“I find that my work, on a personal level, for me, is prophetic… So I read my own work as personal prophecy. Like my dreams. I think all my dreams have come through.” Leonard Cohen

Can you yourself learn from what you write, I mean, teach yourself?

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I find that my work, on a personal level, for me, is prophetic. So that I read it with a very special kind of interest after I’ve written it. After I’ve finished a book I sometimes read it and realise that what I’ve written has not yet come about, the sensibility is about to unfold. For instance when I wrote Beautiful Losers I thought I was completely broken, and on the edge of redemption. I thought I just can’t feel any worse. But the actual fact was, the state of mind laid out in Beautiful Losers, actually came to pass. A year or two later I felt myself in exactly that kind of situation. So I read my own work as personal prophecy. Like my dreams. I think all my dreams have come through. I had a very curious and beautiful dream a month and half ago. It followed one of those times that I was talking about when I had an experience of total freedom. I was sitting at a cafe near The Bitter End in New York. I was sitting with some singers and some people in the music field and suddenly I became, although the feeling had grown by imperceptible degrees, suddenly I became aware that I felt magnificent, triumphant, free, open, warm, affectionate to everyone and everyone around me. Nothing changed, but I could see clearly what everyone was doing without any sort of judgement and loving what everyone was doing. And I almost hugged myself with pleasure, just of breathing and being with friends. And one of the really important things is that I saw what everybody was doing, you know, I saw them; I didn’t think of it as their game, I just saw each person’s style as a revelation of themselves. And I loved it. I loved what I saw. And I excused myself and I walked back to the place where I was staying. I walked back through the Village and it just seemed so beautiful. You know, I could see the Village as just a village on the surface of the earth and the kids walking there and the fruit sellers and the little stores. It all seemed so harmonious, like pieces of a clock and very perfect, it seemed that the world was perfect. And then I went back to a girl’s apartment, and then it was really beautiful, she was a beautiful girl. Probably to make love, but it was like playing games. The vision slowly melted into a dream. I was walking through a village with a group of young children, probably Jewish refugees. There was a row of houses, each one seemed to represent some alternative in my life. But each place turned us down, they didn’t want to take the children. The very last house was a Swedish Red Cross Mission, where there were three beautiful women, and I fell in love with them. To me they represented Woman. And I asked, would they take the children? but they wouldn’t. Even though they refused I wasn’t upset. We left and walked down to the beach which was really bright, beautiful with the huge blue sky and miles of sand. I was standing with the children, and then Stuka bombers appeared on the horizon. And I said to the children: kneel, we are going to say a prayer. And the bombs started to fall, but no one cared.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

An Interview with Leonard Cohen by Michael Harris. Duel: Winter 1969.

The Favorite Game & Beautiful Losers By Leonard Cohen Released On Audio CD

Beautiful Losers By Leonard Cohen

Amazon (French Site)

MP3 CD
Publisher: Blackstone Pub; Edition: Unabridged (May 29, 2018)
English language
ISBN-10: 1538548712
ISBN-13: 978-1538548714

The Favorite Game By Leonard Cohen

Amazon (French Site)

Publisher: Blackstone Pub; Edition: Unabridged (June 26, 2018)
English language
ISBN-10: 1538548631
ISBN-13: 978-1538548639

Thanks to Dominique BOILE, who alerted me to these publications

“We are part of a necklace of incomparable beauty and unmeaning” From Beautiful Losers By Leonard Cohen

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All the disparates of the world, the different wings of the paradox, coin-faces of problem, petal-pulling questions, scissor-shaped conscience, all the polarities, things and their images and things which cast no shadow, and just the everyday explosions on a street, this face and that, a house and a toothache, explosions which merely have different letters in their names, my needle pierces it all and I myself, my greedy fantasies, everything which has existed and does exist, we are part of a necklace of incomparable beauty and unmeaning.quotedown2

From Beautiful Losers
By Leonard Cohen

 

“I always wanted to be loved by the communist party and the mother church. I wanted to live in a folk song like Joe Hill. I wanted to weep for the innocent people my bomb would have to maim…” From Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen

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I always wanted to be loved by the communist party and the mother church. I wanted to live in a folk song like Joe Hill. I wanted to weep for the innocent people my bomb would have to maim. I wanted to thank the peasant father who fed us on the run. I wanted to wear my sleeve pinned in half, people smiling while I salute with the wrong hand. I wanted to be against the rich, even though some of them knew Dante: just before his destruction one of them would learn that I knew Dante, too. I wanted my face carried in Peking, a poem written down my shoulder. I wanted to smile at dogma, yet ruin my ego against it. I wanted to confront the machines of Broadway. I wanted Fifth Avenue to remember it’s Indian trails.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Hear Leonard Cohen Read From Beautiful Losers

 

You plagued me like the moon. I knew you were bound by old laws of suffering and obscurity. I am fearful of the cripple’s wisdom. A pair of crutches, a grotesque limp can ruin a stroll which I begin in a new suit, clean-shaven, whistling. I envied you the certainty that you would amount to nothing. I coveted the magic of torn clothes. I was jealous of the terrors I constructed for you but could not tremble before myself. I was never drunk enough, never poor enough, never rich enough. All this hurts, perhaps it hurts enough. It makes me want to cry out for comfort. It makes me stretch my hands out horizontally. Yes, I long to be President of the new Republic. I love to hear the armed teenagers chant my name outside the hospital gates. Long live the Revolution! Let me be President for my last thirty days.

Originally posted May 16, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“[Lou Reed] was an early reader of Beautiful Losers which he thought was a good book… He wasn’t getting very many compliments of his work and I certainly wasn’t. So we told each other how good we were.” Leonard Cohen

Embed from Getty Images

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He [Lou Reed] was an early reader of Beautiful Losers which he thought was a good book. In those days I guess he wasn’t getting very many compliments of his work and I certainly wasn’t. So we told each other how good we were. I liked him immediately because Nico liked him.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From September 15, 1974 Leonard Cohen Interview by Robin Pike (ZigZag, Oct 1974). Photo shows Lou Reed introducing Leonard Cohen at Cohen’s 2008 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction. Originally posted Apr 28, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric