., and much of this has a psychological rather than a physiological reason. in any case, no matter what we say or do, our voices or actions seem all too often to tell more about ourselves than anyone else. ;)
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LisaLCFan
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Re: Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years

Post by LisaLCFan » Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:59 am

Geoffrey wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:29 am
... in any case, no matter what we say or do, our voices or actions seem all too often to tell more about ourselves than anyone else.
But of course -- it never occurred to me to think otherwise.

Anyway, sorry for the diversion. This thread is about a book -- and as with all books (and anything else), some people will like it, some won't, and the rest won't care. Makes no difference to me -- to each his/her own!

Cheers!
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Mary72
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Re: Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years

Post by Mary72 » Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:52 pm

no matter what we say or do, our voices or actions seem all too often to tell more about ourselves than anyone else.
We have forgotten to be kind with each other, we have forgotten that a word has it's own energy and once spoken it will work as ripple. The heart will never be unified, it will go on, on cooking, sizzling like shish kebab, leaving an ugly mark.
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Geoffrey
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Re: Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years

Post by Geoffrey » Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:27 pm

LisaLCFan wrote:
>Anyway, sorry for the diversion. This thread is about a book -- and as with all books (and anything else), some people will like it, some won't, and the rest won't care. Makes no difference to me -- to each his/her own!

makes no difference to me either, lisa - i'm sorry to say. i don't have an opinion on the book, but that is mostly because i haven't read it yet. my nature dictates that i don't need to have everything i want, even if i can afford it. if i one day do read it i would hope that i didn't remain indifferent, that i was not amongst those who don't care, those with an insouciant attitude - because i don't want people to call me apathetic. i want to be regarded as a dynamic person, one with a strong personality, like you - not as an anonymous little grey mouse that nobody sees.

i don't believe any diversion has occurred here, at least not a serious one. a couple of people wrote how bad the book was, and it is natural to respond to their comments. the conclusion was, more or less, that they couldn't help writing horrible things because of their upbringing (cause and effect) - that they have absorbed so much criticism in their lives that it reflects and manifests itself in their behaviour. to cruelly denounce someone's hard and well-meaning work simply as 'trashy' obviously implies an underdeveloped sense of fairness.

Mary72 wrote:
>We have forgotten to be kind with each other, we have forgotten that a word has it's own energy and once spoken it will work as ripple. The heart will never be unified, it will go on, on cooking, sizzling like shish kebab, leaving an ugly mark.

well, fortunately not everyone is bad, maria. just look back on some of the messages i've written, always well-balanced, empathetic and seeking harmony. everybody knows how nice i am. this is because i meditate, i have contact with my inner self and have developed into a mature and conscientious person.
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LisaLCFan
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Re: Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years

Post by LisaLCFan » Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:14 pm

Hmm. The people who expressed a negative view of the book in question were simply expressing the fact that that sort of book does not appeal to them, which seems to me a perfectly reasonable and justifiable thing to think, feel, and say -- not everybody enjoys the same things, and nobody should have to justify why. I certainly did not perceive their comments as being unkind towards others nor as any sort of personal attack against anyone -- people should be able to express dislike for something without being chastised for it.

However, others seemed to take it quite personally, and then the people who expressed those negative opinions of the book were harshly taken to task, and their views, personalities, and upbringing were psychoanalysed, insulted and belittled, as if they and their assessments were completely unworthy. Who's being unkind here?

It's just a f*cking book, for chr*st's sake. :roll:
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Geoffrey
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Re: Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years

Post by Geoffrey » Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:59 pm

LisaLCFan wrote:
>It's just a f*cking book, for chr*st's sake.

yes, i can only agree, lisa: just a book. one that can be reviewed by eloquent, well-adjusted people as well as cliché-ridden neurotics. call me incorrigible, but as a student of human behaviour i have always been fascinated by other people, the way they often unwittingly reveal information about themselves, especially via interaction.

wishing you a healthy, joyful and prosperous 2021 :-)
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LisaLCFan
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Re: Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years

Post by LisaLCFan » Wed Dec 30, 2020 7:39 pm

Geoffrey wrote:
Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:59 pm
...wishing you a healthy, joyful and prosperous 2021 :-)
Same to you!
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mutti
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Re: Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years

Post by mutti » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:46 pm

I am in the middle of the book and wanted to share my thoughts.
I am pleasantly surprised that I am liking it.

It is a style of writing that took a bit of time to get used to for me. I read a few pages every night before going to sleep and look forward to it. I find some of it I pass over as it has no interest for me and I wonder what it is even doing in the book but sometimes I find myself smiling or even laughing out loud. That is always a good sign. Some good insights too.

The interviews are with people who were friends or acquaintances of Leonard in his younger days. No way to know if the stories are true but my feeling is so far they are what these people recollect. I was worried for example that if a fan was interviewed there is no way to verify if what they are saying is true especially if no one else was around. So far it does seem to be people who have stories to tell of knowing Leonard in his youth and younger days.
I wouldn't say I learned a lot of new things but as I read I seem to have a better understanding of parts of him. Consistently people are commenting on how kind, compassionate and gentle Leonard was.

For many of us there will never be another like Leonard and it is interesting to get a perspective from a different form of writing. I was very skeptical this would be a book of gossip before I read it. I guess it remains to be seen once the next volumes are released.
As I said I do skip over some comments and the ones that stand out are worth it for me to continue reading. Its an easy book to read and I am liking the style more and more. In fact I find myself as I read not wanting the book to end.

I would say in my opinion for fans of Leonard it is worth having a look.

I have no idea what Leonard himself would think of the book.

Leslie 8)
1988 Vancouver
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Joe Way
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Re: Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years

Post by Joe Way » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:45 pm

Hi Leslie,
I am not quite as far along in the book as you, but I am having a very similar reaction. I found the style a little off putting at first, but as I have become used to it is quite effective. Since the book is mostly dependant on peoples memories and impressions there is much conflicting information often on the same page. For example, people would have complete opposite reactions to Leonard's mother, Masha.

For those of us who have followed Leonard for many years and read much about him, there is not a lot of new information. But there is some. For example, I learned that the line in "Love Calls You By Your Name"

"Where are you Judy, where are you Ann" refers to Judy Goldblatt and Ann Sherman two old girlfriends.

I agree with you that the book is worth a look.

Joe
"Say a prayer for the cowboy..."
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