First Edition of of Let Us Compare Mythologies; Inscribed by Leonard Cohen to His Aunt in the year of Publication
Let Us Compare Mythologies.
Item Number: 88742
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. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “For Aunt Marion with love Leonard Cohen June 1956.” The recipient was Cohen’s mother’s sister. With five full-page line illustrations by Freda Guttman. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An excellent association copy of this rare first book, which reportedly, fewer than 400 copies of the first edition were printed (Nadel, 45).
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.