Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen

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MarieM
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Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen

Postby MarieM » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:24 pm

Eric Lerner has written a book about Leonard. There is a thread about Eric here:

https://www.leonardcohenforum.com/viewt ... =3&t=33917

Unfortunately, it seems his website is dead and there isn't a replacement.

I got a tiny bit of inside info which says this is the book every Cohen fan should read.


Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen Hardcover – October 16, 2018

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A memoir of the author's decades-long friendship and spiritual bromance with late singer, songwriter, novelist, and poet Leonard Cohen

When Leonard Cohen passed away in late 2016, he left behind many who cared for and admired him, but perhaps few knew him better than longtime friend Eric Lerner. Lerner, a screenwriter and novelist, first met Cohen at a zen retreat where the two quickly bonded. The pair lost touch for a time but, ten years later, they picked up right where they left off and became practically inseparable. A powerful commitment to zen practices flowed through their friendship and allowed it to become ever deeper over time. Over the years the two shared a house and helped each other through the pains of divorce, the joys of raising children, and the ups and downs of the writing life. These two friends helped guide one another through life's myriad obstacles, and now that journey will be told from a new perspective for the first time.

Well-written, funny, revealing, self-aware, and grounded, Matters of Vital Interest is a charming memoir about Lerner's relationship with his lifelong friend. His views of Cohen are unique, warm, and often funny, and in recounting these tales he reveals a touching portrait of what a deep bond between two men can truly be. Offering further insight into Cohen's idiosyncratic style, his dignified life, the way he was deeply informed by his spiritual practices, and his sensibility as a poet first, musician second, Lerner allows readers to understand a new facet of this fascinating man through the eyes of his closest friend, and in so doing continue his legacy as a captivating persona the likes of which we may never see again.
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Re: Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen

Postby rike » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:21 pm

The book was already on my list of what to look out for in 2018. Thank you for reinforcing that.
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Re: Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen

Postby Mabeanie1 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:05 pm

Thanks Marie. I preordered the kindle verson a few weeks ago and am looking forward to reading it.

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Re: Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen

Postby mutti » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:44 pm

Thank you Marie. I look forward to reading Eric Lerner's book. This one in particular is calling me.
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Re: Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen

Postby jarkko » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:53 pm

Publisher: Da Capo Press, USA
Pages: 304, Hardcover
ISBN 9780306902703
Publication date December 6, 2018

Over a long career Eric Lerner has written a memoir of his early adventures in Buddhism, edited the off-the-wall journal Zero, was credited as writer and producer on the movies Bird on a Wire, Augustus, and Kiss the Sky, and written several novels, including Pinkerton’s Secret: The Original Manuscript.


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Leonard sent this portrait of Lerner back in 2013, and I posted it on the Blackening Pages
at www.leonardcohenfiles.com/lerner.html
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Re: Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen

Postby oldfriend28 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:01 am

Thank you, jarkko.
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Re: Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen

Postby Diane » Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:38 pm

Regretfully, I finished this memoir by Eric Lerner today. The depth, honesty, caring and sheer pricelessness of the friendship between Eric and Leonard - until the very last minutes of Leonard's life - is so very beautifully revealed by Mr Lerner. I don't usually care for lots of biographical information about artists, because the art is the thing; the art is the polished distillation of experience. But this book is pretty much an epic poem that Eric and Leonard worked on together with their every sinew, and Eric committed to print. For an insight into the realest 'real' Leonard Cohen, sorry to use a cliche but I really cannot recommend it enough!
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Re: Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen

Postby Joe Way » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:16 am

Diane, I recently finished it and concur completely with you that it was an excellent read. It is so different from biography or interview or magazine profile. It is very apparent that there was genuine affection between the two of them. I highly recommend this book also.

Joe
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Re: Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen

Postby LisaLCFan » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:32 am

I just received this book (I bought it based on the glowing recommendations here), but I haven't yet read it. I am looking forward to it!

However, as an aside, if anybody is interested in the history of science and cosmology, and its relation to religion, philosophy and politics, Eric Lerner also wrote a most fascinating book called The Big Bang Never Happened. I highly recommend that book to those who are open-minded and curious about the world, and willing to think that maybe the dominant/majority view is not always right... ;-)
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Re: Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen

Postby anny » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:55 am

Thanks for mentioning "the big bang..." it's a must have to me ! ... as well as "matters of..."
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Re: Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen

Postby Geoffrey » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:22 am

LisaLCFan wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:32 am
I just received this book (I bought it based on the glowing recommendations here), but I haven't yet read it. I am looking forward to it!

However, as an aside, if anybody is interested in the history of science and cosmology, and its relation to religion, philosophy and politics, Eric Lerner also wrote a most fascinating book called The Big Bang Never Happened. I highly recommend that book to those who are open-minded and curious about the world, and willing to think that maybe the dominant/majority view is not always right... ;-)
i am interested in all that sort of stuff, lisa. thanks :-)
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Re: Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen

Postby LisaLCFan » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:41 am

Wow, Anny and Geoffrey, those were quick responses! I hope The Big Bang... book does not disappoint -- I found it to be very illuminating, and quite enjoyable to read. All the best!
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Re: Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen

Postby yopietro » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:00 am

LisaLCFan wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:32 am
However, as an aside, if anybody is interested in the history of science and cosmology, and its relation to religion, philosophy and politics, Eric Lerner also wrote a most fascinating book called The Big Bang Never Happened. I highly recommend that book to those who are open-minded and curious about the world, and willing to think that maybe the dominant/majority view is not always right... ;-)
That author is a different Eric Lerner altogether. He's not the one who wrote the Cohen book.

But with regard to Matters of Vital Interest, I read it recently and thought it was a fascinating and really enjoyable glimpse into Leonard Cohen when his fedora wasn't on and he was just hanging out with his old friend. I found it really humanized him beyond the personae of the wise monk/ladies man/high romantic poet priest for which the world has known him...
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Re: Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen

Postby LisaLCFan » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:36 am

yopietro wrote:
LisaLCFan wrote:... Eric Lerner also wrote a most fascinating book called The Big Bang Never Happened….
That author is a different Eric Lerner altogether. He's not the one who wrote the Cohen book.
Oh, well, thank you, I stand corrected! (It's still a good book, whoever the real Eric Lerner is!).
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Re: Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen

Postby astranger » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:45 am

I just finished this and also loved it. It brings a different level of intimacy I don't think has been uncovered in any books regarding LC. Seeing him as just a normal guy trying to get through life the best he could, it is not showing LC the showman or poet, but a man hanging out with one of his best friends. The sections regarding the last couple years of his life were quite intense and a little hard to read. I can see myself reading this again. A very well done effort on Mr. Lerner's part.
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