“You’ve got to recreate your personality so that you can live a life appropriate to your station and predicament.” Leonard Cohen On Dealing With Depression

It sounds like there were times you felt pretty close to going under.

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It’s just a matter of how prone you are to real mental disorder. It’s true that certain suffering is educational. It’s true that experience is important. That artists have an unstable psychic nature and sometimes it’s valuable. All these things that you’ve heard about writing, about the artist, are true. But a lot of people spend most of their life in acute pain. And it breaks some people. I was no stranger to depression and many distressed kinds of states, but at a certain point it really wasn’t funny. And at that point you have to start being what the Christians call ‘born again.’ You’ve got to recreate your personality so that you can live a life appropriate to your station and predicament. And having illusions makes it very difficult to create an appropriate self.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough by Mark Rowland, Musician, July 1988.

Leonard Cohen & Depression

A summary of the clinical depression from which Leonard Cohen can be found at Leonard Cohen’s Depression, Its (Failed) Medical Treatment, & Its Resolution

“The older I get, the surer I am that I’m not running the show” Leonard Cohen

Among Leonard Cohen’s most effective skills as a wordsmith is his capacity to transform a phrase from the vernacular into an elegant and appealing lyric that resonates with his audience. Today’s featured quotation is an example of this technique; it is not, however, a line from a Leonard Cohen poem, novel, or song. As far as I can determine, the first time “The older I get, the surer I am that I’m not running the show,” was published was in a Feb 24, 2009 New York Times interview, Leonard Cohen Returns to the Road, for Reasons Both Practical and Spiritual by Larry Rohter.

In 2015 (when I first posted about this phenomenon), this remark became, according to my incredibly unscientific social media monitoring, the second most popular Leonard Cohen quotation on Twitter (the most popular continues to be “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in” from Anthem) as well as being well represented on other platforms. Clearly, these words articulate an idea that responds to our unspoken and often unrecognized concerns.

“It was only when you walked away I saw you had the perfect ass… ” Leonard Cohen

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It was only when you walked away I saw you had the perfect ass. Forgive me for not falling in love with your face or your conversation.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen
The Energy Of Slaves

Leonard Cohen On Sighting The Perfect Ass & Other Poems1
The Apollo in Glasgow: May 15, 1976
Video by Allan Showalter

The image atop this post is the back cover of The Energy Of Slaves (1972). Contributed by Dominique BOILE. Originally posted February 5, 2009 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. These poems are in the concert setlist:
    11. I did not know until you walked away…
    12. Come down to my room…
    13. A person who eats meat
    14. Valentina gave me four months…
    15. I know there is no such thing as hell or heaven…
    16. the 15-year old girls…
    17. The Music Crept by Us
    18. It’s Good to Sit with People… []

Leonard Cohen On Learning To Live With Loneliness

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I think loneliness or emptiness is a fearful condition and I’ve certainly felt it throughout my life. I think you have to learn to live with it. You have to get used to being married to your hand.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Having Lunch With Leonard Cohen by Jon Wilde, Sabotage Times. Posted Dec 3, 2015 (the quote itself is taken from a 1988 interview). Originally posted April 13, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Bob Dylan: “He’s probably the most sophisticated singer we’ve had in a generation”

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Most music criticism is in the nineteenth century. It’s so far behind, say, the criticism of painting. It’s still based on nineteenth-century art – cows beside a stream and trees and ‘I know what I like.’ There’s no concession to the fact that Dylan might be a more sophisticated singer than Whitney Houston, that he’s probably the most sophisticated singer we’ve had in a generation.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough by Mark Rowland, Musician, July 1988

Leonard Cohen-Bob Dylan Interface

A collection of posts about the interface between Leonard Cohen & Bob Dylan, including their opinions of each other, their interactions, and their occasional differences can be found at

Leonard Cohen On Being Called “A Romantic”


Is it a misconception that all your songs are overly romantic?

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Well, if you examine the work I think you’ll find quite a realistic take on the whole matter. The notion I get of ‘romantic’ is someone who cherishes illusions. I think just a partial study of my songs — if anyone was actually bored enough to undertake such an enterprise — will discern that the illusions are few and far between. But if people want to call me romantic . . . there are worse things to be called.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen: Porridge? Lozenge? Syringe? by Adrian Deevoy. Q, 1991. Photo “Leonard Cohen, 1988 01” by GorupdebesanezOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.