Leonard Cohen, Beautiful Losers

Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen is probably one of the best books I’ve ever read. On the surface it deals a lot with a lot of shit or seems to be rather meaningless. But it is not. Given that you read it closely, you’ll get some deeper meaning. Like the references to history, which point to the conflicts between indigenous, French and English Canadians.

The plot, set in Montreal, and those conflicts surfacing in the novel led me to write my B.A. thesis on Aspects of Postcolonialism in Leonard Cohen’s Beautiful Losers. And yes, I argued that the novel can be considered postcolonial avant la lettre or whatever you wanna call it. And sure, it made sense to some degree. But what is striking to me is that I really still like the book. After hundreds of readings and analysing it for ages…

However, here is a part taken from the first Vintage Books/Random House edition published in 1993, page 134:

London has announced the Queen’s intention to visit FrencCanada in October 1964. It is not enough that she and Prince Philip will be greeted by police cordons, riot tanks and the proud backs of hostile crowds. We must not make the same mistake the Indians made. Her advisers in London must be made to understand that our dignity is fed with the same food as anyone’s: the happy exercise of the arbitrary.

In case you have no idea what Cohen is about, here is one of his impressive performances,  Leonard Cohen singing Dance me to the End of Love:

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