“You become what you oppose. I never wanted to have children; now I have children. I never wanted to have my own house; now I have my own house. What you do not want, you get … [Pause] Also the things you want, you get.” Leonard Cohen

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You become what you oppose. I never wanted to have children; now I have children. I never wanted to have my own house; now I have my own house. What you do not want, you get, if you do not want it strong enough. [Pause] Also the things you want, you get.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen – All culture is nail polish by Bert van de Kamp, OOR magazine No.21, October 23, 1974. [Via Google Translate]. Thanks to Gordana Stupar, who alerted me to this article. Photo property of John Miller.

Q: What is your most treasured material possession? Leonard Cohen: “My body.”

To check out Leonard’s most treasured material possession, see Leonard Cohen Beefcake Video: The Ladies’ Man Keeps His Hat On.

The quotation is from “Q Questionnaire – Leonard Cohen” in Q Magazine, September 1994. Photo by Dominique Issermann.

“You’re never ready for the things that create character.” Leonard Cohen

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You’re never ready for the things that create character. Somehow you have to be tripped in such a way that you’re thrown headlong into the events, and trick yourself by signing up for the tour, or spending the money before you’ve made it, or whatever it is. And then you find that these events create character, these events that you’re never ready for.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen Looks at Himself by Danny Fields. Soho Weekly News, Vol. 1, #9. December 5, 1974.  Photo by Paul-Gerhard Zimmerman.

“Only the blessing you have given to [words], the way you present them, what they contain, makes them significant.” Leonard Cohen

Does this mean that the words are empty without the emotional content (which you can transmit during the song, but not in the printed poem)?

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Words are important, and they have to be carefully selected if it is your job. You should pay close attention to them, but on the other hand, only the blessing you have given to them, the way you present them, what they contain, makes them significant… It’s like launching a ship. It can just as well be a fishing boat, they do not all have to be ocean vessels. I am thinking about how the village priest blesses the fishermen prior to sailing. I have to have the same respect in my poems. I must plea to some higher power. Everything has to be considered, whether people want to weep or laugh. Whatever you write, you drop into the sea of ​​mankind and it is to be honored with pure respect.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From ”En tunne vanhenevani lainkaan” – Leonard Cohen Soundissa 1976: The 2016 reprint of a June 1976 Leonard Cohen interview by Dougie Gordon. (Soundi: Nov 11, 2016). Via computer translation. Photo by Martin Colyer.

“If there is really a revolution, it’s against tyranny, and part of tyranny is the notion that there’s one kind of thing for everybody to do.” Leonard Cohen

soho-news

Danny Fields: Oh, Leonard. forgive me, but I have to bring up the revolution. What happened to it?

Leonard Cohen: (laughs) I think everyone perceives that these are times when the work is on the individual for himself, by himself, and the urgency is now for each man to make himself strong. I don’t think anybody is going to put together the whole pattern, or understand all the movements.

Danny Fields: Do you think all hopes for collective strength should be postponed?

Leonard Cohen: I think that people should clearly perceive what kind of activity strengthens them, and what kind of activity disintegrates them. I think those who have a talent or a gift for—or are nourished by—collective enterprise should throw themselves in with it, and those who are nourished by another kind of activity should embrace that. I think if there is really a revolution, it’s against tyranny, and part of tyranny is the notion that there’s one kind of thing for everybody to do.

Leonard Cohen Looks at Himself by Danny Fields. Soho Weekly News, Vol. 1, #9. December 5, 1974.

Leonard Cohen & Irving Layton Discuss The Decline In Their Sexual Interests

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I had a lovely moment with Irving [Layton] recently. We were having a smoke and he said, ‘Leonard, have you noticed that you have declined in your sexual interests?’ He’s 89. So I said, ‘I have, Irving.’ He said, ‘I’m relieved to hear that.’ I said, ‘So I take it, Irving, that you also have observed some decline in your own sexual interests.’ He said, ‘Yes, Leonard, I have.’ I said, ‘When did you first begin to notice this decline in your sexual interests?’ He said, ‘Oh, about the age of 16 or 17.’quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Exile on Main Street by Brett Grainger (Elm Street: Nov 2001)

“If you look at that Sermon on the Mount, no-one has really carried that out… ‘Blessed are the poor, the downtrodden…’ I tried to say that, ‘There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.'” Leonard Cohen

From Interview With Leonard Cohen. France- Inter, October 6, 1997.Transcription Of The Radio Program Synergie With Jean-Luc Esse And Leonard Cohen. Translated From French By Nick Halliwell, UK. Found at LeonardCohenFiles.