From Leonard Cohen by Ray Connolly. Evening Standard, July 1968. Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
From the Dan Cairns – Sunday Times Culture questionnaire Leonard Cohen sent me Oct 17, 2016. Some of that questionnaire was incorporated into Leonard Cohen: Hey, that’s some way to say goodbye by Dan Cairns (The Sunday Times: October 23 2016); this specific question and answer was not used.
So, speaking of romantic love, now that he’s 67 years old, is Cohen still in the line of fire of Cupid’s arrow?
It seems to be somewhat abated at the moment, but I don’t think one ever gets a handle on this matter; I think one is vulnerable at any moment to those emotions. One becomes more circumspect as one gets older about everything—I mean, you become more foolish and more wise at the same time as you get older, more careful and more careless. It all just deepens—but I don’t think anyone masters the heart. It continues to cook like a shish kebab in everyone’s breast, bubbling and cooking and sizzling.
“Thank god for hashish, cognac, and neurotic women who pay their debts with flesh,” he [Leonard Cohen] wrote McClelland, adding that the products of the island [Hydra] are “sponges, movies, nervous breakdowns, and divorces.” He wrote Layton that he had seen corpses in the sea and witnessed “assassins’ drugs.” Layton was uncharacteristically indifferent: “I gather the Greek wines are too strong for him,” he commented to a friend. Meanwhile, Cohen was still seeking extra funds, this time from an advance on royalties of The Spice-Box of Earth, encouraging McClelland to “dig deep to keep Cohen out of the Clothing Business.”
From Various Positions: A Life of Leonard Cohen by Ira Nadel
I’m reluctant to talk about women in a wide sense, but I think I that in my life I quickly recognised the power of women. They are powerful creatures and when one enters into intimate relations with a powerful creature you have to take it gently, you learn what prudence is.
Interview With Leonard Cohen. France-Inter: October 6, 1997.Transcription of the radio program Synergie With Jean-Luc Esse And Leonard Cohen. Translated from French by Nick Halliwell, UK. Accessed at LeonardCohenFiles.
Originally posted November 14, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
Would you agree that one of the great catch-22s of love is that you must lose it in order to know its value?
That certainly seems to be one of the scenarios. We continually wrestle with these items. You lose your love, then find that thing you discarded is the thing you want, so you attach yourself to it in an addictive way, which pretty well precludes your ever getting it back. But we have to live with these defeated scenarios in order to repair ourselves. I think you do learn by experience, and that if the pain is sufficiently acute, you will avoid returning there.
From Eight Hours To Harry, Kristine McKenna (KCRW: Oct 1988).
It [casual sex in the sixties] was terrific. The best kind. We had these appetites that we understood, and it was wonderful that they were taken care of. It was a moment where everybody was giving to the other person what they wanted. The women knew that’s what the men wanted … But it lasted just a few moments. And then it was back to the old horror story, whatever it is that still exists. You know, I’ll give you this if you give me that. You know, sealing the deal: What do I get, what do you get. It’s a contract.
Life Of A Ladies’ Man by Sarah Hampson. Globe and Mail: May. 25 2007