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).

Q: Has your [literary] work attained the…recognition you would hope? Leonard Cohen: “Yes, and beyond. And beyond.” (2008)

From Encountering Cohen: A Reminiscence on the Eve of a New World Tour by Steve Venright, Mondo: August 15, 2008. Photo by Lorca Cohen. Used by permission of Leonard Cohen. Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“The place where the evaluation happens is where I write the songs, when I get to that place where I can’t be dishonest about what I’ve been doing.” Leonard Cohen

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I always experience myself as falling apart, and I’m taking emergency measures.It’s coming apart at every moment. I try Prozac. I try love. I try drugs. I try Zen meditation. I try the monastery. I try forgetting about all those strategies and going straight. And the place where the evaluation happens is where I write the songs, when I get to that place where I can’t be dishonest about what I’ve been doing.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From No Mercy – Leonard Cohen’s Tales from the Dark Side by Anthony DeCurtis. Rolling Stone: January 21, 1993. Photo by SolMur. Originally posted June 15, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Attaining Cheerfulness At 71 Through “A Kind Of Divine Amnesia”

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They say that as you get older, the brain cells associated with anxiety begin to die and you start feeling better … The longer it goes, you get a kind of divine amnesia. The memories remain, but the charge that disturbed you dissolves. Often when you review your past, you think of these experiences — ‘That mother­fucker,’ y’know. Now I don’t remember the emotional charge… Yeah, 55 I found difficult. I found I was losing my powers in some way. I had no currency in the sexual marketplace, but there didn’t seem to be anything to take its place. I remember at that time I had trouble with people and relationships and myself, and I was on every antidepressant you can think of. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Exquisite, Unembarrassed and Undestroyed, Leonard Cohen at 71 by Greg Burk (LA Weekly, June 28, 2006). Originally posted December 18, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“They are kind of hospitals for the brokenhearted and for people who have forgotten how to walk and talk.” Leonard Cohen On Zen Monasteries

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I always consider myself an extremely bad monk – a sloppy monk, compared to some of the very admirable people up there. Real monks. I have been associated with that community for more than 30 years. It’s an existence where the emphasis is on the ordinary. But it’s the least-easy place to lose track of time in. During the day, you hear bells and they tell you to go somewhere – that’s the nature of those places. They are kind of hospitals for the broken-hearted and for people who have forgotten how to walk and talk. It wasn’t just touring that left me feeling this way. I often do.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From I Never Discuss My Mistresses Or My Tailors by Nick Paton Walsh. The Observer, October 14, 2001