After you’re gone, what would you want people to remember about you?
I never give that much thought. Some people care about their work lasting forever – I have little interest in it. You probably know that great story about Bob Hope. His wife came to him and said, ‘There’s two plots available at Forest Lawn. One looks at some beautiful cypress trees, one looks over the valley. Which do you think you’d prefer?’ He said, ‘Surprise me.’ That’s the way I feel about posterity and how I’m remembered. Surprise me.
From Leonard Cohen on Longevity, Money, Poetry and Sandwiches by Gavin Edwards (Rolling Stone: Sept 19, 2014).
Leonard also shared the Bob Hope Story with Anjani:
I always think of Bob Hope standing at a mic during his routine, lazily puffing on a cigar. It’s amazing to see these moves. Leonard told me a story about Hope being asked by his wife what his burial requests were, and he answered, “Surprise me.”
Posted by Anjani on her Facebook Page Jan 27, 2013
- “I’m not interested in posterity, which is a paltry form of eternity. I want to see the headlines… I’m not interested in an insurance plan for my work.” Leonard Cohen
- Q: After you’re gone, what would you want people to remember about you? Leonard Cohen Answers By Invoking Bob Hope Story
- Q: Will Leonard Cohen find any consolation in knowing that, long after he is gone, we will still hear him speaking to us “sweetly / from a window / in the Tower of Song?” Leonard Cohen: “None whatsoever.”
- “I could never locate that appetite for posterity within myself” Leonard Cohen