“I went through an anti-intellectual stage… it purifies the language. But I also lost my discipline, and my literary antecedents.” Leonard Cohen 1973

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I went through an anti-intellectual stage. It was an interesting experience — it purifies the language. But I also lost my discipline, and my literary antecedents.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From The Trials Of Leonard Cohen By Jack Kapica. Montreal Gazette: Aug 25, 1973. Photo by Sam Tata from the Library and Archives Canada. Originally posted July 3, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I would never assume that title [poet] until it’s been awarded me by a very good and long performance.” Leonard Cohen 1961

spicebox-bk

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I think the term ‘poet’ is a very exalted term and should be applied to a man at the end of his work. When he looks back over the body of his work and he’s written poetry then let the verdict be that he’s a poet. But I would never assume that title until it’s been awarded me by a very good and long performance.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From June 16, 1961 CBC interview with Leonard Cohen. Image atop post is the back cover of The Spice Box Of Earth (1973). Photo by Sophie Baker. Originally posted May 21, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“This is my adventure. My greatest need is to be interesting to myself.” Leonard Cohen

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Sometimes I feel that my life is a sell-out and that I’m the greatest comedian of my generation. But I have to keep going. I can’t remain fifteen and a virgin. So now I’m thirty-six and greedy. I’m willing to be this. I was once never able to stay in the same room with four people. Only a girl who adored me. I feel better now. The more vulgar I get, the more concerned with others I get. I’m trying to cure myself and the only way to cure myself is to take over the world. This is my adventure. My greatest need is to be interesting to myself. Suffering has led me to wherever I am. Suffering has made me rebel against my own weakness.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen Wants the Unconditional Leadership of the World by Susan Lumsden (Weekend Magazine: Sept 12, 1970). Photo Credit: Peter Brosseau/Library and Archives Canada/PA-170174

 

“Why have I become Scott Fitzgerald but without any loot or social connections?” Leonard Cohen (1962)

Leonard Cohen writing from Hydra in 1962 to his friend Daniel Kraslavsky in Montreal. From Various Positions: A Life of Leonard Cohen By Ira B. Nadel (Random House of Canada: 1996). Originally posted July 24, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“[Mine was] the most uneventful kind of Norman Rockwell childhood. The absence of events is what distinguishes it.” Leonard Cohen

l-m-eFrom left: Esther (Leonard Cohen’s sister), Masha
(Leonard Cohen’s mother), Leonard Cohen

From Melancholy Baby by John Walsh. The Independent Magazine: May 8, 1993. Originally posted February 7, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On His Motivation For Recording Songs of Leonard Cohen “I was trying to come up with a solution to being a writer and not having to go to a university to teach.”

From 7 Reasons Leonard Cohen Is the Next-Best Thing to God by David Browne. Entertainment Weekly, Jan 8, 1993.

Leonard Cohen Vows Retaliation Against Those Who Described Him As Gloomy


Laughing Len, the merchant of gloom, and all of those pithy (and sometimes ill-meant) descriptions of you (as if those using them could know you) or your work: I can’t imagine they bother you at all. But was there a time when they did? (Apart from anything else, they missed the humour in your work and, in a broader sense, trivialised what you were doing.)

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All those bastards are going to pay for itquotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From the Dan Cairns – Sunday Times Culture questionnaire Leonard Cohen sent me Oct 17, 2016. This quote, without the lead-in, was incorporated into Leonard Cohen: Hey, that’s some way to say goodbye by Dan Cairns (The Sunday Times: October 23 2016).