Leonard Cohen, theologian of the cross

Interesting interview with Leonard Cohen on the BBC earlier this week (direct Real Audio stream here), in which Cohen provides gracious and fascinating responses to one of the most inane interviewers I’ve heard in a while.

Here’s Cohen (about 6 minutes into the interview) on the question of why people enjoy listening to melancholy songs:

Everybody has experienced the defeat of their lives. Nobody has a life that worked out the way they wanted it to work out. We all begin as the hero of our own dramas, in centre stage, and inevitably life moves us out of centre stage, defeats the hero, overturns the plot and the strategy and we’re left on the sidelines, wondering why we no longer have a part, or want a part, in the whole damn thing.

So everybody’s experienced this. When it’s presented to us sweetly, the feeling goes from heart to heart and we feel less isolated and we feel part of the great human chain, which is really involved with the recognition of defeat.

Or, as we might decide to put it:

He deserves to be called a theologian … who comprehends the visible and manifest things of God seen through suffering and the cross.

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One Response to Leonard Cohen, theologian of the cross

  1. Tom R says:

    Cohen had a song on the soundtrack of (surprisingly enough) Natural Born Killers, “The Future” which included this (even more surprisingly) anti-abortion line:

    “… Let’s kill another f[o]etus now
    We don’t like children anyhow
    I’ve seen the future, baby,
    And it’s murder…”

    Ouch!

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