“I was blown away” Kazuo Ishiguro, Winner of Nobel Prize for Literature and Author of “The Remains of the Day,” on Leonard Cohen’s “I Can’t Forget”

Kazuo Ishiguro, the 60 year old author of eight novels, talks about his fascination with and the personal impact he experienced from Leonard Cohen’s I Can’t Forget. An excerpt follows:

In the song, Cohen’s obviously haunted by some significant memory or personal loss and struggling to recall it. The concept was beautiful, but I didn’t quite understand the meaning at first. The song began to make sense after I listened to it a few times. Cohen wasn’t that old then—he was in his mid-50s—so the song wasn’t about frustration over senility. Instead, he seemed to have something important buried deep in his memory, but looking back made the recollection fleeting…

This sense, that there’s something critical I must not forget, resonates with me. My early childhood is part of my history and who I am, but I’m not sure what exactly I must remember. I often fear that this part of my past is slipping away.

The entire piece (six paragraphs) is thoughtful, touching, and well worth reading. It can be found in its entirety at Kazuo Ishiguro on Leonard Cohen’s ‘I Can’t Forget’ by Marc Myers (Wall Street Journal: April 14, 2015)

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 Apr 14, 2015.

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