Leonard Cohen On His Book Of Mercy As Prayers: “You’re trying to locate a source of strength that you just don’t command”

 

Interviewer: When I was reading [Book Of Mercy], I could feel with each prayer a stripping away of illusion.

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That’s what I was trying to do. After all, you’re not on the stand when you are praying. You can’t come with any excuses. And you don’t really have a deep belief in your own opinions any longer, or your constructions about the way things are. That’s why you pray. You don’t have a prayer. You’re trying to locate a source of strength that you just don’t commandquotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Talking Out of Turn #29: Leonard Cohen (1984) by Kevin Courrier. Critics at Large: May 19, 2012, Note: The interview took place in 1984

“I did a tour of Poland before the Solidarity government …I discovered that Poland was probably my largest audience in the world. Unfortunately, they paid me in zlotys, which were…not transferable.” Leonard Cohen

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I did a tour of Poland before the solidarity government was established. I discovered that Poland was probably my largest audience in the world. Unfortunately, they paid me in zlotys, which were, as you know, not transferable. At times when my so-called career in the West almost evaporated in most places, there was always this following in Poland and Eastern Europe. I don’t know why. My great-grandfather came from Wylkowyski, which was part of Poland at the time. I was very pleased to be able to say that I came from Poland, although they really didn’t think of me as Polish.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Jewish Book News Interview With Leonard Cohen By Arthur Kurzweil And Pamela Roth: 1994. Poster contributed by jeremek. Photo of cash credit to piviso.com. Originally posted July 30, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric,

 

Leonard Cohen’s response to the criticism that his music is depressing “I’m not the first person to mention that this world isn’t exactly Disneyland…”


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I’m not the first person to mention that this world isn’t exactly Disneyland There is a bit of the butcher shop to be discerned in this corner or that. But the actual mail I get … has a very contrary message: ‘You got me through the night.’ ‘Thanks a lot, this stuff really spoke to me a lot when I was feeling real bad.’ Most of the mail I get has that tone to it.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From An Interview With Leonard Cohen by Rob O’Connor (Downtown, Feb 12, 1992). This article was contributed by Dominique BOILE.  Originally posted Jan 15, 2015 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“My friends say I’m a barrel of laughs.” Leonard Cohen


Jo Meul points out that at 01’50” of Leonard Cohen Interview & Performance Of The Law On Midi Public  – Radio Télévision Suisse 1985 (see video below), one can hear Leonard attest, tongue-in-cheek, “My friends say I’m a barrel of laughs,” the same phrase he employed in his interview on the 1984 Mike Walsh Show (Australia).

Leonard must have been particularly amusing during this era; it was in 1985 that the following exchange took place:

Q: What is [Leonard Cohen] like on a night on the town? Leonard Cohen: “People say I’m a hoot to be with”

Leonard Cohen On Guilt: “Guilt should be studied and embraced and understood and blessed …”


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I think that to do violence to guilt is a great mistake, to establish a medicine based on dissolving guilt is folly. On the contrary, I think guilt should be studied and embraced and understood and blessed.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Cohen Heads Back to The Future by Spencer Bright. London Daily Mail: December 11, 1992. Originally posted January 14, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Q: Does [beauty] transform the world? Leonard Cohen: “I don’t know about the world. Beauty certainly does something for me. I’m a sucker for it.”

From Having Lunch With Leonard Cohen by Jon Wilde, Sabatoge Times. Dec 3, 2015 (the quote itself is taken from a 1988 interview). Originally posted Jan 30, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric