Leonard Cohen On His Mother’s Reaction To His Career Choice

From left: Adam Cohen, his mother Suzanne Elrod, his father Leonard Cohen & Leonard’s mother Masha Cohen – Montreal 1972 . Posted Feb 13, 2014 by Adam Cohen at Leonard Cohen Facebook page

Was your mother disappointed because you did not choose a proper profession [rather than singer-songwriter]?

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Disappointed? She was in despair and convinced I could not survive in the world out there.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Man Bleibt Ein Absoluter Anfaenger by Christoph Dallach and Marianne Wellershof. Der Spiegel: 10/1/2001 (40, 2001). Found & translated into English by Rike

Leonard Cohen On Being Mothered

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I was in my mid-thirties and wanted to prove to my mother that she no longer needed to worry about me. So I invited her to a beautiful and expensive steakhouse in Montreal. We had a lovely evening, but when it was time to pay, my mother discreetly placed a bill on my knee under the table.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Man Bleibt Ein Absoluter Anfaenger by Christoph Dallach and Marianne Wellershof. Der Spiegel: 10/1/2001 (40, 2001). Found & translated into English by Rike

Note: Originally posted June 11, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen’s Mother Advises Him: “Follow Your Own Little Heart”

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I felt very free to follow whatever direction I wanted and my mother, who was very generous and open,  just said, ‘follow your own little heart.’quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen: Exclusive JC Interview by Jenni Frazer (The Jewish Chronicle: July 19, 2007)

Leonard Cohen Describes His Mother, Masha: “A Generous Chekhovian Spirit”

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[My mother was] a generous Chekhovian spirit, very accepting in her way. She was alarmed when she saw me running around Montreal with a guitar under my arm, but she was very kind in her observations She would occasionally roll her eyes, but that was about as far as it went.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Sylvie Simmons’ interview with Leonard Cohen, reported in her book, “I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen”

Ozar Taamei Hazal by Rabbi Solomon Klonitzky-Kline, Leonard Cohen’s Grandfather

ozar-bk

Leonard Cohen’s maternal grandfather, Solomon Klonitzky-Kline (aka Rabbi Kline) was a prominent Talmudic commentator. As Cohen explains,

He was known as Sar HaDikduki, the Prince of Grammarians. And he wrote a thesaurus of Talmudic interpretation and a dictionary of synonyms and homonyms. They were used in institutions of higher learning until Israel took over the grammatical institution.1

Indeed, a five part book, each treating a book of The Five Books of Moses, Ozar Taamei Hazal (Thesaurus of Talmudical Interpretation) by Rabbi Solomon Klonitzky-Kline, was published in New York in 1939.

And, it turns out, Leonard Cohen himself is mentioned in the introduction. The following excerpt is from Little Leonard Cohen in Hebrew, posted Feb 28, 2012 by Mississippi Fred MacDowell at On The Main-line:

Interestingly, not only is the book dedicated to Leonard Cohen’s father Nathan (and two others, one of whom is the author’s son) but at the end of the introduction is a mention of Leonard himself, then just a few weeks shy of 5 years old (as well as his mother Masha, and the other members of the family):

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Greta Bertella, who alerted me to the particulars of the book’s introduction, has also discovered that the text of Rabbi Solomon Klonitzky-Kline’s thesaurus, Ozar Taamei Hazal, is accessible online at Hebrew Books: Ozar Taamei Hazal

The volume is, of course, in Hebrew except for an English title page (displayed below).

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Hebrew title page

Hebrew title page

Random Page

Random Page

Credit Due Department: Images of books found at L’avi matern de Leonard Cohen

Note: Originally posted June 5, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

  1. Source: Conversation Between Leonard Cohen And Arthur Kurzweil []