The Undisappearing Of Jarkko Arjatsalo

Correction Of Jarkko Omission

A Leonard Cohen Primer1
The Not Too Big, Not Too Little Pyritic Book Of Leonard Cohen

Editor’s Note: I just noticed that a section introducing Jarkko Arjatsalo somehow dissipated between the final draft of 2008 Leonard Cohen Field Guide and the posting of that first installment of A Leonard Cohen Primer. My apologies to both readers and Jarkko himself for the error. The following content will be added to the original post.

Jarkko Arjatsalo, Webmaster – and De Facto Chief Curator, Head Archivist, Documentary Photographer, Fan Club President, Social Chairman, High Priest, Ringmaster, and Prime Minister Of Cohenatia

Leonard Cohen with webmaster Jarkko Arjatsalo
(Los Angeles, June 1999)2

In 1995, Jarkko Arjatsalo, an accountant from Finland, began, a web site devoted to (duh) Leonard Cohen.3 In 1997, Leonard Cohen, then residing at a Zen monastery (more about that in a later chapter), contacted Jarkko about his unauthorized site – to offer to contribute unpublished poems, notebooks used to compose his songs, a passport from his student days, personal anecdotes, that kind of stuff. That affiliation has persisted and appears stronger than ever. Leonard Cohen, for example, chose to officially announce his 2008 tour first at leonardcohenfiles.

While leonardcohenfiles is most often described as an “encyclopedia” of Cohen information, a more apt analogy would be to the Smithsonian Institute with a plethora of displays of widely varying but consistently fascinating content. Leonardcohenfiles now offers more than 800 indexed pages of material about Cohen and its 2.000.000th visitor landed on the site over a year ago.


Less heralded but of growing importance are Jarkko’s additional roles, such as propagating other Cohen-dedicated web sites, whether as primary originator (e.g., or as a facilitator for other members of the Leonard Cohen Web Ring. He has also been a prime mover in organizing meetings, conferences, and events celebrating Cohen’s work and serves as a communications network for Cohen fans.


For an introduction to the Leonard Cohen Primer, see Leonard Cohen For Beginners.

The most recent post from the Leonard Cohen Primer,see Leonard Cohen – Boy Wonder.

The  material in this post will be added to The 2008 Leonard Cohen Field Guide.

  1. A Leonard Cohen Primer is a simple, easy to understand introduction to Leonard Cohen for anyone who has recently tuned in to his music and for fans who may have listened to the songs for some time and now  want to learn something about the singer-songwriter who produced them. The goal of this series of posts is to avoid both (1) overwhelming readers with details and tangents, however interesting those channels might be, and (2) omitting fundamental elements of Cohen’s life. []
  2. Photo and caption from – of course – []
  3. OK, I suppose one could make the case that leonardcohenfiles could have been a site about a guy named “Leonard Cohenfiles,” but that would be wrong. []

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