Q: Are you still so eager to write if… your appetite for love is satiated? Leonard Cohen: “Marianne and I didn’t think of it as a love story. We just thought we were living together.” Leonard Cohen On Love And Creativity

Are you still so eager to write if some of your desire, your appetite for love is satiated?

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Marianne and I didn’t think of it as a love story. We just thought we were living together. I understand the belief that if your desire for love is satisfied, you no longer have the motivation to write, but I’ve never felt that way, it’s not a mechanism that applies to me. If anything, it was the opposite: there was a woman, she had a child, meals on the table, order in the house and harmony. It was precisely the moment to start one’s own work. I could work a lot because of Marianne, I wrote Beautiful Losers and more. She brought tremendous order to my life. [Interviewer: A material order, in the way of everyday life?] If you want to call that material, okay. But the material is the spiritual, that’s the real order, there is no other. When there is food on the table, when the candles are lit, when you wash the dishes together and when you put the child in bed together – that’s the order, that’s the spiritual order, there is no other.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Comme Un Guerrier by Christian Fevret (Les Inrocks: Aug 21, 1991). Via online translation. Originally posted Feb 22, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Professionalism is the enemy of creativity and invention.” Leonard Cohen

From “After the Wipe-Out, A Renewal” by Sandra Diwa. The Ubyssey (the student newspaper of the University of British Columbia): February 3, 1967. Photo credt: York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, F0433, Photographer: John Sharp, ASC01707. Originally posted Jun 18, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“What I have to say is not based on any particular idea, but just on an urgency.” Leonard Cohen


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I never thought of myself as a musician or a writer. I just happened upon these instruments, and I’ve used them in the most direct and immediate way just to produce a setting for something I have to say. What I have to say is not based on any particular idea, but just on an urgency.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen: Pondering His Past and ‘The Future’ by Scott Crawford (Intermission, Stanford Daily: April 8, 1993). Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On The Effect Of Depression On His Creative Work “It’s anguish. It’s a pain in the ass…”

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I don’t feel it [the depression] was necessarily the engine of the activity. It’s anguish. It’s a pain in the ass. On the contrary, I find my capacity to concentrate enhanced without that background of horror.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

The Prince of Prurience and Loss by John Leland, GQ: Nov 2001.

A summary of information about Leonard Cohen’s depression can be found at Leonard Cohen’s Depression, Its (Failed) Medical Treatment, & Its Resolution. All posts about Leonard’s depression are collected at ,

“These times are very difficult to write in because the slogans are jamming the airwaves…It’s a kind of tyranny of posture.” Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen: Geneva - Oct 27, 2008

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These times are very difficult to write in because the slogans are really jamming the airwaves – it’s something that goes beyond what has been called political correctness. It’s a kind of tyranny of posture. Those ideas are swarming through the air like locusts. And it’s difficult for the writer to determine what he really thinks about thingsquotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From ‘I’m blessed with a certain amnesia’ by Jian Ghomeshi (The Guardian: 9 July 2009). Photo by Rama (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.0 fr (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons. Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On His Songwriting Process: “I have to discard versions of myself, and versions of the songs, until I can get to a situation where I can defend every word, every line…”


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I tend to get shattered as I bring a project to completion. I have to discard versions of myself, and version of the songs, until I can get to a situation where I can defend every word, every line. But that place often involves a real shattering of equanimity, or of balance…I have to go to this naked and raw place. And it usually involves the breakdown of my personality, and I flip out … I can’t go into crowds, I don’t want to leave my house, I don’t want to leave my room, I don’t want to answer the phone, all my relationships collapse.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen, speaking about his efforts on The Future album, quoted in The Loneliness of The Long-Suffering Folkie By Wayne Robins (Newsday: November 22, 1992.). Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I feel most comfortable when I think of myself as the leader of a government-in-exile…It gives me a position that I can work from.” Leonard Cohen

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I feel most comfortable when I think of myself as the leader of a government-in-exile. Sometimes I like to think of myself that way. It gives me a position that I can work from. It is not whether I take it seriously or not seriously, we are not speaking about a rational operation. It is just that one feels that one can embody the unspoken aspirations of both oneself and the people you know as somebody who takes responsibility for the predicament, and presents not a solution but an approach. That leads you to some interesting kinds of positions.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen, Personal Interview with Winfried Siemerling. 2 November 1990, North York. Unpublished. Quoted in Interior Landscapes and the Public Realm: Contingent Mediations in a Speech and a Song by Leonard Cohen by Winfried Siemerling. Canadian Poetry: No. 33, Fall/Winter, 1993. Originally posted May 22, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric