"The Song of Initiation by LC" - paper by Jiří Měsíc

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"The Song of Initiation by LC" - paper by Jiří Měsíc

Post by jarkko » Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:02 pm


I have posted an essay by Jiří Měsíc. He examines the spiritual contexts in the work of Leonard.
It's a pdf file of 11 MB.

The essay is a part of the student grant competition "Song in Cultural Contexts" at the University of Ostrava in the Czech Republic.

Nowadays, Jiří is working on his doctoral dissertation called "The Exploration of the Feminine in the Work of Leonard Cohen".
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Re: "The Song of Initiation by LC" - paper by Jiří Měsíc

Post by holydove » Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:59 pm

Thanks for posting the link, Jarkko. I've begun to read it & it is wonderful. I just want to mention a couple of things:

It's not actually 93 pages. It starts on P. 69 & the last 2 pages are just bibliography, so it's actually 22 pages. I mention this in case the idea of 93 pages might deter some people from reading it.

Also, since he has submitted it, or is going to submit it, for a competition - I wanted to mention that on P. 77, Jiri misquoted a lyric from Going Home; he wrote ". . .brief elaboration of a tune", instead of ". . .tube". Personally, I can forgive this error, because everything else he has written is really great. But I don't know if this misquote could effect his chances in the competition, so if it's not too late, maybe someone should tell him about this.

Anyway, I'm finding it to be a fascinating, beautiful essay, & I look forward to reading the rest of it. Thanks again!!

Editing: the essay actually ends on P. 89, & the rest is notes & bibliography; so the length of the essay is really 20 pages.

***thanks! number of pages now correct at The Files! / Jarkko***
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Re: "The Song of Initiation by LC" - paper by Jiří Měsíc

Post by Jirka » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:04 am

Dear Holy Dove,

Thank you very much for your comments on the essay. I appreciate them. The word tune / tube is commented upon in the notes section on page 90. I'm not sure whether this is misquoted or not but I'm preferring "tune".

The essay is an outcome of the already finished grant competition and serves as a predecessor to my longer work which I finished early this April.

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Re: "The Song of Initiation by LC" - paper by Jiří Měsíc

Post by holydove » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:41 pm

Hi Jiri,

Thank you for posting here & thank you very much for writing such a great essay & for making it available to us.

I didn't have a chance to read all the footnotes, so thank you also for pointing out your explanation (which you stated in the notes) of your preference for "tune" in Going Home. While I believe the actual word is "tube", I certainly agree with your inference (based on "tune") that Leonard Cohen's work is a manifestation of love, in the highest sense of the word, & that he draws power from contact, or union, with the "centre" or "logos"; I love this statement which you made: ". . .he merges with the Song of the Creator through words, music & breath. . .After establishing contact, the resulting power is channelled through words".

I also love these statements: ". . .The final song which springs up out of this union with logos might be understood as the emanation of God's light. In Cohen's case, I must repeat, this happens every time the intersection of the secular and the sacred occurs.

This theia dynamis bestows sparks of grace which may lead to a state of trance, or deep contemplation, to which Cohen's attentive listeners are prone. Both the singer himself and the listeners thus reach a condition to which Sufis are subjected when performing their ecstatic dance. When they enter such a frame of mind, they are literally possessed by the power which has complete control over them."

I hope you don't mind that I quoted you here, but you describe & confirm, with great eloquence, the kinds of ecstatic experiences which, for me (& I'm sure for many), are endlessly induced by Leonard Cohen's music & poetry. Even the mere sound of his Voice can often induce these states. It does seem to be what I can only call a kind of mystical union, that he draws us into through his music, his poetry, his voice. . . & I cannot explain why it feels so good, or why I continuously long for it - I just know that it does feel so good & I am eternally grateful to Leonard Cohen for being who he is & for being in my life, & for doing what he does.

And I am grateful to you, Jiri, for understanding & expressing so well, these aspects of Leonard Cohen & his work, which you addressed in your essay. It was a joy & a comfort to read your words - in fact, I read it again today!

I hope you will make your other writings on Cohen available to us.

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