So Long, Marianne: A Love Story — includes rare material by Leonard Cohen

By Kari Hesthamar

At 22, Marianne Ihlen travelled to the Greek island of Hydra with author Axel Jensen. Axel wrote and Marianne stored residence, until eventually the day Axel deserted her and their baby son for an additional lady. sooner or later whereas Marianne is purchasing in a bit supermarket, in walks a guy who asks her to hitch him and a few acquaintances open air at their desk. He introduces himself as Leonard Cohen, then a little-known writer.

Thus starts off a love tale that lasts via many of the Sixties and which takes them to Oslo, Montreal and ny and again to Hydra. in the meantime, Cohen writes “So lengthy, Marianne,” some of the most appealing love songs of all time. Peppered with formerly unpublished poems, letters, and pictures, So lengthy, Marianne is an intimate, sincere account of Marianne’s trip and a portrait of the overseas artists’ colony on Hydra within the 1960s.

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His father comforted him and carried him and talked till the infant fell asleep. On their means throughout the port of Hydra tomorrow, weighted down with suitcases, diapers and child, an previous Greek lady they knew headed for them. She crossed herself, peeked into the infant service and dry-spat at Axel Joachim. Marianne’s center beat speedier in her chest as she appeared with astonishment on the hunchbacked lady. She didn’t be aware of that this symbolic gesture used to be the regular manner of defending a baby from the evil eye. At twenty-five years of age, Marianne got here again to the little whitewashed condo in Kala Pigadia with a child in her palms. the home had neither electrical energy nor working water; it used to be a marked transition from Oslo. Marianne dragged the baby’s carriage, an previous one passed right down to her by means of an American lady, among the home and the port. The Norwegian kinfolk attracted cognizance and the little blond Buddha used to be handed from lap to lap. Axel stated not anything approximately his new lover. Marianne didn’t ask any questions. Foreseeing what was once approximately to ensue, she close her eyes and was hoping it will fade away, was hoping that Axel could locate contentment along with her and their baby. however the American painter with the lengthy darkish hair had rented a room at the island and spent increasingly more time with Axel. Marianne picked one of many yellow flora at the un-cemented terrace and plucked off the petals one after the other. In her brain she pictured the blue-painted wood bench the place they replaced Axel Joachim’s diapers, the white rooms, the books and typewriter. She was once petrified of wasting every little thing that they had created jointly during this position. The fairy story without notice lay past her succeed in. It was once as though there have been a pitcher wall among her and every little thing else. In a dreamlike kingdom, she observed herself mountain climbing up at the wall round the residence whereas she stared down the steep hillside, short of out. the guy within the SIXPENCE One hot past due morning in might, Marianne enlists a neighbour girl to monitor Axel Joachim whereas she is going purchasing. Bougainvillea vines are blossoming in pinks and reds; the complete of Hydra is set to burst into bloom. She descends the steep steps from the home and follows the previous river direction towards the harbour, greeting friends alongside the way in which. “Yassou, pedi mou. ” hi, my baby. “Yassou. ” Down on the port she is going into Katsikas’ along with her basket to shop for bottled water and milk for the child. She is donning a couple of wooden-soled sandals and a home-sewn skirt with substantial pleats and vibrant stripes opposed to a faded blue heritage. a guy she hasn’t spotted prior to stands within the doorway, the sunlight in the back of him, in chinos and a blouse with rolled up sleeves. Tennis footwear and a sixpence cap. Marianne can’t see his face, simply his silhouette, and he or she hears him say, “Would you're keen on to affix us? We’re sitting outdoor. ” Marianne accepts demurely and finishes her buying. She takes her basket and is going out and sits at his desk, the place 3 or 4 different foreigners are accrued. They take a seat at the small straight-backed chairs with woven seats. a few are ingesting retsina.

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