“To me, the sight of a naked woman in statuary – or not naked at all – or the movement of one’s sister or daughters, well, I’m sorry, but I haven’t been able to extricate myself from this human merry-go-round.” Leonard Cohen

For some years Cohen has been saddled, poor fellow, with a reputation as a compulsive womaniser (putting out an album called ‘Death of a Ladies’ Man’ didn’t really help). Much has been made of his current affair with the Hollywood actress Rebecca de Mornay, who played the billhook-wielding nanny in ‘The Hand that Rocks the Cradle.’ I commented that he never seemed to lose a sense of wonder at the prospect of the undraped female form. Was it because he is an incorrigible old rogue, or something more elevated?

 

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But that’s very elevated. What Yeats said about ‘a foolish passion in an old man,’ that’s not a bad calling. To stay alive in the heart and the spine and the genitals, to be sensitive to these delicious movements, is not a bad way to go. To me, the sight of a naked woman in statuary – or not naked at all – or the movement of one’s sister or daughters, well, I’m sorry, but I haven’t been able to extricate myself from this human merry-go-round.

 

Leonard Cohen

 

From Melancholy Baby by John Walsh. The Independent Magazine: May 8, 1993.

Note: This is an entry in the Leonard Cohen On Nakedness series. The origin of this investigation of Leonard Cohen’s thoughts on nakedness and his employment of “naked” and its equivalents in his songs, poems, art, and novels can be found at “I love to see you naked” Leonard Cohen On Nakedness. All posts in this series can be found at .

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 Jan 9, 2014 at DrHGuy.com.

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