RIP Leonard Cohen

Various news services including the New York Times report that Leonard Cohen passed away last night at his home in Los Angeles. New York Times reports that, “Adam Cohen, his son and producer, said: ‘My father passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles with the knowledge that he had completed what he felt was one of his greatest records. He was writing up until his last moments with his unique brand of humor.'”

Read the entire obituary here:

An acquaintance got Cohen to do an Advice Column for Details Magazine back in the 20th century – it captures both his wisdom and his insanely dry wit very well. Read carefully – none of the answers are flippant. More like the provocation from one’s guru:

What’s the one thing men ought to know about women? 
A.B. (Berkeley, CA)

They are deeply involved in a pattern of thought centered around the notion of commitment.

What’s the one thing women ought to know about men? 
T.M. (Worcester, MA)

A man steadfastly refuses to eavesdrop on his conversation with himself.

Is there a difference between love and obesession? 
F.S. (Phoenix, AZ)

It is the same difference between the Sermon on the Mount and the Crucifixion.

What do men really want? 
B.B. (Houston, TX)

A square deal.

What would be the most appropriate thing for a guy to say to a girl after sex? 
J.H. (New York, NY)

Thank you.

I am twenty-eight; I work and attend college. I have been single for three years and love women but have developed a strong attraction for Italian men only. I have repeated dreams about them. What should I do? 
J.G. (Los Angeles, CA)

This habitual drift toward the trivial will continue to make you suffer.

Is it possible to be madly in love with more than one person at a time? 
M.B. (San Jose, Costa Rica)

It is possible to be in love with more than one person at a time but not “madly in love.” 

Is honesty always the best policy? 
G.W. (Hartford, CT)

In my case, yes. In your case, rarely.

How can you tell if you’re in love? 
C.H. (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

You dissolve your strategy for the other.

Why is having an orgasm so exhilarating? 
N.P. (Portland, OR)
You stop thinking about yourself.

How can I remain friends with my former lover? 
R.A. (Chicago, IL)

Move to another country.

Is it possible to achieve love without desire? 
S.O. (Washington, DC)


Are there any examples of good or healthy sexual relationships in the Bible? 
P.R. (Cleveland, OH)

The patriarchs and their wives stand as shining examples of possible human marriages. The love of Jesus for Mary Magdalene continues to inspire me.

Is loneliness necessarily a sad thing? 
M.C. (Atlanta, GA)

Yes, it is designed to be that way.

How long does it take to recover from a bad relationship? 
S.T. (Baltimore, MD)

You never recover from a bad relationship.

I feel humiliated and exposed by my needs and my desires, even when they’re reciprocated. How can I deal with this? 
T.D. (London, England)

You feel humiliated and confused anyway. Do not confuse the issue with your needs and desires.

Does there have to be democracy in sexual fantasies? I love tying up my lover, but I don’t want him to tie me up. 
C.H. (Middlebury, VT)

You are already tied up.

Why do people marry? 
M.D. (Hudson, OH)

I don’t know. Ask the man who owns one.

And here’s a posting at this blog on Cohen from earlier this week:

Gnostic Gospels, Lurianic Kabbalah, books of Hindu philosophy… and Leonard Cohen

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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