By Kari Hesthamar

At 22, Marianne Ihlen travelled to the Greek island of Hydra with author Axel Jensen. Axel wrote and Marianne stored condominium, until eventually the day Axel deserted her and their child son for one more 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 neighbors 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 lots of the Sixties and which takes them to Oslo, Montreal and big apple 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 Peppered with formerly unpublished poems, letters, and pictures, So lengthy, Marianne is an intimate, sincere account of Marianne’s trip and a portrait of the foreign artists’ colony on Hydra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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Axel fetched his rest room bag from the automobile and shaved his head. He bayed on the moon like a wolf ahead of meditating and praying to the gods. Marianne appeared him whereas he sat within the lotus place in a crevice within the part of the mountain, a skinny younger guy in a duffel coat, thoroughly bald. She took out the digicam and photographed her odd, impulsive lover as he sat there with a grin on his lips. It was once January and the temperature used to be sinking. the automobile used to be uncomfortable as a spot to spend the nights. They grew chilly once they slept, and making love one of the suitcases and seatbacks used to be awkward. They headed southward to the Peloponnese and wound up within the dusty little city of Ermioni, the place they lodged with an previous woman who rented out rooms. From there they can nearly see Hydra, a bit additional north within the Aegean Sea. the girl allow them to park the Volkswagen in her overgrown backyard, whereas Marianne and Axel scooped up their baggage, typewriter and books and took the 1st boat. On board they met an important endure of a guy via the identify of Papa­dopoulos, who grew to become out to be a sweet multimillionaire. Papadopoulos had based the Papa’s goodies manufacturing unit in California and used to be desirous to converse English. Axel and Marianne pumped him for info. Papadopoulos proven what they’d heard in Athens: “There are thousands of islands during this sea and if you happen to haven’t already made up our minds the place you’re going, you’ll by no means be capable of decide upon one. So get off on the first cease. Hydra is the main attractive island within the Aegean. ” And so it was once made up our minds. bankruptcy three HYDRA It’s raining and chilly, in the course of January. The boat drops anchor some distance out within the bay. besides the opposite passengers, Marianne and Axel are transported to land in small boats. The harbour is formed like a horseshoe within which fishing boats painted blue and white are moored aspect by means of part, bobbing within the water. Small yellow oil-lamps glow within the home windows of the whitewashed stone homes that climb up the hillsides from the waterfront. Marianne and Axel stroll towards a cluster of lit-up structures, searching for a spot to spend the evening. a number of Greeks hasten miserably homeward in the course of the chilly rain. after you have themselves a unmarried room on the lodge Sophia, they discover a café that’s open and sit. 3 fluorescent tubes are suspended through wires from the ceiling. outdoor the wind blows bitterly. status in the course of the room is a hot sizzling oven that appears like an previous oil drum, with a pipe that is going instantly up after which bends to go out out the window over the doorway. The oven vibrates with warmth. a gaggle of Greek males play backgammon and drink ouzo. one of many more youthful males is called Jimmy. He can converse a few English. He strides over to Marianne and Axel and says, “Hello. the place are you from? ” and “I understand different English. ” Marianne and Axel waste no time in arranging to fulfill Jimmy back the next day to come so he can direct them to the opposite English-speaking humans on Hydra. small kittens mewl and beg for nutrients one of the tables. a guy kicks one of many cats, sending it flying into the wall.

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