Leonard Cohen’s Short Response To A Long Question About His Depression

You are just about to release a new album, at 82, which seems, in part, to anticipate death, the dying of light. I am doing my very best to ‘just’ listen to your new songs, and not weigh them, and me, down with forensic analysis. But the question of creating, versus that of an ending, is one that preoccupies me. My father has just started writing his next book – on Mozart – at the age of 90. I am both moved and confused by that. I can’t talk to him about it because that would involve asking him about death, and confronting my own fear that the thought of it haunts him – and that this is why, in part, he has embarked on a new project. Yet he seems fine, and is researching, writing, engaged in it. People are already writing about your new record in similar ways. Does this exercise you – or amuse

You have talked about your depression lifting when you spent time in Mumbai. Is it too pat to divide your writings into depression and post-depression periods of your life? What I mean is, can you make that distinction? Or was depression a companion (now departed, or in abeyance), rather than one of the principle drivers, of the writing?

Your father is an inspiration to us all. I will follow his example and button my lipquotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From the Dan Cairns – Sunday Times Culture questionnaire Leonard Cohen sent me Oct 17, 2016. Potions of that questionnaire were incorporated into Leonard Cohen: Hey, that’s some way to say goodbye by Dan Cairns (The Sunday Times: October 23 2016); this specific question and answer was not used.

One Reply to “Leonard Cohen’s Short Response To A Long Question About His Depression”

  1. Mary Jane Hoey

    I laughed when he answered your question! So like him, right to the end!
    I always loved his dry sense of humor…