For Cohen, Grief Is Joy by Lynn Van Matre (Chicago Tribune: Nov 23, 1975). Photo by Pete Purnell. Thanks to Rike, who discovered and contributed the article
The big change is the proximity to death. I am a tidy kind of guy. I like to tie up the strings if I can. If I can’t, also, that’s O.K. But my natural thrust is to finish things that I’ve begun.
Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker by David Remnick (New Yorker: October 17, 2016)
It’s the song that allows the light to come in. It’s the position of the man standing up in the face of something that is irrevocable and unyielding… and singing about it. It’s the position that the Greek Zorba had. When things get really bad, just raise your glass and stamp your feet and do a little jig. That’s about all you can do.
This quotation is from the Jan 18, 2012 Old Ideas listening event in London moderated by Jarvis Cocker. An account of the event is found at Leonard Cohen shows there’s life in the old dog yet with launch of new album by Alex Needham (The Guardian: Jan 18, 2012):
When asked how a new song, Darkness, tallied with his famous line in the 1992 song Anthem that “there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in ,” Cohen replied: “You’ve got me stumped there.”
After some prompting from Cocker, he finally divulged: “It’s the song that allows the light to come in. It’s the position of the man standing up in the face of something that is irrevocable and unyielding and singing about it. It’s the position that the Greek Zorba had – that when things get really bad, you just raise your glass and stamp your feet and do a little jig and that’s about all you can do.”
Originally posted Aug 1, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
Are you a teacher?
If I am a teacher I don’t think that my teachings should go into effect until I myself have reached a kind of plane where my experience would be nourishing. If people follow, if people somehow turn on to my work, and turn on to it in the way of education and think that that’s the end, then they’re wrong. I think perhaps you learn with age, the aging process is very important, I think sometimes I might be a teacher.
An Interview with Leonard Cohen by Michael Harris. Duel: Winter 1969.
Leonard Cohen quoted in Leonard Cohen: Several Lifetimes Already by Pico Iyer (Shambhala Sun, September, 1998). Originally posted Nov 26, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
Attributed to Leonard Cohen by singer-songwriter, Adam Green. Green tells the interviewer that Cohen made the comment to him while at a Bar-B-Que at Lou Reed’s house. From Adam Green – What Makes Him Act So Bad by Landry (Luxury Wafers: January 5, 2010). Photo by Rama. Originally posted February 22, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric