Leonard Cohen On His Preference For “Art That Comes From Under The Bridge”

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I like art that comes from under the bridge. Everything is going on on top of the bridge: the clashes, the declarations, the manifestos, the splits, the alliances, the betrayals—and a couple of guys are lying under the bridge trying to recover from a hangover. They look up from time to time. They can hear it. But I like that view—right under the bridge.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen, quoted in Unful’phil’ed: Cohen & Spector’s Looney Tunes by Hugh Seidman. Crawdaddy: Feb 1978. Found by Jugurtha Harchaoui.

Note: Originally posted Sept 26, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I’m interested in laying out my life as honestly as I can, and my experience, so that people who read it can benefit from that experience. Not necessarily to follow it, maybe to avoid it.” Leonard Cohen

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Well, as you grow older you do begin to examine that part of yourself that you might regard as exemplary. In other words, as you see another generation forming behind you, you wonder what your obligation to that generation is. And in that sense you feel yourself as a teacher. I think it’s an obligation of each generation to educate the generation that is behind it. And it’s only in that sense that I feel my life in any way exemplary. I feel it may just be a bad example; I’m interested in laying out my life as honestly as I can, and my experience, so that people who read it can benefit from that experience. Not necessarily to follow it, maybe to avoid it.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 
Leonard Cohen, quoted in “An Interview with Leonard Cohen” conducted by Michael Harris. Due: Winter 1969.

Note: Originally posted March 8, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Any artist who remains true to himself becomes a work of art himself” Leonard Cohen

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This sounds like the most hackneyed 19th-century platitude, but in the midst of my own tiny personal troubles, I turned to the thing I knew how to do and I made songs out of it, and in the making of those songs, much of the pain was dissolved. That is one of the things that art does, is that it heals. A man who makes those choices in his own life is often more beautiful than his works. Any artist who remains true to himself becomes a work of art himself, because that is one of the most difficult things to do. If someone does have that vocation, and diligently applies himself to the exigencies that arise, he will lose a great deal but he will have created his own character.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen: Remembering the Life and Legacy of the Poet of Brokenness by Mikal Gilmore (Rolling Stone: 30 November 2016) The entire article – an excellent read – is available at the link.

“There is a confusion between depression and seriousness. I happen to like the mode of seriousness. It’s peaceful and relaxing to me to be serious.” Leonard Cohen

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Leonard Cohen – 1980

From Love Me, Love My Gun Barrel by Graham Lock (New Musical Express: Feb 23, 1980)

Credit Due Department: Photo By Pete Purnell

Leonard Cohen On Songwriting: “I am completely open and transparent and therefore its easy for anyone to grasp the emotion that’s there…”

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I am completely open and transparent and therefore it’s easy for anyone to grasp the emotion that’s there. I am the person who tries everything and experience myself as falling apart. I try drugs, Jung, Zen meditation, love and it all falls apart at every moment. And the place where it all comes out is in the critical examination of those things – the songs. And because of this, I am vulnerable. There’s the line in ‘Anthem’ that says, ‘There’s a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets in.’ That sums it up: it’s as close to a credo as I’ve come.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Conversation with Leonard Cohen by Thom Jurek (Metro Times – Detroit: August 18, 1993)