L Cohen: Singer-songwriter, Novelist, Poet, Superhero
At the time I wanted to be a hero-type, Superman, Captain Thunder.
- Leonard Cohen1
While most those who write the articles and biographies about Leonard Cohen seem fascinated with most of his literary influences, such as the scriptures and the poetry of Lorca and Yeats, they give short shrift to one category of reading material – despite Cohen’s obvious fascination with the genre – superhero comic books.
The first poetry that ever affected me was in the synagogue, in the liturgy, and the Bible stories. And that would send shivers down my spine. The stories I was reading, in those days, mostly came from Marvel Comics. Captain Marvel, Superman, Aquaman, Spider Man, the various heroes.2
Having written a diatribe or two on this topic (see Leonard Cohen’s Bunch Of Lonesome Heroes – Blue Beetle, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, … and Leonard Cohen As Captain Thunder Aspirant), I will offer only one excerpt here:
Consider the multitude of articles and book chapters citing the impact of Cohen’s early Talmudic training on his novels, poems, and music and the contrasting dearth of such references to Cohen’s perusal of Superman and the Blue Beetle. Yet, the quotation that began this post comes from Cohen’s answer to the interviewer’s query, “You also wanted to be a priest?”
No, no I have no memory of that. At the time I wanted to be a hero-type, Superman, Captain Thunder. A priest, that is the last thing!3
The man is telling us – albeit to no avail – what was important to him.
The Dark Knight – Leonard Cohen’s Kind Of Superhero
The ads promoting today’s opening of The Dark Knight Rises inevitably brought to mind certain similarities between that superhero and the Canadian singer-songwriter, which led to the composite atop this post (click on image to enlarge) and my humble suggestion to Mr Cohen that he might want to consider replacing Superman and Captain Thunder with Batman as his superhero of choice – unless, of course, that transformation has already taken place. (Has anyone ever seen Leonard Cohen and Batman in the same place at the same time?)_____________________