First Edition of Leonard Cohen's Let Us Compare Mythologies; Signed by Him
Let Us Compare Mythologies.
Item Number: 101450
Montreal: McGill Poetry Series by Contact Press, 1956.
First edition of Cohen’s first book, which explores philosophy, sexuality, death, a world of violent contrasts that would define his future literary and musical careers. Octavo, original cloth. Signed by Leonard Cohen on the front free endpaper in a contemporary hand. With five full-page line illustrations by Freda Guttman. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. An excellent example of this rare first book, which reportedly, fewer than 400 copies of the first edition were printed (Nadel, 45). Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
When Leonard Cohen published his first book, Let Us Compare Mythologies, he had already received prestigious awards for his poetry, which, from the first, revealed his abiding interest “in mythology and magic… The first poem in Let Us Compare Mythologies, ‘Elegy,’exhibits a number of characteristics which recur throughout his work: his almost magical control and modulation of verbal melody, his sensuous particularity, the empathetic reach of his imagination and his fascination with situations which mingle violence and tenderness to heighten the effect of both. We also see emerge for the first time the theme of the quest—here as usually in Cohen the quest for a lost or unknown God, mysterious, elusive, but compelling” (Pacey, Phenomenon of Leonard Cohen, 5-6). Near fine in the rare original dust jacket with some small chips and wear.