Leonard Cohen On His Role As “An Instrument For Certain Kinds Of Information At Certain Moments”

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I have my feelings about how to move myself into areas which are not completely bordered with pain. And I’ve tried to lay out my chart as carefully as I can. I have come through something. I don’t want to boast about it. I don’t even want to talk about it. Look…you know, the songs are inspired. I don’t pretend to be a guide. I do pretend to be an instrument for certain kinds of information at certain moments. Not all moments, and it has nothing to do with me as a guy. I may be a perfect scoundrel… As a matter of fact, I am…just like the guy on the scene. But there are moments when I am the instrument for certain kinds of information.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Ladies & Gents by Jack Hafferkamp. Leonard Cohen Rolling Stone, February 4, 1971.

Leonard Cohen On The Positive Impact Of Business On Art

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There has always been a business element [to art]. It’s good. That’s why movies are the most interesting art form today. They involve the most money, and anybody that can master the form knows a lot about human life. That’s why poetry is the least interesting art form today, because you don’t have to enter the world to write it. There is no demand, so poetry is no longer a significant expression for most people.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen — Haute Dog by Mr. Bonzai (David Goggin). Music Smarts: July 10, 2010 (archived from 1988). Note: Originally posted May 6, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Explains Love Song Intent To CBC

Cindy Buissaillon: “I’m Your Man”, it strikes me, I mean, yes feminists have given you a lot of flack, but to have such a man singing that song, it seems to me, is to be a fortunate woman. This is a woman who is allowed absolute freedom. This is a troubadour of the nineties singing to her, so it strikes me.

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Well, I certainly meant it that way, I didn’t write a love song to turn anybody off.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen, being interviewed by Cindy Buissaillon on CBC Radio (August 26, 1995). Note: Originally posted April 10, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I used to write poems to court ladies. But…the area of your courting gets wider and wider and you end up trying to court the universe” Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen’s Poems Court The Universe by Mary Campbell (AP: 1968). Note: Originally posted February 23, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen: What It Means To Be “Back On Boogie Street”

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I think it just means acceptance of the normal rules of a person’s life in which there is desire, work, mistakes … blessings.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

“Leonard Cohen Gave Me 200 Franc” by Martin Oestergaard (Euroman, Denmark September 2001). Note: Originally posted Feb 16, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on the meaning of “the breaking of the ancient Western code”in The Future

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I think I meant the end of privacy as it developed in the West, which was the real feature of our civilization. The notion that there was private space, which wasn’t really terribly available in the world until we in the West started establishing private rooms and studies and walls. So I think I felt at a certain point that this was beginning to reverse itself with a very potent mass culture. This notion of a private space in which to develop certain ideas and cultivate certain aspects of the psyche. I felt that was disappearing, and that we were moving into a kind of mass mind. That’s why I think the notion of being able to shut one’s door and find that place is becoming more and more urgent. You just need to turn things off. And it’s harder and harder to turn them off with every story that’s going on, with every story being decided by all of us to be worth listening to. It’s not just like the media is some special reserve of individuals who are deciding. All of us are cooperating in these decisions that it’s going to be O.J. or Chandra Levy, or whatever the going preoccupation is. We all cooperate in that decision, and it becomes pervasive and inescapable. It becomes part of your mind. The notion that began in the Bible with cities of sanctuary, where you could go to escape the general mechanism of the situation, those spaces are dissolving. And it produces a sense of breakdown in the psyche. You get the kind of chaos and meaninglessness and data that can’t be distributed along the lines. It can’t be deployed usefully, and it becomes overwhelming.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Angst & Aquavit by Brendan Bernhard. LA Weekly: September 26, 2001.