Monday, 5 December 2011

Beautiful Losers

by Leonard Cohen

According to Wikipedia, “Beautiful Losers is considered a masterpiece of Canadian literature”. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that Canadian literature must be dead boring. I spent more than two months wading through this murky stream of (un)consciousness and it is a little miracle that I actually finished the book, mostly out of respect to the author (who surely is doing much better as a singer-songwriter than a novelist). I didn’t enjoy it.

To be fair, there are some lovely poetic passages, and the strange story of Catherine Tekakwitha on its own would make a decent novella. Then there are some other passages that are positively disgusting. But even if they were not there, I doubt that as a whole the novel would ever work.

Is All The World A Prayer To Some Star? Are All The Years Of The World A Catalogue Of The Events Of Some Holiday? Do All Things Happen At Once? Is There A Needle In The Haystack? Do We Perform In The Twilight Before A Vast Theatre Of Empty Stone Benches? ... ..... ... May I Unfasten My Loneliness And Collide Once Again With A Beautiful Greedy Body? May I Fall Asleep After A Soft Happy Kiss? May I Have A Dog For A Pet? May I Teach Myself To Be Handsome? May I Pray At All?

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