Leonard Cohen on “what makes [Montreal] a good city for poets”

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Eclecticism is the situation in Montreal continually. It’s because the cultures are distinct. You’re taking something from the English, something from the French, something from the Jews – something from the past, something from the future. That’s what makes it a good city for poets. Things are still distinct. You do know that you’re penetrating into other sensibilities. It isn’t blurred, like in America, where the American idea is so strong.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Conversations from a Room by Tom Chaffin. Canadian Forum: August/September 1983. Photo by By Chicoutimi – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia Commons. Originally posted Feb 6, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

More About Leonard Cohen’s Montreal

The best articles about Leonard Cohen’s Montreal homes and haunts as well as videos and a list of pertinent landmarks can be found at Resources: Leonard Cohen’s Montreal.

“It’s in what they call a slum, not a fashionable slum like Greenwich Village.” Leonard Cohen Talks About “Our House In Montreal”

How do you live now? What style and mode of luxury do you allow yourself?

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It would be hard to describe our house1 in Montréal without seeming that I was being pretentious, on the side of modesty. We live in an extremely small house… [The neighborhood] is one I always liked. It’s in the East End of town, on a Portuguese working class street. Our house is about the size of this room, I would say. There are one and a half levels. It’s very crowded, and I’ve just given my studio over to the babies. I’ll have to get a little apartment across the street. It’s really a beautiful place, and we have a garden. But you should come up and see it. It’s like living in the country in the middle of the city. It’s in what they call a slum, not a fashionable slum like Greenwich Village. But now there’s another writer on the street… [The neighborhood is] safe, that’s the thing. Like the little child Adam runs on the street and goes into the neighbors’ houses. The doors are open, and the children come into our house. You know, if you can stand that sort of thing, it’s extremely nice… I’ve always lived like that. My own personal style of living has changed very very little. I don’t know what I would do otherwise, what would one do?quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen Looks at Himself by Danny Fields. Soho Weekly News, Vol. 1, #9. Dec 5, 1974.

Resources: Leonard Cohen’s Montreal: The best articles about Leonard Cohen’s Montreal homes and haunts as well as videos and a list of pertinent landmarks

Credit Due Department: This outstanding interview was discovered and contributed by Jugurtha Harchaoui. Photo taken by and posted with the permission of Lilian Graziani.
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  1. “Our” refers to Leonard and Suzanne Elrod along with their children, Adam & Lorca []

“The atmosphere here is romantic, more so than any other city I know” Leonard Cohen on Montreal

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When a guy gets attached to a city, it becomes a city of the mind. I still have this notion of Montreal as the capital of the sentimental world – the atmosphere here is romantic, more so than any other city I know. I was formed by this place, and now I feel obligated to give something back to it.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

The Trials Of Leonard Cohen by Jack Kapica (Montreal Gazette: Aug 25, 1973). Accessed at the Google Newspaper Archives. Photo of Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours, better known as the Church where “the sun pours down like honey, On our lady of the harbour” by Sally Hunter. See Our Lady Of The Harbour – The Montreal Church Embedded In Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne

Resources: Leonard Cohen’s Montreal is a compilation of the best articles about Leonard Cohen’s Montreal homes and haunts as well as videos and a list of pertinent landmarks:

Now Online – Resources: Leonard Cohen’s Montreal

With many Leonard Cohen fans planning trips to Montreal later this year and with interest in Leonard’s Montreal roots on the rise, an increasing number of requests for information have been sent my way. Consequently, Cohencentric now offers a page dedicated to Resources: Leonard Cohen’s Montreal.

Resources: Leonard Cohen’s Montreal offers links to the best articles about Leonard Cohen’s homes and haunts as well as videos and a list of pertinent Montreal landmarks.

Note #1: Resources: Leonard Cohen’s Montreal is a work in progress with items and new information being added continuously.

Note #2: Resources: Leonard Cohen’s Montreal is not a travel guide although it may be helpful in trip planning. Some landmarks listed, for example, no longer exist (these are, for the most part, labeled) and other locations might not be appropriate to visit.

Recommended Reading: El Montreal de Leonard Cohen [Leonard Cohen’s Montreal]

Suzanne Cohen alerts us to El Montreal de Leonard Cohen [Leonard Cohen’s Montreal] by José Manuel Abad Liñán (El Pais: July 14, 2017), an article that integrates Montreal’s geography with pertinent portions of Leonard’s biography. The following excerpt offers a sense of the piece as well as its ability to be read in Google Translate English:

Although many of his own or adapted lyrics distill political dyes (The Partisan, Democracy, First We Take Manhattan), Cohen always flew over the political conflict between communities that has shaken Québec life in the last decades, even in the hardest years , With the attacks of the Liberation Front of Quebec. When a French-speaking journalist urged her to say why she had not supported the region’s struggle for independence in the late 1970s, he replied: “I am in favor of the Free State of Montreal. I do not live in a country, I live in a neighborhood, in a universe apart from the rest. I am neither Canadian nor Quebec. I am, and always will be, from Montreal. ” His political stances were like his fashion, elegant. He tiptoed through all the fashions because he always knew that even if they gave prominence at the beginning, then they could weigh him down.

Cohencentric posts on Leonard’s hometown are collected at

Credit Due Department: Photo by Sally Hunter

Leonard Cohen Explains How He Came To “Love The Sunshine”

 

You’ve spent years in Greece and California. Do you crave sunshine?

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I grew up in Montreal, which was covered by snow seven months of the year, so I love the sunshine. You cannot otherwise but believe in some benign aspect of the cosmos if you go out and it’s bright and warm. And with a tan, you may even look better.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen by Neva Chonin (Rolling Stone: December 11, 1997). Thanks to Maarten Massa for the photo of a very young Leonard Cohen shoveling snow. Originally posted Dec 26, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric