Book Launch With Liel Leibovitz: The Demons of Leonard Cohen By Francis Mus

From the YouTube blurb:

Book launch of the book The Demons of Leonard Cohen during the Salon du livre de l’Outaouais. This includes a conversation with the author as well as a musical performance by Sophia Ammann.

The Demons of Leonard Cohen by Francis Mus

“With my jingle in your brain,
Allow the Bridge to arch again”

How are we to understand Leonard Cohen’s plea? Who speaks to whom in this oeuvre spanning six decades? In search of an answer to this question this study considers the different guises or “demons” that the Canadian singer-songwriter adopts.

The countless roles assumed by Cohen’s personas are not some innocent game, but strategies in response to the sometimes conflicting demands of a “life in art”: they serve as masks that represent the performer’s face and state of mind in a heightened yet detached way. In and around the artistic work they are embodied by different guises and demons: image (the poser), artistry (the writer and singer), alienation (the stranger and the confidant), religion (the worshipper, prophet, and priest), and power (the powerful and powerless). Ultimately, Cohen’s artistic practice can be read as an attempt at forging interpersonal contact.

The wide international circulation of Cohen’s work has resulted in a partial severing with the context of its creation. Much of it has filtered through the public image forged by the artist and his critics in concerts, interviews, and reflective texts. Less a biography than a reception study—supplemented with extensive archival research, unpublished documents, and interviews with colleagues and privileged witnesses—it sheds new light on the dynamic of a comprehensive body of work spanning a period of sixty years.



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