Friday, December 16, 2016

Leon Wieseltier Remembers His "Brother" Leonard Cohen

Also via scaramouche, what a gorgeous, and glorious summary of friendship. 

Read the whole thing.

"In the weeks since Leonard’s death, he has been portrayed as a sage, a rebbe, a kabbalist, an exegete, a kind of troubadour theologian. There is some truth to these descriptions: he was devoted to the cosmological speculations of his own tradition and others, he had an erotic relationship with big ideas, and in his way he never quit the theistic universe. But as I mourn him I want to remember him accurately, and so I want to insist that Leonard was not so much a wise man as a man in search of wisdom. He found it, he lost it, he found it again, he tested it, he lost it, he found it again. The seeking was his calling. He was never certain, never done, never daunted, never saved."

"And so, against those other descriptions of him, I wish to recall that my brother was also, and more primarily, a poet, a lover, a voluptuary, a worshipper of beauty, a man who lived as much for women as for God, a man who lived for women because he lived for God, a man who lived for God because he lived for women, a servant of the senses, a student of pleasure and pain, an explorer whose only avenue of access to the invisible was the visible, a sinner and a singer about sin, a body and a soul preternaturally aware of the explosive implications of the duality."