Leonard Cohen Labels His Declaration That “There is only one achievement in life, and that’s the acceptance of your lot” An Oversimplification

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Kristine McKenna: I asked Leonard Cohen, “What’s your idea of an important achievement?”

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There is only one achievement in life, and that’s the acceptance of your lot.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Certain Age by Ottessa Moshfegh & Kristine McKenna (Harper’s: April 2016)

Not So Fast

At a later date, Kristine McKenna asked Leonard about his response.

acceptFrom Eight Hours To Harry, Kristine McKenna (KCRW: Oct 1988)

“Therapy seems to affirm the idea unconditionally of a self that has to be worked on and repaired. And my inclination was that it was holding that notion to begin with that was the problem” Leonard Cohen On Psychotherapy


 

You never went to a therapist?

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For one reason or another, I didn’t have any confidence in the therapeutic model. Therapy seems to affirm the idea unconditionally of a self that has to be worked on and repaired. And my inclination was that it was holding that notion to begin with that was the problem — that there was this self that needed some kind of radical adjustment. It didn’t appeal to me for some odd reason.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Angst & Aquavit by Brendan Bernhard. LA Weekly: September 26, 2001.

“Believe in God? I know God!” Leonard Cohen, On Being Asked If He Believed In God


 
“I asked him if he believed in God and I remember him saying ‘Believe in God? I know God!”

Clare Bowditch1

From Singer Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82 by Kathy McCabe (News.com.au: November 11, 2016).

Also See Clare Bowditch’s Mixed Blessing, Featuring Leonard Cohen’s Pants

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  1. Clare Bowditch is a Melbourne based singer-songwriter who was Leonard Cohen’s support act during ten shows of Cohen’s 2010 Australia Tour. []

Podcast: Leonard Cohen Wrestles with Sex, Death, and God

 

From Virtue in the Wasteland (November 14, 2016):

Following his recent death, we discuss Leonard Cohen’s songs, which deal with biblical and romantic themes. Was he pessimistic and despairing, or was there a secret chord that some might miss if they don’t listen close enough to this genius songwriter? We not only discuss Cohen’s own recordings, we play a few of our favorites and point out some of the lyrics which we find particularly haunting or sublime. We also discuss the nature of covering Cohen’s music. From Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” to R.E.M covering First We Take Manhattan. Sex and God and Death. You want it darker? We kill the flame… and then remind you the everything is going to be ok.

“My God! Only one masterpiece. Does this guy have any idea what it takes to produce a single masterpiece? I think anything [Dylan] does merits serious attention.” Leonard Cohen Reacts To Review Criticizing Bob Dylan’s Shot Of Love Album Because It Included “Only One Masterpiece”

Back in the early ’80s, I was having dinner with poet and singer Leonard Cohen, and we were talking about Bob Dylan. Cohen had had dinner with Dylan a few nights earlier, and we were discussing Dylan’s current slump in popularity. He had recently embraced evangelical Christianity and produced a series of religious albums that troubled many fans.Cohen thought the reaction unfair, and was particularly galled by a review blasting Dylan’s album, “Shot of Love,” because it included “only one masterpiece,” which was Dylan’s poignant hymn, “Every Grain of Sand.”

“My God! Only one masterpiece,” Cohen exclaimed, as we ate at a restaurant in Montreal. “Does this guy have any idea what it takes to produce a single masterpiece? I think anything he does merits serious attention.”

From Bob Dylan — A Poet for Our Times by Tom Chaffin (SFGATE: May 23, 2001). Originally posted July 8, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

The Cohen-Dylan Interface

All posts about Leonard Cohen’s & Bob Dylan’s opinions of each other, their meetings, and comparisons by others can be found at

Leonard Cohen Vows Retaliation Against Those Who Described Him As Gloomy


Laughing Len, the merchant of gloom, and all of those pithy (and sometimes ill-meant) descriptions of you (as if those using them could know you) or your work: I can’t imagine they bother you at all. But was there a time when they did? (Apart from anything else, they missed the humour in your work and, in a broader sense, trivialised what you were doing.)

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All those bastards are going to pay for itquotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From the Dan Cairns – Sunday Times Culture questionnaire Leonard Cohen sent me Oct 17, 2016. This quote, without the lead-in, was incorporated into Leonard Cohen: Hey, that’s some way to say goodbye by Dan Cairns (The Sunday Times: October 23 2016).

“Why would [Bob Dylan] go for Jesus at a late time like this? … I don’t get the Jesus part.” Leonard Cohen

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Excerpt from Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan by Howard Sounes Grove Press (April 12, 2002) p 336

The Cohen-Dylan Interface

All posts about Leonard Cohen’s & Bob Dylan’s opinions of each other, their meetings, and comparisons by others can be found at

Originally posted Jan 15, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric