Leonard Cohen On Jung “As a western scientist, his appreciation of the Oriental psychology and Oriental psychical anatomy … dissolved the western view that their psychology was mystical”

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I more or less came to Jung through oriental studies. He’d written some prefaces to the I Ching and also The Secret of the Golden Flower. As a western scientist, his appreciation of the Oriental psychology and Oriental psychical anatomy — mysticism, whatever that means — dissolved the western view that their psychology was mystical. He saw systematically a diagram of the psyche. It was valid. That kind of view developed in the West in the Forties where we had a radical change in our perception of their work. I think Jung probably led in that re-evaluation of Oriental methodology. It’s the science of the orient. It’s not mysticism. The word mysticism is used in a somewhat pejorative sense. The point Jung makes in all his prefaces is that these things are pragmatic, that they refer to the mechanics of the psyche and can be properly studied. He demystified the work that the Orientals had done.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen: Working for the World to Come. The interview (probably from 1982) was published in the book In Their Own Words: Interviews with fourteen Canadian writers, by Bruce Mayer and Brian O’Riordan, 1984. Accessed at LeonardCohenfiles. Originally posted September 28, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

 

Leonard Cohen On Charles Bukowski: “He brought everybody down to earth, even the angels”

While i cannot locate a definitive source for this quotation, it has been attributed to Leonard Cohen in many, many posts and articles about and blurbs for Charles Bukowski since at least as early as 2010. Photo Source: Fair use, Wikipedia

Another comment by Leonard Cohen about Charles Bukowski is found at There are people like Charles Bukowski who …

“This book moves me from the world of the golden-boy poet into the dung pile of the front-line writer” Leonard Cohen’s Letter To Jack McClelland Printed – Against His Wishes – On Flowers For Hitler Back Cover

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This book moves me from the world of the golden-boy poet into the dung pile of the front-line writer. I didn’t plan it this way. I loved the tender notices Spice-Box got but they embarrassed me a little. Hitler won’t get the same hospitality from the papers. My sounds are too new, therefore people will say: this is derivative, this is slight, his power has failed. Well, I say there has never been a book like this, prose or poetry, written in Canada. All I ask is that you put it in the hands of my generation and it will be recognized.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

The above quotation was excerpted from a letter from Leonard Cohen,to Jack McClelland (the head of McClelland and Stewart, Cohen’s publisher) which was reprinted – against Cohen’s express wish – on the back cover of Flowers for Hitler.

The following excerpt is from The Fiction of Leonard Cohen by T.F. Rigelhof (published in This Is Our Writing by T.F. Rigelhof, Porcupine’s Quill, October 1, 2000):

Jack McClelland did take his next poetry book but gave the poet a lot of grief. McClelland insisted on changing the title from Opium and Hitler to Flowers for Hitler, dropping its dedication to “The Dachau Generation”, proposing a cover which featured a drawing of a nude female with Cohen’s face for tits before grudgingly accepting a compromise cover featuring elements from six different ones Cohen had designed. Then McClelland published it with a back cover blurb (taken from a letter) that was used against Cohen’s express wish. When Cohen remonstrated that “It was very important that a Jew’s book about Hitler be free from arrogant personal promotion…”, McClelland responded that the blurb didn’t hurt sales. Cohen continued to play McClelland’s games: he didn’t have many alternatives. [bolding mine]

See also Leonard Cohen Battles Publisher Over Cover Of Flowers For Hitler

Note: Originally posted January 12, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Battles Publisher Over Title & Cover Of Flowers For Hitler

It Could Have Been “Opium and Hitler”
By Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen argued with publisher Jack McClelland over the title and covers of Flowers For Hitler. This account is from Frank Newfeld’s Masterpiece (And Leonard Cohen’s Unseen Face For Tits) by Brian Busby (The Dusty Bookcase: Sept 20, 2009):

In retrospect, The Spice-Box of Earth seems to have enjoyed a fairly easy birth. Not so, Flowers for Hitler, Cohen’s next book of verse. Jack McClelland thought the quality of the poems uneven, while Cohen considered the collection ‘a masterpiece’. Then, there was the matter of the proposed title, Opium and Hitler, on which publisher and poet could not agree. The two were still arguing in September 1964, mere months before the pub date, when a new battle flared up. At issue was Newfeld’s cover image. I’ve not seen the design, so rely on imagination coupled with Cohen’s own description in a letter to McClelland:

Nobody is going to buy a book the cover of which is a female body with my face for tits. You couldn’t give that picture away. It doesn’t matter what the title is now because the picture is simply offensive. It is dirty in the worst sense. It hasn’t the sincerity of a stag movie or the imagination of a filthy postcard or the energy of real surrealist humour. It is dirty to the brain.

Adding that he refused to ‘preside over the distribution of a crude hermaphrodotic distortion of the image of my person’, Cohen suggested canceling the book altogether. With the book in production, McClelland could only back down.

What became the cover is, according to Nadel, an amalgamation of six designs Cohen himself provided.

Update: Also see “This book moves me from the world of the golden-boy poet into the dung pile of the front-line writer” Leonard Cohen’s Letter To Jack McClelland Printed – Against His Wishes – On Flowers For Hitler Back Cover

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Note: Originally posted January 29, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen’s Commendation Of John Ralston Saul On Completion Of His Term As President of PEN International (2015)

John Ralston Saul, a Canadian novelist, was the President of PEN International, until October 2015.  Photo by Tavis from Canada – John Ralston Saul keynote speech at the 2006 Parkland Conference, CC bY 2.0, via Wikipedia