A Discerning Perspective On Leonard Cohen
Writing in Mummy Dearest, a review of Jeanette Winterson’s “Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?” (New York Times Sunday Book Review: March 22, 2012), Kathryn Harrison quotes a line found near the end of Winterson’s memoir:
What we notice in stories is the nearness of the wound to the gift.
That this elegantly articulated and profoundly poignant insight1 is specifically relevant to Leonard Cohen’s music and poetry seems to me so inescapably self-evident, no less axiomatic in Cohen’s case than it would be for Oedipus, that I will limit today’s post to simply offering the concept to readers, my usual prolix explication having been obviated.
- It would be easy to believe, in fact, that “the nearness of the wound to the gift” is a phrase Cohen himself might have written in a song or a poem. [↩]