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The New Yorker Radio Hour

A Final Interview

Leonard Cohen was one of the world’s greatest songwriters, and a figure of almost cult-like devotion for generations of fans, including Bob Dylan. David Remnick sat down with Cohen in the summer of 2016, at the musician’s home in Los Angeles to discuss Cohen’s career, his spiritual influences, his triumphant final tours, and what he was doing to prepare for his end. “I am ready to die,” Cohen said. He was already suffering from a number of health problems at the time and died in November 2016. “At a certain point, if you still have your marbles and are not faced with serious financial challenges, you have a chance to put your house in order. It’s a cliché, but it’s underestimated as an analgesic on all levels. Putting your house in order, if you can do it, is one of the most comforting activities, and the benefits of it are incalculable.” Plus, a 1952 poem by E.B. White brings Christmas greetings to misfits and oddballs the world over.

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