I was attracted to that idea [courtly love] and it’s probably responsible for some atrocious work that I committed. We get hung up and fixated on ideas and sometimes they serve as coat hangers but you don’t really want to wear it with the hanger in it. So much of one’s work, I think, has got the hanger in it. In other words, you get hooked on an ideology or mythology, or a slogan or a position. And you kind of stiffen your work with it. That notion that there was a ritualized possibility between men and women that would get you over the obvious menacing and threatening and bewildering aspects of men and women together that a ritual, a courtly ritual could be invented or discerned or uncovered that would enable men and women to approach one another without the static that has reached deafening proportions today.
Leonard Cohen, interviewed by Cindy Buissaillon for CBC Radio on August 26, 1995. Originally posted April 12, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric