Q: Any younger artists you’re listening to now? Leonard Cohen (2001): “I listen to whatever’s put in front of me: Eminem, Spice Girls, everybody.”

Any younger artists you’re listening to now?

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I didn’t get a chance to listen to much up on the mountain [The Mt Baldy Zen Center]. Rufus Wainwright is a good friend of my daughter’s, so I know his work. I listen to whatever’s put in front of me: Eminem, Spice Girls, everybody.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen on Becoming a Monk, Why His Opinions Don’t Matter by Mark Binelli. Rolling Stone: Nov 8, 2001.

“These poems [in Book Of Longing] were written in the midst of all this phony talk about brotherhood, new visions, and new possibilities” Leonard Cohen


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These poems [in Book Of Longing] were written in the midst of all this phony talk about brotherhood, new visions, and new possibilities when the hustlers had already moved in and taken over the revolution and you know, this stuff was being sold in head shops and it had pretty well evaporated.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen’s The Future Interview by Bob Mackowitz. Transcript from a radio special produced by Interviews Unlimited for Sony Music, 1992.

“You’re going to have the occasional inspired individual who just uses the form in the way a poet uses a sonnet. They’re going to be able to create cultural value and create an intellectual and emotional delight” Leonard Cohen on Rock Critics


From Rebirth Of A Ladies’ Man by Steven Blush. Seconds No 22: June/July 1993. Thanks to Rike, who contributed this article.

Also see 

“There is an enterprise called poetry today and I don’t really feel part of it” Leonard Cohen (2006)

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I’m reluctant to call [my work] poetry. I like your idea of footnotes, or notes or some other kind of activity, because I think there is an enterprise called poetry today and I don’t really feel part of it… I don’t have that mind that seems to be valued today. I can’t understand a lot of the stuff that’s written.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen, speaking to Michael Silverblatt on KCRW Bookworm program about Book Of Longing June 22, 2006. The entire program can be heard at KCRW Bookworm – Leonard Cohen. Originally posted Dec 18, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“It’s so melancholy, and neurotic and dirty.” Leonard Cohen Explains To His Sister, Esther, Why His Novel, The Favourite Game, Will Be Popular In Sweden

Learning that his novel was to be published in Swedish, Cohen told Esther that his book would certainly appeal to the Swedes because “it’s so melancholy, and neurotic and dirty.” To Stephen Vizicenzy he wrote that he had abandoned himself entirely to oral gratification: “Eating and kissing. Frankly, I hate to get out of bed. I don’t think I’m a poet maudit after all. Maybe I’ll receive my sense of loss tomorrow.” A month later he wrote to Robert Weaver that “Norway is blonde and glorious and I am popular as a negro with my dark nose. I’ll travel forever.” He danced by himself, listening to Radio Luxembourg. “I can be seen Twisting alone, not even missing London marijuana.”

From Various Positions: A Life of Leonard Cohen by Ira Nadel

Note re Poète Maudit: Poète maudit, (French: “accursed poet”), in literary criticism, the poet as an outcast of modern society, despised by its rulers who fear his penetrating insights into their spiritual emptiness. The phrase was first applied by Paul Verlaine in Les Poètes maudits (1884), a collection of critical and biographical studies that focused on the tragedy of the lives of the then little-known Symbolist poets Tristan Corbière, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, Villiers de l’Isle-Adam, Stéphane Mallarmé, and Arthur Rimbaud. Verlaine may have taken les poètes maudits from Baudelaire’s “Bénédiction,” in which a poet is described as untouched by the suffering and contempt he experiences. The term carries the implication of the low estate into which the poet has fallen from his ancient position as seer and prophet. (Source: Britannica)

“We don’t have to wring our hands about the corruption of beauty or the violation of purity. It just is the way things go…” Leonard Cohen On The Commercialization Of Music

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People stand up and say something with authority and with freshness – maybe somebody like Sid Vicious, you know, and then, seven years later it’s a Coke commercial. You know, there’s nothing to lament in this matter. We don’t have to wring our hands about the corruption of beauty or the violation of purity. It just is the way things go.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen’s The Future Interview by Bob Mackowitz. Transcript from a radio special produced by Interviews Unlimited for Sony Music, 1992. Originally posted June 20, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Note: Like many musical artists, Leonard Cohen had a complicated relationship with his record company that shifted over time. Posts about this issue are collected at .

Compare with “I’m no longer a free man; I’m an exploited man.” Leonard Cohen On His Conflicts With The Music Business (1973)