Conversations from a Room by Tom Chaffin (Canadian Forum: August/September 1983) is an outstanding interview that makes for rewarding reading. It is saturated with significant Cohen quotations on performing concerts, Montreal, poetry, politics, songwriting, and housecleaning. As a sampling, I offer the final words of the article, in which Leonard responds to the critics’ charge that “his recent celebrity has blunted his powers on the printed page:”
There’s something about daily life that threatens [artistic integrity], and you’re not going to be able to do anything about that. I find that kind of speculation totally irrelevant. You have to ham it up when you go out and apply for a job. The fact is, we live in this world. This is the vale of tears. This is the plane we operate on. What everybody’s talking about is the loss of innocence. So — deal with your innocence as you will. You’re probably in trouble, anyway, if you’re in this [singer-songwriter] racket. So fame becomes just another thing to look out for.