“You get a fantastic singlemindedness when you are lying in one place hallucinating. For me, it ended a lot of things. I would like to say that it made me saintly.” Leonard Cohen 1966

It seems that because [Leonard Cohen] went on a fast during the late summer of 1965 he developed a theory that almost everybody went through some kind of personal crisis around that time and that the world entered some mad new age. Cohen fasted for 12 days in his little white house on the Greek island of Hydra, where he lived for six years, returning to Canada only, as he put it, to renew his neurotic affiliation. The fast occurred after he had finished his critically acclaimed, bestselling and extremely dirty novel. Beautiful Losers. Cohen wasn’t hungry. so he decided to fast. “Finally I just flipped out,” he says. He hallucinated and got a temperature of 104. They had to give him protein injections intravenously. He stayed in bed for two months. Marianna looked after him. ”I think there are certain times in your life when, if you don’t stop, things just stop for you. You get a fantastic single-mindedness when you are lying in one place hallucinating. For me, it ended a lot of things. I would like to say that it made me saintly.”

From Is the World (or Anybody) Ready for Leonard Cohen? by Jon Ruddy. Maclean’s: October 1, 1966.

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted July 19, 2018.

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