Leonard Cohen Identifies Key To His Success As Writer: Getting To The Desk

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I think that the content of that work at the moment of arrival at the page is exactly the strategy that allows you to get there. Because getting there is the trick, getting there is the trouble. But once you get there, once your life is organised so beautifully so that there is a table, a chair, a typewriter, that is an incredible triumph. Most people give up … My mind is not particularly fertile. My only success is the fact that I’ve been able to get to the desk. My whole life has been trying to arrange those moments when I take care of everything that is not in the room, and have the moment to arrive. And usually what I am writing about is everything I’ve had to do to get to the moment of writing at the desk.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

June 22, 2006 Leonard Cohen interview by Michael Silverblatt on KCRW Bookworm. Description of interview from KCRW website:

Leonard Cohen talks about his early years as a poet in Montreal; his novel, Beautiful Losers; his songs; and now, ten years since his last book and fifty years since his first, the vicissitudes and recoveries that led to the art, lyrics and poems in his new Book of Longing.

Listen to or download the entire interview at link.

Originally posted Nov 3, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on the value of “working shoulder to shoulder with the monks”

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That’s one area where working shoulder to shoulder with the monks helped me; they’re patient, that’s their approach to everything. You might be in the dark at first when you start writing something, but you follow it for dozens of versions, you see the 25th and it starts to make sense. Things do clarify, given time.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Poet seeks perfect word on his CD by Tom Moon. Philadelphia Inquirer: October 14, 2001

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

Leonard Cohen On Working “I feel better when I’m working …”

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I feel better when I’m working than when I’m not, but I feel both things – a need to write and a need to quit. The need to write is greater – off and on. Sometimes you get tired of the whole thing; think you’ll get an honest job. Sometimes you know you’re just dealing with the pipes and you think you’d like to get out of the basement. But you recognise your limitations and try to work within them…quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Suffering For Fan And Profit – The Return Of Leonard Cohen by Mick Brown. Sounds: July 3 1976, Accessed 26 April 2014 at LeonardCohenFiles

Note: Originally posted September 26, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen “If you hang in there long enough …”

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I think in the back of my mind, I always cherished some idea of an old man in a suit, smoking a cigarette, and delicately talking about his work to somebody. If you hang in there long enough, you begin to be surrounded by a certain gentleness, and also a certain invisibility. This invisibility is promising, because it will probably become deeper and deeper. And with invisibility — and I am not talking about the opposite of celebrity, I mean something like ‘The Shadow,’ who can move from one room to another unobserved — comes a beautiful calm.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen, A Happy Man by Mireille Silcott. Saturday Night: September 15, 2001.

Note: Originally posted March 11, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Songwriting & Aging

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The clear sense that you know you’re in the homeward stretch is a very compelling component in writing. A lot of other things fall away that you hoped would satisfy you like human life, and your work becomes a kind of haven, and you want to go there, and you’re grateful when the time opens in such a way that you can actually sit down and work at your own work, because everything else somehow has failed.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Coffee And Candour With Cohen by Simon Houpt. The Globe and Mail: February 27, 2009

Note: Originally posted Sept 17, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen: Being A Singer-Songwriter, Letting Women Into Your Life, & Bringing Home The Bacon

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When all is said and done, [being a singer-songwriter] is just a job, a means of making a living, and paying the bills. If one looks at it from a certain vantage point, it’s what it is — nothing more. Now, I guess you could say that I am back to the office. [Leonard Cohen meditates for a minute and adds] Women are the reason men go back to work. If a man is willing to live without a partner, then — maybe — that guy will manage to get by without working. However, if you let a female into your life, then your fate is sealed: you must go out there and bring home the bacon …quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From “Un Certain Sourire” by Hervé Muller, published in Rock & Folk, No. 92, September 1974 (via Google Translate). Original article (in French) found at the French Leonard Cohen Site.

Note: Originally posted June 22, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric