“I’ve done 12 albums of which few were a commercial success. I’ve written books which hardly anyone bought. I’ve been forced to create by economic demands again and again. After all, I had to feed myself, women, & children.” Leonard Cohen 2001

From Man Bleibt Ein Absoluter Anfaenger by Christoph Dallach and Marianne Wellershof. Der Spiegel: 10/1/2001 (40, 2001). Found & translated into English by Rike. Originally posted June 8, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen, On Being Asked If His Songs Reflect World Conflicts: “I’ve tried over the years to find a political position that no one can actually decipher.”

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There seems to be within [Popular Problems] recurrent mentions of the military and war and battles. I was wondering if that reflected a current preoccupation with conflicts that are taking place at the moment?

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Of course it reflects the world that we live in. It was not deliberate but one picks up these things from the atmosphere… I’ve tried over the years to find a political position that no one can actually decipher.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen: ‘I’m a closet optimist’ [a report on the Sept 16, 2014 London Press Preview Of Leonard Cohen’s Popular Problems] by Andy Morris. Gigwise, Sept 16, 2014. Photo atop this post shared by High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom Facebook page

Q (At 2014 Popular Problems Press Preview): Do you feel like an institution? Leonard Cohen: “Sometimes I feel like an institution. Kinda like a mental hospital”

From Leonard Cohen: ‘I’m a closet optimist’ [a report on the Sept 16, 2014 London Press Preview Of Leonard Cohen’s Popular Problems] by Andy Morris. Gigwise, Sept 16, 2014. Photo by Bill Birtch,

“I’m getting old. My nails are crumbling under the assault of the guitar strings. My throat is going. How many years more do I have of this?” Leonard Cohen at age 40

From Rolling Stone: Leonard Cohen by Larry Sloman, The Sunday Citizen: May 25, 1975. Photo taken and copyrighted by Sam Gray with all rights reserved.

“I have no aspirations. My mind doesn’t work that way. I think more like—a dog, a TV set, and a woman by my side when I think of the really wonderful things.” Leonard Cohen

 

Do you aspire to dance naked, like David, in the streets?

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I have no aspirations. My mind doesn’t work that way. I think more like—a dog, a TV set, and a woman by my side when I think of the really wonderful things… in those moments when those things can be appreciated, they all have the same value, the same weight. That’s what brings the peace… all things have the same weight in what we call peace. Those are the really lovely moments.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From My Long-Overdue Love Letter to Leonard Cohen by Elizabeth Boleman-Herring (Huffington Post: July 2, 2012). The quotation is from a June 18, 1988 interview. The photo of Leonard Cohen with Gershwin, Sharon Robinson’s black lab ©Herman Leonard Photography. The photo of Leonard Cohen and Rebecca De Mornay was taken by Gerrit Terstiege (1993). The image of Leonard Cohen getting lost in that hopeless little screen is a screenshot from Adrienne Clarkson’s 1989 documentary.

Just Like A Virgin Q: Do you ever wish you could be a virgin again? Leonard Cohen: “I’m completely innocent. Absolutely. I am an innocent man.”

From Having Lunch With Leonard Cohen by Jon Wilde, Sabotage Times. Dec 3, 2015 (the quote itself is taken from a 1988 interview). Photo by Ratnesh Mathur. Originally posted Feb 13, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen, On Being Asked Weeks Before His Death If He Was Still A “Closet Optimist”

Another theme that is very present in your lyrics on this album [You Want It Darker] is doubt and finding out that the truth you one believed in turns out not to be the truth today (It Seemed the Better Way)”…such as Fundamental Goodness and the Wisdom of the Way” (Steer Your Way).” You once told me you were a “closet optimist.” Is that still the case?

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Fortunately or not, I’ve lost the gift of self-descriptionquotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Adam Cohen à la rescousse by Alain de Repentigny [From original English questionnaire forwarded to me by Leonard Cohen] (La Presse: Oct 19, 2016).