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 saved apartment, until eventually the day Axel deserted her and their infant son for an additional girl. sooner or later whereas Marianne is procuring in a bit supermarket, in walks a guy who asks her to hitch him and a few pals 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 Nineteen Sixties and which takes them to Oslo, Montreal and manhattan and again to Hydra. in the meantime, Cohen writes “So lengthy, Marianne,” probably the most attractive love songs of all time. Peppered with formerly unpublished poems, letters, and images, So lengthy, Marianne is an intimate, sincere account of Marianne’s trip and a portrait of the foreign artists’ colony on Hydra within the 1960s.

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Through the meal he requested if she might visit mattress with him. Marianne declined. That was once the final she heard from the French photographer. the single factor she used to be left with used to be a strip of small black-and-white images. She had no source of revenue, and having Axel Joachim dwelling at her mother’s in Oslo was once just a stopgap. Leonard had his calling and was once dedicated to his paintings, whereas Marianne felt gradually extra seized up while it got here to discovering her method. during the past she’d long past anywhere love led her. Her monetary conditions have been changing into more and more straitened. She had a few dividends from the shares inherited from her grandfather however it wasn’t adequate to make ends meet in a urban like Paris. She was once contemplating sending Axel Joachim to non-public university, as used to be universal in France and between their coterie on Hydra. He would get advantages from a very good schooling and a extra established existence, and she or he might have extra freedom. With this in brain, Marianne made up our minds to aim to extract from Axel the kid aid she used to be entitled to, so she wrote to him and defined the placement. now not lengthy in a while a letter tumbled in the course of the mail slot on Rue de Savoie: expensive Marianne, in the end there needed to come a letter out of your hand. And that the letter comes a hair’s breadth from the purpose that you simply represent as “down to the final cent” doesn’t confuse me. Now, no undesirable stories. simply this: the money for Axel Joachim has now not in anyway been forgotten yet has been taken excellent care of. It’s hopeless to debate this through letters, however it disappoints me now not a bit that i have never heard a observe from you approximately how the boy is doing, certain, it makes me so livid that i made a decision to place the cash right into a exact account till I bought an indication of existence from you. Now I’ve bought an indication of existence. you're in Paris. you need to positioned Little Axel in a personal university. It’s most unlikely for me to invest in this instantaneous, however the two hundred kroner we’ve agreed to for the boy nonetheless stands, after all. sixty two For a month Marianne trod the large wood steps that wound elegantly as much as Madeleine’s condo within the Latin area. She overlooked Axel Joachim, she overlooked Leonard. during the excessive slim home windows within the front room she regarded over on the neighbour’s and past to the Seine, flowing at its stately speed. yet she was once not able get pleasure from Paris and she or he couldn’t take into consideration trying a brand new modelling task after that preliminary debacle. and not using a snatch of French, it might be nearly futile for her to hunt other forms of employment. The October wind rustled within the bushes alongside the river and the vibrant leaves danced weightlessly right down to the sidewalks. Marianne have been wandering round Paris for hours. The previous ring she habitually wore have been frustrating her all day. while she was once including Axel she’d inherited a bit of knickknack with an oval golden-yellow topaz from her father’s mom. Marianne had Axel’s cousin, who was once a goldsmith, flip the old school piece right into a huge ring for her. She wore it usually, yet for a few cause that day it used to be only a hassle.

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