… anyone with an ear will know I’ve torn apart orchestras to arrive at my straight, melodic line… I walk lighter and carry a big scalpel… I don’t know anything about people — that’s why I have this terrible and irresistible temptation to be a novelist.
Leonard Cohen, referring to chopping his original novel “Beauty at Close Quarters” in half to produce “The Favourite Game,” in a letter to Irving Layton. Quoted in This Is Our Writing by T. F. Rigelhof (Porcupine’s Quill, October 1, 2000)
The original manuscript of “Beauty at Close Quarters,” which has never been published, actually went through a number of revisions and alternative titles, including “Buried Snows,” “Wandering Fires,” and “Winged with Vain Desires,” before “The Favourite Game” was chosen on Nov 7, 1962. The novel was published in September 1963. (Nadel, Various Positions: Random House of Canada 1996)
Note: Originally posted Nov 21, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric