Leonard Cohen’s tentative definition of Black Romantic: “A romantic who can tell a joke about it”


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I’ve never known precisely what a Romantic was…I’ve been described as a Black Romantic – I don’t really know what that is either. That’s what – a romantic who can tell a joke about it.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From an August 1988 interview with Mitch Corber. Originally posted April 2, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“That’s one of the reasons I don’t like speaking about myself, because you forget what you really think.” Leonard Cohen On Being Interviewed


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That’s one of the reasons I don’t like speaking about myself, because you forget what you really think. You begin to mistake the description for the feelings. But though I dislike talking, I’m still talking. It takes a tremendous effort of will not to. Information is one thing and the application is another. Also it’s a matter of putting yourself into an environment where you are aided in doing the things you want to do and not tempted by the things you do not want to do. That’s why cloistered societies are established, not because the cloister is in itself an end. But just because in a period of training you want to give yourself a chance. If I want to give myself a chance to develop certain strengths I don’t put myself on a tour, or maybe I do to get the full negative imprint so that I don’t have to do it again. Like this tour is the last time I will do this sort of thing. And this is the last time I’d do this sort of an interview. I mean this doesn’t work for me as a viable way of self-improvement. It is forbidden … it is forbidden to talk about ways of getting high because we know that it is contrary to the goal. There is a Sufi story about a young man going on a journey to see a famous wise man and on his return his fellow student asked him: ‘And what did he say about transmigration of the soul?’ and his friend answered: ‘I don’t know. I didn’t hear what he said.’ ‘And what did he say about transubstantiation of matter?’ ‘I don’t know,’ his friend answered. And his fellow student asked slightly annoyed, ‘Well then why did you go?’ and his friend answered: ‘To see how he ties his shoelace.’ Now that is like a real guide to good journalism. The essence of the man never comes out of this kind of conversation. Just because the density of the printed page does not transmit these essences.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Famous last words from Leonard Cohen by Paul Saltzman (Macleans: June 10, 1972)

“My life is very dull, and I like it that way” Leonard Cohen (2006)


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My life is very dull, and I like it that way. I have a little duplex in Los Angeles. My son [Adam] lives fifteen minutes away. My daughter [Lorca] lives downstairs. I’m happy if my kids come over for Sabbath dinner, and Anjani lives around the corner. Every once in a while, the sense of being a vehicle arises and one or two ideas actually seize me and I find myself writing or tinkering around with a chord change. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Zen, Lawsuits, and Poetry by Phoebe Hoban. New York Magazine: May 22, 2006. Originally posted Oct 14, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Clarifies His Goal As A Poet

Marco: Once you said that you wished you could have been like a poet whose songs are sung by Chinese women washing clothes on a river. Is it still this your goal?

Leonard Cohen: Dear Marco, They don’t have to be Chinese

From Oct 16, 2001 Online Chat. Originally posted Jun 9, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Reports On His Efforts To Reform Himself “I’m a dismal failure at that” (1972)

I asked [Leonard Cohen] if he had been doing anything to reform himself …

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Yes, but not in very many ways — in fact I’m a dismal failure at that.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From The Strange, Sad and Beautiful World of Leonard Cohen by Andrew Furnival. Petticoat: December 30, 1972.

“If you can do anything, it’s kind of satisfying. It’s [performing] and washing dishes that are the only things I know.” Leonard Cohen


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If you can do anything, it’s kind of satisfying. It’s [performing] and washing dishes that are the only things I know.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From “I’m a closet optimist”: An audience with Leonard Cohen, September 16, 2014, London by Michael Bonner (Uncut: Sept 16, 2014) Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I’ve stopped hoping that people will praise my voice, though, obviously, I’ve a couple of friends out there who like the way I sing.” Leonard Cohen

From Songs Of Longing – The Joe Jackson Interview. The Irish Times: November 3, 1995. Accessed 05 April 2014 from LeonardCohenFiles. Note: Originally posted April 11, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric