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Culture

LEONARD COHEN DIES

Leonard Cohen, Canadian artist, troubadour with a deep voice, winner in the Prince of Asturias Awards for Letters in 2011 and candidate for Nobel Prize for Literature, died today at the age of 82.

 


Leonard Cohen combined music with literature, his great passion, that began when he wrote his first poems at the age of 16.

In addition to writing ten poetry books and two novels, he was author of successful songs as immortal Suzanne.

Born on September 21, 1934 in Montreal into a Jewish family, who settled in Canada, he graduated in Literature at McGill University in 1955.

He was member of the group of music non-professional, The Buckskin Boys, devoted to country before moving to New York with a scholarship for Columbia Graduate School.

Books and poems

At the age of 24, he received another scholarship from Canada Council to write a book, what this allowed to travel to Europe.

His first poetry book, Let us compare mythologies (1956), inspired by Garcia Lorca, his favourite poet, was followed by The Spice-Box of Earth (1961).

In the 1960s, he settled into Greek island of Hydra, where he began to composed songs and he lived seven years between Europe and America.

In 1963, his first novel, The favourite game, was published, which was followed by his third poetry book Flowers to Hitler (1964), his second novel Beautiful losers (1966) and his fourth poetry book Parasite of Heaven (1996).

His poetry work is complete with titles as Death of a Lady’s man (1978), Book of mercy (1984) or Book of longing (2006).

Music

In 1966 he came back to America, and that’s when he entered into the world of the music together with singer Judy Collins, who recorded his two most renowned songs, Suzzane and Dress rehearsal rag.

In the 1970s he released Live songs (1973), New skin for the old ceremony (1974), Death of ladies man (1977) and Recent songs (1979), and in the 1980s, Various positions (1984) and I’m your man (1988), and The future (1992) and Stranger music (1993).

Taciturn and introverted, Cohen suffered periods of depression in several times, which he overcame thanks to Zen philosophy, and even, he was stayed retired for six years in a monastery in California, and he became into a monk in 1996, whose name was Jikan, silent.

Even so, in that time he did two live albums, Cohen live (1994) and a compilation record, More best of (1997).

During those years of meditation, he wrote hundreds of songs and poems and after leaving monastery in 1999, he prepared his next album in studio, Ten new songs (2001), which was followed by The Essential and Dear Heather (2004), with which he celebrated his 70 anniversary.

In 2012, and eight after without releasing an album in studio, he published Old ideas, being ruined by negligent management by his former representative and friend Kelley Lynch, who become to be top one in the list of the most sold albums in Europe and USA.

Two years after, coinciding with his 80 anniversary, Cohen released his next album in studio, Popular Problems (2014), and on October 2016, his last album in studio, You want it Darker, which he is more mysterious and solemn than ever, almost with an atmosphere of requiem.

Great seductive, in the 1960s in the Greek island of Hydra, he had a relationship with Swede novelist Marianne Jensen, at who he dedicated So Long, Marianne. After, he lived with photographer Suzanne Elrod – mother of their sons Adam and Lorca- and in the 1990s he had a stable relationship with the actress Rebecca De Mornay.

Spain

In his speech, on the occasion of the Prince of Asturias Awards,he made reference to Spanish influence in his work, above by García Lorca and by lessons of flamenco that a young Spanish guitarist, who committed suicide, gave him.

Cohen donated 50,000 Euros of the prize to Oviedo University to drive a chair that has his name.

You Want It Darker was serene epilogue of this poet, writer and songwriter, who was not afraid of death, as he said in recent occasions before dying, maybe because he felt that his end was coming.


Los Angeles, November 11, 2016, EFE/Practica Español


Grammar notes: review of the simple tenses, direct and indirect object


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Comprensión del texto B.2 (Comprehension)

Congratulations - you have completed . You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%. Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1
¿De qué trata la noticia?
A
El deceso de un conocido artista.
B
Leonard Cohen se encuentra en un estado muy grave.
C
Las últimas declaraciones de Leonard Cohen.
Question 2
En el texto se dice que...
A
Leonard Cohen y su familia se fueron a vivir a Canadá.
B
Leonard Cohen a penas estaba interesado en la literatura.
C
La familia de Cohen abandonó su país de origen.
Question 3
Según el texto, Leonard Cohen...
A
Grabó su primer disco gracias a una beca.
B
Leía la obra de Lorca aunque no le influyó.
C
Pudo viajar a Europa gracias a una beca.
Question 4
En el texto se dice que Cohen era una persona...
A
Que se relacionaba fácilmente con otras personas.
B
Melancólica y poco habladora.
C
Que desde muy joven tuvo interés por la filosofía zen.
Question 5
¿Por qué se dice que You want it darker es el epílogo de Cohen?
A
Porque es el trabajo más filosófico del artista.
B
Porque simplemente es el último disco que ha grabado Cohen.
C
Porque parece que este último disco anunciaba el final del artista.
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There are 5 questions to complete.


Comprensión del vídeo (Listening)

Congratulations - you have completed . You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%. Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1
El locutor afirma que...
A
Se anunció el deceso de Cohen en una red social del artista.
B
La muerte de Cohen fue anunciada en la página web oficial del artista.
C
Se anunció la muerte de Cohen en su cuenta oficial de Twitter.
Question 2
El locutor afirma que Cohen es...
A
Un artista que estuvo a punto de ser considerado como un visionario.
B
Considerado uno de los artistas más prolíficos.
C
El artista que más discos ha publicado en el mundo.
Question 3
El anuncio del fallecimiento de Cohen...
A
Explica qué le pasó al artista.
B
Solo detalló dónde murió el artista.
C
No da detalles sobre las causas de su muerte.
Question 4
El locutor afirma que...
A
Se está realizando un homenaje a Cohen en Los Ángeles.
B
Es posible que se realice un homenaje a Cohen en Los Ángeles.
C
Se va hacer un homenaje a Cohen en Los Ángeles.
Question 5
El locutor afirma que...
A
Cohen fue un referente en los cantautores de los años sesenta.
B
García Lorca influyó en todos los cantautores de los años setenta.
C
Cohen fue un referente en los cantautores de los años setenta.
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There are 5 questions to complete.


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