From a wonderful interview with Leonard Cohen in the new Brick:
SR: Do you think opinion is second-rate in general?
LC: Well, for the purpose of conversation, opinion is valuable.
SR: It gets you through.
LC: It just gets you through the dinner. You know, I could dredge up an opinion and even defend it, but I'm less and less willing to do that... We're living in a time now when opinion is becames as rigid and belligerent as religion and faith are, so we're living in this period when you're defined by opinion. People want to know are you for or against this particular issue, and will base their entire possibility of friendship with you on opinions that you may hold or not hold, so that's another reason to keep quiet about most things.
SR: Did you always feels that way?
LC: I've never had much faith in my own take on things, and I know that the world is far too complex, first of all, for a solution. This is not the realm of solutions. We were exiled from the garden, and that's what I understand is the nature of the human predicament. This is not paradise, and we can't really put the world in order.
Also this articulates the usefulness of working within restrictions very well:
LC: I've always been interested in form, maybe because I don't trust my own spontaneous nature to come up with anything interesting, and form imposes a certain opportunity to get deeper than your first thought... I think my opinions are second-rate, but when you submit yourself to a form, then something happens and you're invited to dig deeper into the language and discard the slogans by which you live, the easy alibis of language and of opinion.Posted by Bill Stilwell at June 09, 2006 09:22 PM