Leonard Cohen On Writers Who Influenced Him

Who are the poets and artists that you respect or who influenced you, or both?


I think that is also very difficult to untangle influences because you represent the sum of everything you have seen or heard or experienced. The kind of language that I have liked, I have been influenced by the Bible and by Cervantes and by the Old Masters. The kind of sensibility I have been influenced of course a great deal by the French writers Sartre and Camus, the Irish poets, Yeats, the English poets and of course we had our own little group of poets in Montreal years back all very fine. One man especially standing out I think one of the finest writers in language Irving Layton. I don’t think he is known down here at all.


Leonard Cohen


Transcript of Pacifica Interview with Kathleen Kendall. WBAI Radio, New York City: December 4, 1974. Photo from back cover of The Energy Of Slaves 1974.

The Leonard Cohen Reading List

Cervantes & Camus are the latest entries to the Authors Leonard Cohen Read Without Denoting A Specific Work section of The Original Leonard Cohen Reading List, a compilation of the Canadian singer-songwriter’s readings.

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 20, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.

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