UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Alienation and aestheticism in the art of Leonard Cohen Panter, Jack Bryan 1973

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ALIENATION AND AESTHETIC ISM IN THE ART OF LEONARD COHEN  by JACK BRYAN PANTER B.A.,  A THESIS  University  of V i c t o r i a ,  SUBMITTED I N P A R T I A L  THE R E Q U I R E M E N T S MASTER  in  1972  FULFILMENT  FOR THE DEGREE OF  OF  ARTS  the Department of English  We accept this thesis as c o n f o r m i n g to the required standard  THE U N I V E R S I T Y OF B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A September, 1973  In p r e s e n t i n g  this  thesis in partial  an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y the I  Library  freely  of the requirements  of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree  available for  f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r  for  r e f e r e n c e and  extensive copying of t h i s  this  representatives. thesis for  It  financial  i s understood that copying or  Department  of  English  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h V a n c o u v e r 8, C a n a d a  Date  Columbia  that  thesis or  publication  g a i n s h a l l n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my  written permission.  for  study.  s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by t h e Head o f my D e p a r t m e n t  by h i s of  s h a l l make i t  fulfilment  Abstract The recent  a r t of Leonard  literary  superficial and  lead  ber  o f more  his  art.  art,  studies  features  them  and numerous  o f h i s work  to conclusions  important  Cohen's  distract  which  of view,  given  only  short  those  i n this  various  apparently  studying  The  him  f o r a numof  inhis  a t t e n t i o n and  t h e s i s i s designed  Cohen's p o s i t i o n i n r e l a t i o n  Often  as i t i s m a n i f e s t e d  cursory  several  l i e at the center  t o a m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of h i s work.  approach used  of  reviews.  w h i c h do n o t a c c o u n t  qualities  point  i s frequently  leads  Cohen has been t h e s u b j e c t  this  critical  to illuminate  t o h i s a r t and account  contradictory features  noticed  f o r the  in his  work. This prose  study  and p o e t r y  Cohen's  "willed  alienated  aesthetic inquiry cussed  i s delineated  and  point  o f modern basic  literature conclusion  self-alienated"  called  The  discussed.  b u t Cohen's  selfwork  study  of view  dynamic a e s t h e t i c v a l u e s .  and  point  i s that  of  dis-  convenof view.  Cohen's  i s the source Willed  of  a r t i s also  an h i s t o r i c a l  of this  on  The m e t h o d  o f t h e m a i n themes  from  point  of view.  i t s a d e q u a c y as a s o u r c e  interpretive,  Cohen's  centering  from w h i c h Cohen's  and p h i l o s o p h i c a l v a l u e s  to several  of Leonard  perspective  of consciousness  in relation  "willed  a critical  self-alienated"  i s mainly  The  are  from  center  originates  tions  c o n s i s t s o f an e x a m i n a t i o n  o f what  self-alienation  may  briefly  which  the  negation habits trary  be  of  virtually  which are to  as  a c h o s e n mode o f  individual maintains  life.  self-creative a  defined  a continuous  a l l forms,  i n themselves This  process  because  the  his  art  i n a way  apparently  Cohen's work  vidual point  at  i s to  basic i s to  and,  i n the  The  concerned with i n which  the the  ability.  directly of  the  present out  view  eternal  r e l a t e d to and  of  values  of  view  of  grasped  of the  i f  for  s u c h a mode  moment. this  him  to  particular  An  situation. i s the  Favorite  which of  willed  in single  Game.  his  The  present  Cohen's  dwell  of  aesthetic  Cohen  e x p a n d e d moment o f  a fusion  dynamic  any  concerns  i n The or  i s at  i n d i v i d u a l i s aware of The  point  to  self-alienated indi-  perfection.  permit  Breavman  this  a r t m u s t be  emphasis  aesthetic  does not  be  allegiance  fragmentation  willfully  a r t s , "moments" o f  moments l i k e  point  of  the  to  exhibit a variety  This  t h a n he  temporal  focus  self-alienation  are  the  emerges d i r e c t l y  temporal  creative  of  to  con-  appreciated.  "become" o t h e r  main  ness  of  fully  i s , therefore,  perspective  fect  be  him  and  capacity  Cohen uses  traits.  center  impulse  i n time.  existence  the  of  therefore  i n d i v i d u a l f e e l s no  allows  contradictory  consciousness  The  that  and  results in a  in  process  systems, b e l i e f s ,  "static"  particular self-conception.  in  existence  is  conscious-  life  emerge f r o m  per-  and  Cohen's  art  his willed self-alienated  aestheticism.  iv  -Table  o f Contents  Abstract  I  page  Alienation The  II  Losers  28  32  The  38  F a v o r i t e Game Losers  Poetry Us Compare  The  Spice  The  Mythologies  Box o f E a r t h  for Hitler  Parasites Selected  45  57  Let  Flowers  IV  14  Aestheticism  Beautiful  III  i  1  F a v o r i t e Game  Beautiful  i  o f Heaven Poems 1 9 5 6 - 1 9 6 8  Energy  of Slaves  Bibliography  57 62 70 79 84 86  98  Alienation in  and A e s t h e t i c i s m the A r t of  Leonard  Leonard best  Cohen's a r t e x h i b i t s  described  poetry  as a l i e n a t e d .  or prose  view which  will  at  t h e same t i m e  perspective.  allow  offer  has  Byron  his "willed The  of  theme  this  extensive  imaginative  to h i s world. had h i s " h e r o i c  Keats  assume There  of alienation  freedom  the  and  significance  and Leonard  has been t r a c e d  poets  Cohen  i n the work o f  and i m p o r t a n t i n s i g h t s  quality  w h i c h may  of Leonard  be e x p l a i n e d  only  However,  i twould  Cohen  flogging  a popular  i s merely  poets.  new  i n Cohen's v i s i o n  as a  into result  Cohen has an  by r e f e r e n c e t o  of alienation.  i s something  o t h e r modern  point  alienation."  The p o e t r y and p r o s e  that  a  had h i s " n e g a t i v e  exile,"  study.  concept  interesting  f o r him t o develop  l i t e r a t u r e and o u r e r a have been d e v e l o p e d  unusual the  to write  a meaningful or a t l e a s t communicable  many o f o u r c o n t e m p o r a r y both  of view which i s  Thus, i t i s important t o grasp  Cohen's r e l a t i o n  capability,"  a point  F o r a man  i ti s essential  of  of  Cohen  be w r o n g t o pegasus.  not found  i n most  2  Alienation it  has  been  on  the  subject.  i s commonly e x p e r i e n c e d and  sharpened  successfully  omic  and  describing  the  afflicted  the concept  not as  always  apply.  "imposed"  existence. types  as  of a l i e n a t i o n  which  "chosen"  studied  alienation.''"  K e n n i s t o n ' s work  classic  of a l i e n a t i o n  by  forms  external  alienation This  agents  and.to  i n which  the  distinction  widespread of  only  recognizing  explains  with  during  i n which  something I  differently  as  thought propose  i n my  i n which  the  "self"  t h e new  a number o f q u a l i t i e s  on  i s the agent relevant  of  decades.  self-alienation  of  several  the  i s a c t e d upon form  of  alienation.  to the  self-alienation  peculiar  state  to examining  the " s e l f "  do  chosen  e x a m i n a t i o n o f a new  the p a s t few  Cohen's w i l l e d  Uncommitted,  emphasis  dis-  described  a desirable  i s devoted  is particularly  modern p o e t r y because  usually  condition  is classically  K e n n i s t o n ' s , The  are  however,  human b e i n g s .  rather  econ-  the-usual negative associations  is increasingly In Kenneth  scientists  i t s usefulness i s  imposed  as  literature  clouds of  separated from  Alienation  of a l i e n a t i o n  an  identity  as  i n such  discussions,  themselves  o f Cohen's work  social  verbiage that  Basic  necessary to t h e i r  cussion  the term  alienation  find  of contemporary  n e o - M a r x i s t s and  enveloped  deteriorating.  by  to use  amount  socio-psychological  end  t o be  the  Indeed,  have  rapidly  by  consciousness of  study  of  has  become  The  importance  i s that i t  to h i s poetry.  K e n n e t h K e n n i s t o n , The U n c o m m i t t e d : A l i e n a t e d A m e r i c a n S o c i e t y (New Y o r k : D e l t a , 1 9 6 5 ) .  Youth  in  3  To view of  Cohen p r e s e n t s  i s not to say that  chosen a l i e n a t i o n .  others, does his  a l l aspects  life  some e x t e n t  t o make e x c l u d e  and manners  element  of  Cohen's p e r s p e c t i v e  an  individual  and an  critics  alienation.  outside  Cohen,  like  himself.  the significance of o f t h e p u b l i c as t o t h e  expected  of w i l l f u l  which  o f a modern  poet. that  a l i e n a t i o n at the center  i s p e c u l i a r t o h i s p o s i t i o n as  artist.  have r e c o g n i z e d  In her a r t i c l e ,  Sandra Djwa n o t e s  many  Neither  my a r g u m e n t r e s t s o n t h e o b s e r v a t i o n  i s a great  Other  that  to the preconceptions  style  point of  of h i s a r t are the result  I t i s probable  I wish  conformity  there  a self-alienated  i s a l i e n a t e d by p r e s s u r e s  the point  unusual To  state that  Cohen's  Cohen's  "Leonard  fascination with  Cohen: B l a c k  "concern with  Romantic,"  alienation,  eroticism  2 and  madness."  alienation that she  She c o r r e c t l y  as s u b j e c t  Cohen's p o i n t notes  Game,  itself  other  of view  jected  as author  works as w e l l ,  uses to notice  i s self-alienated.  t h e theme  but without  the "chosen"  Thus,  i n The F a v o r i t e  of alienationi n studying  t h e work  self-alienated  point of  i n Cohen's a r t .  Cohen has c o n s c i o u s l y certain  Cohen  b u t s h e d o e s n o t seem  She t r a c e s  as s p r i n g i n g from  implicit  out that  Breavman, t h e c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r  i s alienated.  Cohen's  view  that  matter,  points  aspects  chosen  to alienate himself  of the conventional  the concept  world  of a single personal  from  view.  He h a s r e -  identity;  the idea  Romantic,"  Canadian  2 Sandra Djwa, "Leonard Cohen: B l a c k L i t e r a t u r e , 34 ( 1 9 6 7 ) , p . 4 1 .  4 of  an i n v i o l a b l e  the  traditional  alienated and  from  concept  result  i s a s e p a r a t i o n between  When a n i n d i v i d u a l  chooses  mode o f e x i s t e n c e , t h e m o t i v e determining these  how t h e a l i e n a t i o n  self-alienated  point  of view  Self-conceptions self-conscious  people  rigor  mortis  which  haps  one o f t h e most b a s i c  chology  from  somebody," " i d e n t i t y "I  want  are  t o b e me."  the less  Kierkegaard saying: from  "becoming."  to a kind of  by h a b i t .  s e l f - c o n c e p t i o n and disposition  static  notions  common p h r a s e s  "being"  i s per-  o f psyas  "being  " a man m u s t b e h i m s e l f , " a n d counter  Nietzsche  to this  never  view  w r i t e r s as  i s o f t e n quoted as  invented by those  Kierkegaard  Most  o f men i n o u r s o c i e t y .  directly  i sa fiction  between  Each o f  i n t h e most  p e r s p e c t i v e s o f such  and N i e t z s c h e .  "being"  distinction  i n such  crisis,"  traditional  even  i t . This  impulses  Running  as a  t o an a p p r e c i a t i o n o f t h e  to their  traditional  and i s r e f l e c t e d  con-  i s important i n  be e x p r e s s e d .  i s maintained  t o p r o t e c t and r e i n f o r c e  largely  likely  self-alienation  and a r e s u b j e c t  become r a t h e r a t t a c h e d  stems  i t will  i fthe condition  are only p a r t i a l ,  individuals,  self-  e x h i b i t e d i n Cohen's a r t .  tend  It  will  the o l d  a person's  f o rthe choice  considerations i s important  psychic  replace  and h i s s e n t i e n t c o n s c i o u s n e s s ,  i n a modification of behavior  tinues.  from  When a p e r s o n i s  self-conception or identity  When t h e r e  conception  of reality.  removed h i m s e l f  h i m s e l f , i t i s u s u a l l y d e s i r a b l e t h a t a new  acceptable  one.  ego, and has thereby  tired  who  o f making  and "becoming."  suffer a  F o r such  similar writers  5 i d e n t i t y and  s t a s i s are n e g a t i v e  is  of l i f e ;  a process  and  of l i f e  itself.  rejected s o , he  result  of a r i g i d  g i v e n up  t a s t e s , and of s e l f .  i n t h e d e a t h o f a man's s p i r i t  some o f t h e  a c e r t a i n extent  d i t i o n e d r e s p o n s e s and the  f i c t i o n of s t a t i c  ful,  conscious,  f o r e , takes  and  perceptive portraits in  The  identity.  answers,  so much t o  Cohen's r e j e c t i o n His  F.  and  doing  values, vision con-  maintain is willthere-  I t i s perhaps f o r  convincing  of a l i e n a t e d c h a r a c t e r s  F a v o r i t e Game and  In  self-alienation,  to present  end  actively  i s a r e j e c t i o n of  of r o l e p l a y i n g .  i s able  or the  become p a r t o f h i s  this  selective.  t h i s r e a s o n t h a t he  acquired  h a b i t s w h i c h do  on an a s p e c t  has  the  identity for himself.  p r e j u d i c e s w h i c h had  To  and  Ego  never  b e c a u s e t h a t w o u l d end  Cohen i s s e l f - a l i e n a t e d  the v a l u e  has  contrary to l i f e .  i t i s always "coming to p a s s "  "being,!' never "coming to be" process  and  and  s u c h as  highly Breavman  the n a r r a t o r i n B e a u t i f u l  Losers. The  r o l e p l a y i n g aspect  as w e l l as h i s u s e from w i l l e d  o f masks and  t o Cohen's r o l e  of n e g a t i o n . o r p o s e and,  comprehensive understanding  presentation,  p o s e s , must be d i s t i n g u i s h e d  s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n which i s created  by a c o n t i n u i n g p r o c e s s referred  o f Cohen's s e l f  and  maintained  Several c r i t i c s  as a r e s u l t , m i s s e d  of h i s work.  Michael  comes c l o s e s t t o a p p r e c i a t i n g i t when he w r i t e s : put  on  and  t a k e n ofcf h i s mask ( i n o r d e r  so o f t e n t h a t t h e mask has  have  to laugh  a  Ondaatje "He  has  at h i s pose) 3  become a p a r t o f h i m . "  This  3 M i c h a e l O n d a a t j e , L e o n a r d Cohen ( T o r o n t o : S t e w a r t , 1 9 7 0 ) , p.61.  McClelland  and  6  statement,  which  perspective, tion  which  causes  one t o a d o p t  A mask  d e s c r i b e d as  i s something worn  t o hide  our natural  of feelings. certain  may  be c o n s i s t e n t w i t h i t .  necessarily  creating  certain  of  a viewer.  while  i n an o b s e r v e r .  the expression  effects  such  Our  and does n o t  b y t h e man b e h i n d Masks  an a i r o f ambi-  i n t e n t i o n s and undermines  the expectations  I n T h e F a v o r i t e Game C o h e n p r e s e n t s  his agitation,  expressing  his behavior  Shell  Breavman m a i n t a i n s  himself  an e x t e r i o r  impression  on  flict  the novelty.of h i s address v a c i l l a t i n g  sonal  complexity  pose vests  p.  "pose,"  as they  as O n d a a t j e above  hunt  as i t does  d i s t i n g u i s h e s i t , i s t h e next  t h e mask.  high  con-  I think."  We  on t h e i r  step  see Breavman and K r a n t z  C o m m u n i s t women.  which buttoned  movements  4  o f " e x c u s e me" a n d t h e p e r -  a n d human " Y o u ' r e b e a u t i f u l , A  in  t h e automaton r e p e t i t i o n  ambiguity  Shell.  apparent  between  and h i s r o b o t - l i k e  calm  The  Breavman's with  calm  Breavman  i n the cafeteria.  i n a p e c u l i a r manner.  makes a f o r c e f u l  i t to  are usefulf o r  as g e n e r a t i n g  addresses  behavior  o f t h e mask o r a t v a r -  i s superficial  he p r e s e n t s .  a mask when he f i r s t  Despite  of  the face  which v e i l s  using  responses  i n v o l v e any attempt  with  guity  The mask f u n c t i o n s t o p r o t e c t u s  T h u s , a mask  identify  However, t h e c o n d i -  i s best  to create  with  o f Cohen's  a mask  and  iance  assessment  i s good as f a r as i t goes.  alienation. expression  summarizes Ondaatje's  They wore shirts,  L e o n a r d C o h e n , T h e F a v o r i t e Game 163 a n d 173.  "dark  suits,  gloves and  (New Y o r k :  Bantam, 1963)  7  umbrellas."^  They a l l o w  at  a Communist m e e t i n g .  of  parody.  A pose  mannerisms comic  their  pose  There  i s , i n any pose,  i s the superficial  designed to create  or s a t i r i c ,  intentions.  see through  person  i s conscious o f h i s pose,  scorn. that  i t , he becomes  t o see through  above  the pretender.  a pose  may b e u s e d  attention scorn  and i s u s i n g  that  critics  very  and  of scorn.  I f a  i t , h e may  others us  so, f o r i n practice  the person  calling  t h e Communist the meeting.  chairman I t i s worth  reason.  term  has r e c e n t l y  the  idea  has n o t y e t l o s t  theorist, that  people w i l l  the a r t of role-playing.  been t a k e n over by s o c i o l o g i s t s , b u t  defines  i t s significance. a role  as "a s y s t e m  i s , as an a b s t r a c t i o n  conform  Cohen, The F a v o r i t e Michael  seriously,  C o h e n h a s h a d many o c c a s i o n s t o l a u g h a t h i s  The  of  veil  i s a p t t o become t h e o b j e c t o f  a s was t h e c a s e w i t h  f o rthis  obligations,  to  of imposture raises  a way t h a t  B e y o n d m e r e p o s i n g , we f i n d  social  i s usually  o f o u r way o f j u d g i n g  who o u s t e d B r e a v m a n a n d K r a n t z f r o m noting  a suggestion  i s used  the object  This i s not always  to the imposture  himself  a pose  the discovery  i n such  comedy  i ti n order to laugh at their  I t i s one o f t h e e r r o r s  l e a d s us t o t h i n k  which  t a k e s h i s pose  people  into  adoption of a set of  an e f f e c t  but occasionally  I f an i n d i v i d u a l  allow people  to degenerate  Banton,  i n varying  Banton,  of rights  to which  degree."^  a noted and  the behavior  In this  sense  Game, p . 8 1 .  Roles  (London:  Tavistock,  1968), p.21.  8  of  t h e word  Favorite  Breavman  i s playing  the r o l e of a poet  i n The  Game.  He r e a d h i s s k e t c h e s f o r s m a l l s o c i e t i e s , l a r g e college groups, enlightened church meetings. He s l e p t w i t h a s many p r e t t y c h a i r w o m e n a s h e c o u l d . He g a v e u p c o n v e r s a t i o n . He m e r e l y q u o t e d h i m s e l f . . . . The w o r l d was b e i n g h o a x e d b y a d i s c i p l i n e d m e l a n c h o l y . . . . A l l t h a t was n e c e s s a r y t o be l o v e d w i d e l y was t o p u b l i s h o n e ' s a n x i e t i e s . The w h o l e e n t e r p r i s e o f a r t was a c a l c u l a t e d d i s play of s u f f e r i n g . ^ Cohen life. role  often  appears  to play  I n a more a r t f u l  creates  same r o l e  and t h e a t r i c a l  of Shell's lover.  Breavman  this  The i m p o r t a n t  the "robot"  i n h i s own  way B r e a v m a n difference  l o v e r , whereas  public  plays the  i s that  the r o l e of poet Q  was a l r e a d y creating  a r o l e and then p l a y i n g  alienated The the  concept  of w i l l e d  of the desire  or create  Breavman's It  over.  The b u s i n e s s  i t i s peculiar to a  of  self-  perspective.  source  adopt  a v a i l a b l e f o r him to take  a l i e n a t i o n I am p r e s e n t i n g  t o wear masks,  r o l e s , both  real  strike  m i g h t be e x c e s s i v e  to suggest  strictly  autobiographical,  position  i n r e l a t i o n , t o h i s work  relationship  to h i s a r t .  poses, and  and imaginary.  c e n t r a l p o s i t i o n as an a r t i s t that  here i s  Thus,  i s h i sa l i e n a t i o n .  The F a v o r i t e  b u t a t t h e same t i m e , i s similar  It i s significant  to  Game i s  Cohen's Breavman's  that  t h e poems q  attributed  t o Breavman  are taken  f r o m The S p i c e  Box o f E a r t h .  7 8  Cohen,  The F a v o r i t e  Ibid.,  pp.181-187.  Game,  pp.110-112.  9 L e o n a r d Cohen, The S p i c e Box o f E a r t h ( T o r o n t o : and S t e w a r t , 1 9 S I ) , p . 5 7 . See p a g e s 180-184 i n The Game.  McClelland Favorite  9 It  is also  and  important  to  Breavman does. part  of  would  him.  be  to  sonality  Perhaps point  which  ality  because by  Breavman  ficial  element  served  for his public  culture  G e n t l e m e n , Mr. other  better  w o r d s , he  to  conceal  pose-like Leonard"  turns  himself  find red  their  way  herrings  that  created  attitudes,  Leonard wears  the  them.  and  mask o r  discovered  who  needs  values the  responses  altering  him.  A  good  i n the  h i s pose example  the a  like a  of  of  person-  tend  of  These to  the or  qualities  function  as  individuality attempting  on  the  this  on."  "Saint  depending  critics they  i s the  by  to  "differmotives,  i n judging  time  us  a robe  is a  his  re-  "Ladies  he  bear  and  super-  be  that  each  art.  superficial  shave."  sense  to  of  The  "puts  images  they  him  per-  willfully  movie  i s apparently  they b r i n g  this  being  d i s g u i s i n g the  i n the  studying  work  a this  c e r t a i n standards  i s also  behind  Thus, Cohen man  about  expectations  by  entire  finest  i n w h i c h he  There  lies  an  i n Cohen seems t o as  as  examining  finds himself.  Cohen"  our  critic  f o r those  Cohen m a n i p u l a t e s a new  he  appearances  prince  his  just  "mask" i s  of  c o n d i t i o n of  distinguishes  a multi-dimensional person"  and  i n t o h i s work where  for  the  created  r e j e c t i o n of  himself.  "the  into art  that  or mask-like  i n which  q u a l i t y which and  himself  Cohen has  actual  continual  one  of  mentioned  superficial  of  and  the  has  that  i t i s an  the  a part  once h i m s e l f  values  ent  way  a m o r e p r o f i t a b l e way  out  i s at  i s nothing  created  turn  Ondaatje  There  be  the  h i s women i n t o a r t . C o h e n seems t o  In  note  him. presenting  claim  to  comment  have Cohen  10  wrote  on  W i l l i a m Kloman's  fantasy.  Never heard  of  article the  man  about  him:  mentioned  "This  here.  is  pure  A l l good  10 things, equal This  Leonard."  sincerity i s echoed  Cohen  regardless i n the  lyric  i s a l l the of  our  of  faces  he  impressions  "The  Stranger  presents as  with  viewers.  Song,"  "I  told  11 you  w h e n I came I was  t h o u g h he to  as  Leonard  "who  stranger."  i s someone e l s e ; Cohen, but  haps Cohen, and The  a  am  alienated  e v e n he  I ? " of  because of  may  identity i t tends  one  k n o w s who  consider seekers to  "becoming."  r e i n f o r c e the  t h e S t r e e t , " we find: And i f by c h a n c e I wake a t n i g h t A n d I a s k y o u who I am 0, t a k e me t o t h e s l a u g h t e r h o u s e I w i l l w a i t t h e r e w i t h the lamb.  uses ing  a variety to  selfrcreation  philosophical To for this  aspect  must  studying of  this  referred  i s except  f o r the  fiction  i n Cohen's  this  of  self"being"  song, " S t o r i e s  2  ranging  by  a writer  f r o m mask  who  adopt-  the  spectacle.  fragmentation  of view  per-  stranger.  resolve for ourselves  h i s work, but  his point  a  confronted  existence  i m p l i c a t i o n s of  some e x t e n t  anyone  and  Thus,  ourselves  o f modes o f  himself  i s blasphemy  of  find  that  himself  the  C o h e n ' s w o r k we  remains  i s somewhat v a g u e l y  at  In  expense  no  he  He  of  Cohen  is a  i t is essential i f we  are  to  problem grasp  to understand  his  " ^ W i l l i a m Kloman, " L e o n a r d Cohen," Songs o f L e o n a r d Cohen, e d s . H a r v e y V i n s o n a n d I r a F r i e l a n d e r , (New Y o r k : C o l l i e r , 1 9 6 9 ) , p.4. ^Ibid. ,  p.76.  ^Ibid. ,  p.45.  11 work. of  The r e a s o n  existence  develop this  f o r Cohen's  tendency  to live  I t i s probably  t h a t many c r i t i c s  mere d e s c e n d a n t  q u o t a t i o n Andre  " I p u t a l l my  genius  into  h i s a r t and  Cohen as a  I n d e e d , we a r e r e -  Gide  my  mode  i n recognition of  have d e s c r i b e d  o f the decadent w r i t e r s .  o f t h e famous  Wilde:  of a self-alienated  seems t o l i e i n h i s n e e d  an a r t o f l i v i n g .  minded  choice  attributed  life:  to Oscar  I put only  my  13 talent to  into  drop  thereby from  I t would  Cohen i n t h e b l a c k dismiss  him.  Wilde. tion  although  Cohen's  h e may  values  In c o n t r a s t w i t h  gard  this  mode  like will  by adopting  a latter reject  the tempta-  a particular set  to readjust  i n conformity  with  when a c o m f o r t a b l e  Before clearly  found  adjustment  alienation  Cohen's w i l l e d  i n the context  react  who b e their  s e l f - c o n c e p t i o n and t h e p h i l o s o p h i c a l values  apparently  day  o f e x i s t e n c e , most people  as i n d i s p e n s i b l e , o r they  ingly  they r e -  a i m l e s s l y and d e s p a i r c a n n o t be made.  self-alienation  of our c u l t u r e ,  c a n be  seen  a number o f h i s t o r i c a l  p h i l o s o p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s must be d e a l t w i t h .  the  nineteenth  century  Cohen  u s e f u l and augmented i t .  and  1924, 1956)  him  or a consistent philosophical perspective.  come a l i e n a t e d t e n d ideal  prevents  e t h i c s of the decadents  individual  t o end h i s s e l f - c r e a t i o n  however,  f o r decadents and  self-alienation  often "pose"  The s e l f - a l i e n a t e d  static  be t o o s i m p l e ,  bag reserved  t a k i n g t h e f i n de s i e c l e  seriously  of  my w o r k s . "  many c h e r i s h e d  beliefs  began  During to suffer  A n d r e G i d e , The J o u r n a l s o f A n d r e G i d e , V o l . 1 : 1 8 8 9 t r a n s , a n d e d i t o r , J u s t i n O ' B r i e n (New Y o r k : V i n t a g e , , p.169.  12 the  erosion which  fixed and  f o r very long.  Emile Durkheim  become f u s e d cerned with social  way  t o a new  realize  ness  to  by  the  individual  group  neither  about  feelings  in  of feelings  loss  concepts, curious  alienation  alienation, and  i t seems t h e  and  anomie,  i s imposed  a personal  our  of normlessa  condition into  leads indi-  to  which  worth  from  be  and  the  often culminate  and  suicide.  to  between by  i s imposed  a  are  Attempts  individual  These  by  both theories  which  of  anomie  have become u n i t e d  alienation,  group  o r t h e o t h e r members  "alienation."  on  a  This  tends  A person suffering  Marx  Durkheim  values.  i t necessary to d i f f e r e n t i a t e  which  However,  Emile  the a c t i o n  of personal  term  Marxist  what.is expected of the As  the  supposedly  integrated  of d i s o r i e n t a t i o n  the s i n g l e  c o n f u s i o n make  order,  norms  process of s i m p l i f i c a t i o n  sumed u n d e r  within  i s a state  become  individual  and  forces  by  to pointing  miserable.  group.  are comfortable.  experiences the  cannot  the  con-  optimistic.  which  have  M a r x was  i s c o n c e i v e d t o be  of s o c i a l  of anxiety  which  study of those aspects of  Anomie  others i n the  reciprocal,  In retrospect  of "anomie"  to the weakening feelings  devoted h i s energy  t e n d t o make l i f e  the idea  the  of theories  individual  somewhat r o m a n t i c and  lawlessness.  which  vidual  the  and  of the  remains  p h i l o s o p h y Marx  c o n f u s e d i n our p r e s e n t e r a .  potential.  which  or  that  o r d e r i n . w h i c h human b e i n g s c o u l d  was  developed  due  developed a pair  much t o s t i m u l a t e  society  everything  In the realm of s o c i a l  structure  their  solution did  and  virtually  the a l i e n a t i o n  the  in  befalls  the on  subavoid  social social an  13  individual late  as a r e s u l t  to other persons  norms a r e n o t and  critical  in a social  clearly  d e v e l o p m e n t and  Both  concepts  b e t w e e n men  and  or  are  negative  society.  Modern  seems t o h a v e r e m a i n e d a t t h i s p o i n t o f  the p r a c t i t i o n e r s  s a t i s f i e d to c o l l e c t  minor v a r i a t i o n s  re-  g r o u p when t h e r u l e s  delineated.  of the r e l a t i o n  social philosophy  ently  of h i s i n a b i l i t y to s u c c e s s f u l l y  of s o c i a l  statistical  of the t h e o r y .  b e e n made l a r g e l y  i n the f i e l d  data  Progress  s c i e n c e are to support  in this  their  area  of l i t e r a t u r e d u r i n g  appar-  has  this  century. During ber  t h e l a t t e r p a r t o f t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y a num-  of l i t e r a r y a r t i s t s began to d e a l w i t h the problems  alienation  i n t h e i r works.  of reasons,  not  the l e a s t  of the c o m p l e x i t y this complexity  T h i s came a b o u t f o r a o f w h i c h was  o f human e x p e r i e n c e  in literature.  At  began q u e s t i o n i n g the t r a d i t i o n a l came c r i t i c a l  o f what had  B a s i c to the s o c i a l  and  a growing and  this  variety awareness  a d e s i r e to p o r t r a y  same t i m e  artists  f o r m s o f l i t e r a t u r e and  once p a s s e d  for "realistic"  p e r s o n a l concerns  of authors  of the  individual's  o t h e r s , t o t h e w o r l d , and  relation  at  individual's  to h i s experience  strange  U n d e r g r o u n d r e m a i n s one this  concern  line  of thought  relation  w h i c h has  with  of i t .  to h i m s e l f .  o f t h e most p o w e r f u l  i n modern l i t e r a t u r e .  the  to h i m s e l f , to  D o s t o e v s k y ' s w o r k f o r e s h a d o w e d t h e modern l i t e r a r y i n the  be-  fiction.  t u r n o f t h e c e n t u r y w e r e a number o f p r o b l e m s c o n n e c t e d the nature  of  Kafka  interest Notes  expressions  from of  o r i g i n a t e d another  i n f l u e n c e d the w r i t i n g  of  following  14  generations amples  of artists.  Both  o f w r i t e r s who p o r t r a y e d  consciousness society. anomie  splitting  under  scorns  himself  from  their  style  of both  conventional idea  a new v i s i o n  of  carrying and  with  social  with  role  Faux-Monnayeurs.  relation  people,  emerged  into  literature  Gide p o r t r a y s  sure,  education,  religion,  readers  with  a t t h e expense  some i n t e r e s t i n g  experiences,  i s Andre  family l i f e ,  The f o r m  a t t a c k on t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l  peer  position  Gide's  group  the i l l u s i o n  novel  itself i s  of the period  of gaining  of genuine understanding.  C o h e n ' s , T h e F a v o r i t e Game. and t h e i n s i g h t  between Gide's  Some into  pres-  i n the counter-  of the novel  "realistic"  parallels  dealing  t h e s u b t l e i n t e r p l a y be-  and s o c i a l  o f human i n s t i n c t s .  works  t o h i s own l i f e  and s o c i e t y i t s e l f ,  the forces of t r a d i t i o n ,  alienation  to describe  of s e l f - c o n c e p t i o n and the  One o f t h e c l a s s i c  tween  are  reinforcing the  them a c o n s i d e r a b l e amount o f p s y c h o l o g i c a l  Les  life  Notably  rather dramatically with the  i n s o c i e t y have  a r t , other  into  themselves.  of the period thereby  sophistication.  which provided  f o r c e s un-  reality.  his  an  i n modern  characters are  o f e x p r e s s i o n was n e c e s s a r y  the individual's  feiting  of l i f e  sketched  by t h e tormented  More r e c e n t l y t h e problems individual's  of the individual  Kafka's  humanity by d i m l y  literature  a r e ex-  i n h i s despairing state of  w r i t e r s broke  t h a t a new f o r m  t h e dilemma  and t h e w o r l d .  known o r n o t u n d e r s t o o d  and Kafka  the pressure  T h e u n d e r g r o u n d man  alienated  the  Dostoevsky  novel  of the expressions  insight There and of  alienated character i n  15  Les  Faux-Monnayeurs  without  could  be p l a c e d i n t h e mouth o f Breavman  alteration.  N o t h i n g c o u l d . b e m o r e d i f f e r e n t ' f r o m me t h a n mys e l f . . . . I am c o n s t a n t l y g e t t i n g o u t s i d e m y s e l f , and as I watch m y s e l f a c t I cannot u n d e r s t a n d how a p e r s o n who a c t s i s t h e same a s t h e p e r s o n , who i s w a t c h i n g h i m a c t , a n d who w o n d e r s i n a s t o n i s h m e n t a n d d o u b t how h e c a n b e a c t o r a n d w a t c h e r a t t h e . s a m e moment.14 Such  observation  experience with  c a n be p r o f i t a b l y h i s "robot lover."  between the novels which Monnayeurs ing  he  i s a novel.about  a novel entitled  novel  of Gide's  a novelist's  Gide.  novel  i s supposedly narrated  G i d e , Cohen uses  itself  flagrantly  to  confound  are  based  rejects.  14  his style  and form  parallels  Cohen  which The i s the  i s the character. a s a comment  practice.  and y e t o r i g i n a l  t h e s t a n d a r d methods  Such  has  autobiography.  the author  tastes  i n the  himself,  Game  i n a novel  i s that  derivative  on c e r t a i n  The a u t h o r  by Breavman b u t as Cohen  and on p o p u l a r l i t e r a r y  is  experience of writ-  I n The F a v o r i t e  the impression of being a v e i l e d  Like  Faux-  the character  Breavman as t h e main c h a r a c t e r  the implication  Les  parallels  i d e a s and makes u s e o f G i d e ' s  gives  author  are other  noteworthy.  an e x t e n t t h a t  been confused w i t h  presents  t o Breavman's  a n d , a l t h o u g h he i s n o t G i d e  experience to such  often  There  Les Faux-Monnayeurs.  i s named E d o u a r d  e x p r e s s e s many  past  are also  compared  Thus, Cohen's  novel  i n a way  that  tends  evaluation  which  of l i t e r a r y  and p r i n c i p l e s  on  Cohen a p p a r e n t l y  do n o t . i n t h e m s e l v e s  indicate  a  '  A n d r e G i d e , The C o u n t e r f e i t o r s w i t h J o u r n a l C o u n t e r f e i t o r s , " t r a n s . Dorothy Bussy and J u s t i n (New Y o r k : M o d e r n L i b r a r y , 1 9 5 5 ) , p p . 7 0 - 7 1 .  o f "The O'Brien  16  direct the  link  between Cohen  continuing  tion  century  and c o n c e r n  through  G i d e was  to  interest of writers  to himself  portrayed  of "character  pression useful,  were  and  respectability. Gide's  ality  life.  possessing  the i n d i v i d u a l  gave r i s e  a "flexible  objectionable  The  of "character"  these  ideals  ponds  t h e p u b l i c was  threaten-  tradition  not i n t e r e s t e d  t o a new  of  problem:  personality," that  "character,"  has  less popular  from p e r i s h i n g  the notion  particularly  concept  of i d e n t i t y  of personal  the  case with  has  been p o p u l a r i z e d .  despair,  personality"  worth  be a s s o c i a t e d  i t guaranteed and meaning.  an i n t e r e s t i n g i d e a , The  original  us  or at l e a s t t h i s i s  I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g that  should  " a u t h e n t i c i t y " as though problems  the " f l e x i b l e  a n d " i d e n t i t y " has a r r i v e d t o save  to believe.  the  and  w h i c h h a d made v i r t u e s o f  Recently  i n schizophrenic  are asked  ex-  were  was  of  values  and  or authentic  of "character"  i n stagnant  tended  person-  and h e r e d i t y .  term  which  The p o p u l a r i z a t i o n o f m o d e r n  stagnation  modern  nineteenth  s t a t e w h i c h makes v i r t u e s o f m e d i o c r i t y  compromise, r e p l a c e d  become  to the  is fate."  Initially  However,  philosophy.  theory  w h a t we  "Character  e s p e c i a l l y when t h e c u l t  t o drown  in  i n response  to notions  i s best  techniques.  the i d e a l s of genuine  of i n d i v i d u a l  ing  relation  and good b r e e d i n g "  comment:  i n opposition  sophistication  this  the use of l i t e r a r y  support Novalis' up  b u t a r e an i n d i c a t i o n o f i n the i n d i v i d u a l ' s r e l a -  f o r how  writing partially  values  Gide h e l d  and G i d e ,  with  the  the  a s o l u t i o n to As  the concept meaning of  i s too of  often  identity  identity,  17  being  a  genuine  perience  and  authentic  feeling,  explanations of  and  of  "how  has  to" achieve  which p r o p e r l y used of  w h i c h Cohen p a r o d i e s expecially the  every with  of  exhibit  strong  the  fiction  Saint  identity  himself  a  that  the  "being"  Even where  to  choreography has  remains,  only  "becoming"  as  t h o u g h men  were  so  many p l a s t i c  instant coffee  of  life,  the  essence  Beneath  the  problem  that  prove a  their  veil  life;  of  new  process  or  character  by  right  to  cups  cyrstal  terminology ago  adopting  gentleman. switch  m u s t be  we  the  one  has  the  expression  new  as  by  the  identity.  an  have ideal  i t  in "fulfillment,"  t o be  filled  decanters on  one's  changed  identity  the  and  to  filled  sympathies.  sought  manners  with  t o be  recognize  w h e n men  A l l that from  the  the  strongly  semantics  ending  i t a l l depends  existed a century  respectable  dividual's  of  impresses  style  i s expressed  a  is  reduces  is justified  about the  This  identification  "identity"  individual  finite  the  and  exercises  absolutely authentic  u s u a l l y s e e n as  with  f i f t e e n minute  s u c h an  and  F.  or manner w h i c h  is  the  love,  culture  where  comes t o mean  style  Such p s y c h i c  of  technique,  respect,  and  identifies with  genuine  "feelings"  changed.  a  individual  his being.  The  becoming  who  him;  guarantee  i n B e a u t i f u l Losers  others  "real"  facile social  reduction  prose.  often  convinces  to  The  i n both his poetry  Too  The  a  identity.  ex-  simplistic  our  day.  viewer. and  of  individual  p e c u l i a r a c t i v i t i e s of  noticeable  process  to  is said  the  of  b e e n u n d e r m i n e d by  intuitive self-creation  money, i s one  expression  same  to  im-  style  i s the  of  in-  another  in  18  order  to find h i s " r e a l " s e l f , rather  looking and  f o r the perfect  imposed  alienation  Cohen r e j e c t s he  inherited  from  the past  of redefining  world.  Cohen's  cularly  interesting  is  condition, it.  We  presents also  create  art.  lacking ation, cover  i n the freedom but t h i s  At  game.  to love  and l o n e l i n e s s ,  Favorite  triumphs.  i s what  and, as a r e s u l t , yet alienation  of Martin  C o h e n , The  Favorite  natural  Game, b u t i t i s Much o f t h e  allows  read  he  itself  that  to  alienation  novel  i n order  in  Breavman  and imagin-  i s not  Liza's  i s not  experiences  Breavman w i l l  suffer-  condemned. one  day  his responsibility for  and S h e l l . ^  Game, p . 2 4 8 .  to  him to d i s -  o f a r t and l i f e  g u i l t when he r e c o g n i z e s  suffering  Alienation  of a liberated  of h i s alienation  we  consi-  makes h i s a r t f o r m a l i s t i c  of a secret  t h e end o f t h e n o v e l  experience the  others  Breavman's  characteristic  Because  into  get used  to use h i s a l i e n a t i o n  same a l i e n a t i o n  the intimation  favorite  ing  His alienation  that  o n c e we  the  is parti-  I t i s seen as a  i n The  of h i s greatest learning  existence  one  which  to the  of r e a l i t y i t s e l f .  f o r example,  him w i t h problems  Breavman  and the w o r l d  social  by Cohen.  static  addresses  o f man's r e l a t i o n  even a d e s i r a b l e  note,  the source  portrays  able  lamented  remain  of s t a t i c identity  to himself  as i t t a k e s  actor  widespread.  a n d i n h i s w o r k he  as the n a t u r e  perhaps  must  more  the nature  relation  as w e l l  not always  becomes  a neurotic  Self-conceptions  the philosophy  problem  deration  role.  like  Connected with  this  19  we a l s o  see, i n Liza's favorite  what h i s a r t w i l l realize the  that  sake  be i n t h e f u t u r e .  he must  thereby  Thus, the negative  image o f  Breavman w i l l  r e j e c t c e r t a i n aspects  o f a r t and humanity,  self-alienated.  game, a n e m b r y o n i c  eventually  o f h i s ego f o r  becoming  aspects  willfully  o f Breavman's  alienation,  h i s u s e o f women a s o b j e c t s , h i s c a l l o u s a n d i n -  considerate  mystification of Martin  as  h i s use of himself  lated to  as a f o i l  to h i s inability  the point  desperado. fully  render  w h e r e he t r a n s c e n d s Throughout  create  negation  to allow  himself  through  of h i s limiting  to the necessity  rather  than  a role roles.  the  i n this  reached  those  he comes  to whether ation,  i n contact  objects  i s unable of a  to w i l l -  continuing  the stage  make  of others  to sur-  state  the moral  into a r t .  of alienation.  of being  than merely  i t possa s human  t o be r e w o r k e d  Breavman's  able  adopt  to "create" existing  and e t h i c a l  problems  by a f f i r m i n g the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y  with.  Cohen has i n f a c t  perspective  aesthetic  He i s n o t a b l e  f o r what he becomes  an e x a m i n a t i o n  alienated  the process  i trather  process  self-alienated  a mere  the " r e a l i t y "  Cohen has r e c o g n i z e d  inherent  being  and, simultaneously,  as mere  and then p l a y  h i s a l i e n a t i o n to increase  o f " b e c o m i n g " w h i c h w o u l d make h i m  Cohen has t r a n s c e n d e d Breavman has o n l y  as w e l l  f o r h i s own e g o , a r e a l l r e -  qualities.  f o r him t o understand  beings,  and o t h e r s ,  the novel-Breavman  more a c c e s s i b l e t o o t h e r s ible  Stark  Lest  a n d how t h i s there  gone b e y o n d  affects  b e some d o u b t a s  Breavman's  o f Cohen's use o f a w i l l e d i s i n order.  of  situ-  self-  20  The  best  example  of  found  i n The  Favorite  Shell  and  watches h i s  he  Cohen's use  Game.  of  his  B r e a v m a n has  creation  with  point  created  of a  view lover  is for  envy.  He was a p r o f e s s i o n a l , he k n e w how t o b u i l d a l o v e r to c o u r t her . . . .He h a d no c o n t e m p t f o r t h e r o b o t l o v e r who made e v e r y n i g h t a c e l e b r a t i o n a n d a n y m e a l he t o o k a f e a s t . He was a s k i l l f u l p r o d u c t , r i v e t e d w i t h c a r e , whom Breavman wouldn't have minded b e i n g h i m s e l f . He a p p r o v e d o f t h e l o v e r ' s t e n d e r n e s s , was even e n v i o u s o f some o f t h e t h i n g s t h e l o v e r s a i d , a s t h o u g h he w e r e a w i t B r e a v m a n h a d i n v i t e d for dinner.16 At  the  same t i m e ,  h o w e v e r , he  i s the  lover.  Breavman became h i s d e p u t y . He r e t u r n e d t o h i s w a t c h t o w e r an h o u r e v e r y . f e w d a y s t o f i l l i n his journal. He w r o t e q u i c k l y a n d b l i n d l y , d i s b e l i e v i n g w h a t he was d o i n g , l i k e a t h r i c e - f a i l e d suicide looking for razor blades. Unfortunately  for  great  to  f o r him  completely created  and  Breavman, h i s overcome.  begins  for himself.  He  artistic  obsession  i s unable alienated  to  to  feel  by  He  imagines w r i t i n g  is  become t h e the  to  role  he  Shell:  My d a r l i n g S h e l l , t h e r e i s s o m e o n e l o s t i n me whom I d r o w n e d s t u p i d l y i n r i s k y g a m e s a w h i l e ago--I w o u l d l i k e to b r i n g him to you . . . . B u t a s I s a y he i s d r o w n e d , o r c r u m p l e d i n cowardly sleep, heavily medicated, dreamless, h i s e a r s jammed w i t h s e a w e e d o r c o t t o n - - I don't e v e n know t h e l o c a t i o n o f t h e b o d y , e x c e p t t h a t s o m e t i m e s he s t i r s l i k e a s t a r v i n g f o e t u s i n my h e a r t when I remember you d r e s s i n g or a t work i n the k i t c h e n . That's a l l I can w r i t e . . . I w o u l d have l i k e d to b r i n g him t o y o u - - n o t t h i s page, not t h i s r e g r e t . 1 8  C o h e n , The Ibid.,  Favorite  P.190.  I b i d . , pp.190-191.  Game, p . 1 8 1 .  too lover  21  Thus, Breavman has n o t a c h i e v e d c a u s e he f a i l s and  willfully  who,  imagination. novel,  Breavman's reveals  that  person  from  transcended  a r e aware  Cohen  lover  experience  the l i m i t a t i o n s  and of  of  self-alienation  of the novel.  the novel  as an a u t o b i o g r a p h y  of  and t h e c o n c l u s i o n  Thus, Cohen's w i l l e d  out that  be-  obsession  and t h e c r e a t e d  this,  i n the presentation points  of h i s  o f t h e m f r o m h i s own  Cohen has  condition.  Ondaatje third  both  I t i s obvious  itself  as r e a d e r s ,  i s a t once Breavman  he c r e a t e d  self-alienation  the l i m i t a t i o n  r e j e c t i t . We,  as a u t h o r ,  because  the  to recognize  willed  i s w r i t t e n i n the  from  Breavman's p o i n t  than  explicit  of  19 view.  This  presentation, ambiguity creation was  and t h e r e  of the a r t .  Breavman's  C o h e n was the  work  dual the  being  I f we  he w r o t e  himself,  i s explained.  ambiguous  admit  Ondaatje,  into  the p o s s i b i l i t y  the conscious  the  that  informs  In other  i s created  o f t h e work  gives  the novel.  This  words, the novel  and b e c a u s e Cohen Cohen,  i s an a c t u a l i s able  p.24.  time  a r t and p r e c i s i o n o f  to  by t h e  rise tone  sympathy f o r and a detachment from,  Leonard  Cohen  I f a t t h e same  tension which  at the center  Breavman.  self  is built  This  the book, the i n c r e d i b l e i n s i g h t  as i t does b e c a u s e Breavman  Cohen's  i n the book's  involved.  i s explained.  The  tone which  of a mixed  character, well  i s an a m b i g u i t y  character  consciousness  sists  rather  consists of a tension which  Breavman w h i l e  into  of  is implicit  works  to con-  the as  manifestation separate  22  himself tion  from  this  personality at w i l l .  to h i s a r t i s s i m i l a r ,  relation  to h i s created  manipulate Breavman In both  but not i d e n t i c a l ,  "robot  lover."  cases  the a r t i s t  i s not able and t h i s  t o Breavman's  him a t w i l l ,  destroy  is altering  just  h i s created  himself.  However,  t o overcome h i s l i m i t i n g  aesthetic  reinforces h i s ego-centrism.  In  of the a r t i s evidence  to  a willed  of  the novel  view  self-alienated point  identical  develops  Breavman  the  notion  that  tional  This  that  of  Breavman  i s rather  Cohen; w h i c h  i s b o t h Breavman  self-alienation  perspectives  reality.  a liberation His  Cohen  presentation  t o the stage where  of view.  "becomes"  peculiar  like  again  and h i m s e l f  i ti s say-  supports  at the  time. Willed  of  eventually  at the  Breavman's p o i n t  made e a r l i e r  self-alienation  t o Cohen's p o i n t  ing  same  the observation  from  The  ob-  contrast  of a c t i v i t y  of view.  as an a u t o b i o g r a p h y  supports  eventually  of a type  as  lover.  t o B r e a v m a n , Cohen's w i l l f u l . m a n i p u l a t i o n o f t h e ego center  rela-  Cohen can e i t h e r  or sympathize with  can envy and e v e n t u a l l y  Breavman session  Breavman  Thus, Cohen's  value tive tion,  which place  Cohen's p a r t i c u l a r from  perspective  reality  is radically  the tyranny  undermines  by m o d i f y i n g  in reality. and m o r a l  the s t a t i c form  to  of a t r a d i t i o n a l  and t h e r e f o r e  conven-  ego a t t h e  of a l i e n a t i o n  the foundations  t h e ego  of  point  of view.  traditional  the source  I use here without  out of the n e c e s s i t y  center  represents  Thus, a l i e n a t i o n i s n e c e s s a r i l y a  term which  but rather  opposed  of rela-  negative  of delineating a  inten-  23  perspective focus  which  of Cohen's w i l l e d  toward  an  attempt  a n o t h e r who the  toward  who  relation  social  ence  as  As  fectly  and  men  based ence  on and  have  and  W h a t a man  the  ideal  of  attitude  and  how  i t  expression.  of  illusion  infer  what  of the  In our  rather  society  are always seek  to break  Usually  this  has  out  men  social  have by  of the  another  responds to  to.  be  experi-  long  shaped  tradition  same.  order  per-  and  genuine  and  However,  i s questioned  of the p r e s c r i p t i o n s  l e d to revolutions  concepts  exist-  to  is likely  than  others d i d the  t i m e s when t h e  each  flux  between  person  illusion  the  reveal  enters  o f one  "identity"  comfort  that  no  can  of  the  others feel  to f i t the p a t t e r n s p r e s c r i b e d to ensure  feels,  i m p o s s i b l e to communicate  public  and  a function  u n l e s s he  the r e l a t i o n  a function  expedience  basic  of  personal  o f h i s dreams, has  concerned  them t o  men  attack  clothing.  element  is realized,  sought  there  an  society  t o be  themselves  one  to r e a l i t y  i s almost  others are  exactly,  I n any  Once t h i s  eyes  i t i s important  "identity"  the darkness  encourages  likely  directed  i s the  of  i n Cohen's work,  i t is technically  which  think. is  and  f a r as  them.  main  consciousness.  of people's  of h i s ideas,  This  exploration  of a l i e n a t i o n  In modern s o c i e t y appearance  the  t o e x p e r i e n c e more t h a n  displayed  The  seems t o be  the world through  B e f o r e b e g i n n i n g an  the  affects  self-alienation  t o see  wishes  reality  note  t o most p e o p l e .  i s simultaneously himself.  artist  reality.  to  is unfamiliar  of  society.  of v a r i o u s kinds  conventional vision  of  which the  24  world  a n d man.  Frequently the result  a philosophy that professes either rights  o r t o guard  individualism to  grasp  sense. is  concerned  our society  reveals  into  shattering  estranged  others  As t h i s  i n h i s work  seem  from  to represent  one  i s largely doubt  this  however,  i s well  particular  aspect of  believing  forms  they  and g i v i n g  i s not a solution  i n order  free  either.  to g a i n a knowledge  eventually reject  I t i s not possible  the very  to exist  i f i t were. I t i s best  numbers o f easily  are-, a p a r t o f some  On t h e o t h e r h a n d , c o m p l e t e  o f appearance,  reflection  When l a r g e they  delude  genuinely  informality, rein  to per-  People  need  of themselves  forms  i n a social  of  founded,  i s a problem.  "forms"  another.  a result  human e x p e r i e n c e  to a set of social  inclinations  t h e y must  them.  feel  are alike,  of isolation,  human e n t e r p r i s e .  social  and s o c i e t y a r e  Implicit  together  w i t h by a v o i d i n g " f o r m a l i t y . "  themselves  sonal  taken  that i twould not e n r i c h  respond  fail  d o c t r i n e s and y e t  i s n o t t o be s o l v e d a n d a moment's  feeling  people  if  the individual  from  "reality."  no two r e a l i t i e s  the problem  Both  and the i n d i v i d u a l .  people  of alienation their  Doctrines of  inadequate.  of these  of i l l u s i o n .  i d e a s on r e a l i t y  doubting  the  how b o t h  by t h e t y r a n n y  A feeling  dealt  are alike  individual  o f human e x i s t e n c e i n i t s b r o a d e s t  a number o f i d e a s w h i c h  In  The  about  t o guarantee  of the people.  Cohen a s c r i b e s t o n e i t h e r  Cohen's  for  and f e l l o w s h i p  the essence  affected are  the rights  i s the formulation of  that  even  shaped  vacuum.  25 Humans  are social  manifestations fictions  reverse with  of l i f e .  of "social  organism,"  i s also  order,"  true.  but they  When p e o p l e  the i n d i v i d u a l  i t s attendant  those  animals,  and even  life  In situations  ego o r i e n t a t i o n ,  suffer.  all  of that  i t s attendant  when n e c e s s a r y , through value  life.  f o r others.  i f he i s o n l y  some w a t e r ;  enough  a few d o l l a r s  i f he i s j u s t  his life,  selves,  both  this  the  their life,  worth  He  to the  acquire  to manifest  s o c i e t y and meaning  o f one t o a n o t h e r  i s aware  This  may  come  that  reveal  others  have  i t through  i s the reciprocal o f human  Man  society.  he i s a  i t s worth into  and  conscious others  t o them-  existence.  we w o u l d  be  i s conscious  actions  o f h i s own  toward  w h i c h must  The v a r i o u s  With-  predatory  consciousness  their  situation  for-  biological  a way t h a t  this  itself  give i t  and v e r b a l  A man m u s t b e  i n such  with  must,  of chemicals  then  recognize  i n some w i l d e r n e s s .  they  center  of l i v i n g  our  a personality,  values,  an a n i m a l ,  and as they  relation  carnivores  self.  life  value,  to assert  and i l l u s i o n s  i s merely  of principles,  h i s own s e n s a t i o n  because  t o o much  owe o u r e f f o r t s  automaton and n o t a s e n t i e n t b e i n g .  life.  Unfortunately the  i s given  to.permit  F o r i f a man  mulas;  out  of the "social  t h e " f o r m s " o f p e r s o n a l i t y i n a way t h a t w i l l  a collection  value  speak  T h e p e r s o n a l i t y we  be m o d i f i e d  on t h e  where i n d i v i d u a l i s m ,  biases, prejudices  simply  of  more v a l u e  Ultimately, i t i s the individual  o w n , t h a t we a r e c l o s e s t t o a n d we maintenance  separate  place  suffers.  members o f s o c i e t y n o t . s t r o n g  interests  are also  only him-  l i e at  theories of  26 reciprocity  that  been v a r i a t i o n s life  has been  was  concern  the  order  extra  on t h i s  i n the f i r s t  one  place.  exists  contribute  i n single each  i n personality,  create  the i l l u s i o n  illusion causes  possessor  each  and by  a sense  the  that  individual. of  Life  social  and d i s t i n c t .  To  unite  i n ideals, or i n p r i n c i p l e s , i sto and t h i s  I t i s this  i s t h e most  mass sameness  t o be v a l u e d  of the separation  between  o f o u r age i f i t l e a d s  of the. l i f e  p u r p o s e we a r e l o s t  possessed  to a fiction  disastrous of form  less  by i t s  i n confusion.  self  and o t h e r s  t o an e f f o r t t o  by the i n d i v i d u a l .  o f c o l l e c t i v e purpose and  i n illusion.  of generating  differences  i n social  of i t s  others.  moment we d e s p a i r  tant  i s separate  m e a n i n g we a r e l o s t  fundamental  generates  o f democracy, a r e both  individuals; regardless  of unity  moment we s u c c u m b  absolute  the creation of  of t o t a l i t a r i a n i s m , or  i s exclusively  individual life  may b e t h e b l e s s i n g  The  which  can take.  Consciousness  generate  even though i t  to the estrangement  personality  life  people  which  order,  another.  of l i f e  organization,  form  the individual  Our modern s o c i e t y  c o l l e c t i v e and group p e r s o n a l i t y  only  t o Marx have a l l  theme, b u t t o o o f t e n  mass a n d c l a s s  annihilations  so  Plato  s a c r i f i c e d to the social  problems which  The  emerged from  f o r t h e i n d i v i d u a l which prompted  members f r o m  the  have  Paradoxically,  meaning In order  between personal  or distinguishing t o make t h e  realities  unimpor-  r e l a t i o n s , e a c h p e r s o n must be s e l f - c r e a t i v e  others w i l l  value  t h e i n d i v i d u a l more f o r t h e l i f e  27  he  manifests  form  through  the  forms  of p e r s o n a l i t y than  for  the  itself. Life  i s not  understood,  able.  The  f o r m we  inates  our  sense  possess. "The  This  Flowers  create  but  for i t is "real"  of possessing  i s echoed  that  i t s existence  life;  i n Cohen's  I left  i n the  that  is  only  indisput-  i f i t illum-  i s a l l we  poetry.  G r o u n d " he  For asks,  can  example, "Who  in  owns  20 anything  he  personal  "form"  on  the  has  viewer  c r e a t e s new  art,  or  major moral  cause  an  and  s t r e s s on  through  negation."  idea  a single  of  For  to  simple  process  flux,  formulation.  i n h i s a r t where of negation  alienation  i s best  and  primarily  referred  identity  of  to  time. i s important  through  t o as  i t i s not  point a  of  process  are  of  the  possible  explicitly exist-  p o s s i b l e to reduce i t  However,  i t may  i t gives  life  i t s connection  Earth,  be-  "affirmation  a f f i r m s other they  be to  presented  the  form.  with w i l l f u l  in Beautiful p.5.  his  several  Cohen's mode.of p e r s o n a l  illustrated Box  in living  self-alienated  20 Cohen, S p i c e  interest  our  impression  consciousness  example, Cohen's r e j e c t i o n  Because  i s i n constant  plicitly  be  an  is related of  existence whether  or not.  and  i n Cohen's work  operates  might  ence a  concerns  m o d i f i c a t i o n of create  life  living,  to h i s w i l l e d  personal  modes o f p e r s o n a l formulated  a r t of  "will"  This  attempt.to  Thus, Cohen's  social  In Cohen, w i l l  of negation.  an  willful  r e v e a l the  forms.  i t is central  view.  The  represents  developing  The  made?"  which w i l l  that  the  not  Losers.  imThis  self-  of  28  Auden something air  once remarked  ing  to  the dimensions  visions  might  that  existence importance his  up  therefore  from  his static  i s equal  patterns  to  by  intro-  Cohen  seems  the process.  It will  m o n o l o g u e s " a n d C o h e n ' s mode o f the c r e a t i o n of poetry.  this  tendency  to recreate  i s e s p e c i a l l y important centers  of r e a l i t y  self-conception.  him-  i n appreci-  i n the narrator and a l i e n a t i n g In order  h i s tendency  and  l e a r n to stop  He m u s t  The  i n Cohen, t o c o l l a p s e  and then  The n o v e l  i n logic.  discover-  the kaleidoscopic  he h a s t o l e a r n t o o v e r c o m e b o t h his faith  to  a r e l a r g e l y a f u n c t i o n o f what  is rejecting his old vision  himself  i n the  in finding  realities.  and e n j o y  i n t o fragments  Beautiful Losers.  has  i s largely structured  possible  resembles  of recognizing  who  words  the delight  r e s u l t i n g from  "interior  throwing  down e x i s t i n g  i n pieces  i n a d i f f e r e n t form,  ating who  of other  self-conception  self  Indeed,  self-conceptions  be c a l l e d  enjoys  s e m a n t i c mazes  break  and e x p e r i e n c e s  be n o t e d  i s n o t someone  Because."reality"  poet must  throw himself  who  emerges.  frontiers.  language,the duce  what  out of conventional  new  a poet  t o s a y , b u t someone  and s e e i n g  a way  that  to  t o do  this  rationalize  using  h i s mind  21 like  a needle  that  over  and o v e r  again  F.'s  existence  points  "sews  which  to understand reduces  to the s i n g u l a r i t y  Leonard pp.20-24.  the world  together."  He m u s t t r y  the supra-rational  rationality  of things  Cohen, B e a u t i f u l Losers  logic  to absurdity.  and i n s i s t s (New Y o r k :  that  of  F.  i ti s  Bantam,  1967),  29  not  logical  reality.  to connect  He d e n i e s  and  connect  things  the  narrator:  impressions, into  the tendency i n terms  some k i n d o f p a t c h w o r k  of a rational  of inferred  "Connect n o t h i n g .  mind  causality.  Place  things  to  join  He  warns  s i d e by  side 22  on  your  arborite  In  the end, the n a r r a t o r achieves  someone e l s e , of  but s t i l l  his old self  Catherine's  table,  through  uncle  i f you must, but connect a new v i s i o n .  memory  of past  experience.  the  rational  that  identity  the tyranny  tion.  life  would n o t end w i t h  supported of self.  the r e a l i t y  by mental Motivated  o f F. a n d E d i t h ,  His rational  willfully same.  his  new v i s i o n  22 23  himself.  I t i s notable of reality  that  Ibid  a balance  freed  h i s transforma-  o n l y when he  succeeds  T h u s , he h a s c h a n g e d  of a leap  He  which  achieves  of h i s existence, only  pp.165-167.  and i s achieves  of rationality  of faith.  p.21. Losers,  of a  the narrator eventually  i n the chaos  Cohen, B e a u t i f u l  the loss  him and h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g  by a s u r r e n d e r  on t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  "grace,"  of  by a d e s i r e t o under-  he w i l l e d  mind had f a i l e d  alienating  the  takes  rejection  h a b i t , he was  o f h i m s e l f , F., a n d E d i t h i s c o m p l e t e in  Like  t e n d e n c y w h i c h he h a d b e e n c o n d i t i o n e d t o a c c e p t .  Once he l e a r n e d  stand  t h e eyes  he u n d e r s t a n d s the prayer: I change I am t h e same I change 23 I am t h e same  k e y t o h i s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n was h i s w i l l f u l  from  He b e c o m e s  has t h e c a p a c i t y t o see w i t h  The  concrete  nothing!"  by  30  willfully identity As  rejecting with  i t s attendant  freedom which  ego  which  o r any o f t h e other  He i s n o t t r a p p e d  i s identical  or a c o n f l i c t  tion  changes  it.  He i s t h e c h a r a c t e r  authors, ing  the form  merely  characters  he  i s avoiding  collapsing Yet, for  playing  a simple  aspects  analytical  stance  and c r i t i c a l .  "committed" change  There  development Viewed  a n y more t h a n  Conflicts  this  This  i s no c o n f l i c t  to a perspective  o r "become" o t h e r  than  are.  rather of per-  o f time  can never conflicts  when p e r s o n s a r e  and a r e unable they  accounts  inherent i n  way p e r s p e c t i v e s  apparent  self,  are reduced to  qualities  the dimension  are only  B y mak-  another.  and sympathetic  of various  most  and i s c o n s t a n t l y  i n Cohen's work because p e r s p e c t i v e s  space.  As a  like  one.identity to  i s detached  static  of h i salienated  Losers.  conflicting  of a  suffering a loss  and i s not,  the singular unity of B e a u t i f u l  single individual.  self-alienated  the roles of h i scharacters.  out of d i f f e r e n t  a  b u t does n o t e l i m i n a t e  t h e same.  imaginative  with  he p o r t r a y s  with  The ego m a n i p u l a -  t h o u g h he c h a n g e s , he r e m a i n s  spective  be  of perspective.  and s y n t h e s i z i n g from  than committed  a  h i s ego w i t h o u t  of h i s identity  Cohen's p e r s p e c t i v e  the  characters  by t h e tyranny  of  As t h e a u t h o r ,  to a single self-conception.  Cohen c a n m a n i p u l a t e  identity  are conscious  i s l a c k i n g i n any b u t a w i l l f u l l y  of view.  result, of  values.  t h e n a r r a t o r , F., a n d E d i t h .  c a n be t h e n a r r a t o r  point  defended h i s s t a t i c  i n T h e F a v o r i t e Game, we a s r e a d e r s  C o h e n , who c r e a t e d he  the r a t i o n a l i s m which  or u n w i l l i n g to  This  i s fundamental  31  to  t h e problems, o f p e r s o n a l  Cohen's work  ness  of reality  that  not destroy  of r e a l i t y  such an e x p e r i e n c e  remain  an i n d i v i d u a l  Cohen  which  form  i s able  manifestation  the  integrity  only  of the l i f e  visions,  alienated ing  life  through  point  at i t s center  the response  form which  F.  and t h e n a r r a t o r , does  at will  into  and  at the center Even i f  or delusional,  i s not i n doubt. of fixed  of h i sw i l l e d  self-  i t s value  In a surreal  giv-  i n reality  context  this  t h e c h a r a c t e r made u p o f a f u s i o n o f i n B e a u t i f u l Losers  a Ray C h a r l e s  because h i s i d e n t i t y  f o r m he g i v e s  and end i n  changes.  reveals  of a viewer.  what F . / n a r r a t o r ,  experienced  with  o f v i e w he becomes h i s c r e a t i o n t h e r e b y  to a created  himself  conscious-  to believe  on t h e v a l u e s  but r a t h e r , because  is  forms  of life  i s absurd  Thus, Cohen's c r e a t i o n i s n o t based personal  himself  the form  of consciousness  a new  a l l values  to alter  leap of  contrasts  lead people  would undermine  i s fluid,  the  to create  This  t h e same: t h e c o n s c i o u s n e s s  of personal  Implicit i n  the individual  of the creation.  conceptions  mere d e l u s i o n s . yet  will  at the center  static  and v a l u e .  i s t h e r e c o g n i t i o n .that t h e i r r a t i o n a l  imagination which permits vision  reality  hislife  which  movie;  he h a s become what he  i s totally  causes  when he t r a n s -  riots  fluid.  I t i s the  on t h e M a i n a n d  24 heralds  the f i n a l revolution.  Cohen's w i l l e d mode o f e x i s t e n c e . detached  24  from  self-alienation I t makes  the objects  i s an extremely  i t p o s s i b l e f o rhim to remain  of h i s interest  Cohen, B e a u t i f u l L o s e r s ,  dynamic  pp.300-306.  and y e t be  extremely  32  sympathetic.  I n h i s work Cohen d e a l s  temporary problems perience  values. is are  i n a way w h i c h p e r m i t s  t h e dynamic  traditional  static  w i t h many o f o u r c o n -  aspect  visions  the reader  o f human e x i s t e n c e of r e a l i t y  Cohen's work a l s o e x h i b i t s  consistent with h i swilled  and t h e i r  t o ex-  i n relation to accompanying  a scheme o f v a l u e s  self-alienation.  These  which values  primarily aesthetic.  II  Cohen's a e s t h e t i c i s m emerges from alienated temporal  perspective. quality  which  ventional  reality.  Kenniston  gives  hiswilled  His aesthetic values i s related  In h i s study  the following  involve a  to the rejection of alienation,  description  self-  of  con-  Kenneth  of aestheticism.  By " a e s t h e t i c " I d o n o t n e c e s s a r i l y m e a n s p e c i f i c a l l y a r t i s t i c ( t h o u g h m a n y a l i e n a t e d s u b j e c t s do a s p i r e " s o m e h o w t o e x p r e s s a l l , o r some o f w h a t I f e e l a b o u t l i f e " ) , b u t r a t h e r t h o s e g o a l s and v a l u e s whose main t e m p o r a l f o c u s i s i n t h e p r e s e n t , whose p r i m a r y s o u r c e i s t h e s e l f , and whose c h i e f a i m i s t h e development o f s e n t i e n c e , awareness, e x p r e s s i o n , and feeling. So d e f i n e d , a e s t h e t i c v a l u e s a r e t h o s e w h i c h do n o t r e q u i r e a d i s t a n t f u t u r e f o r t h e i r a t t a i n m e n t : t h e y c a n be c u l t i v a t e d a n d e n j o y e d i n t h e p r e s e n t ; t h e y r e q u i r e no p s y c h i c s a v i n g s account w i t h i n t e r e s t p a y a b l e a f t e r many y e a r s ; t h e y i n v o l v e a c t i v i t i e s w h i c h c a n b e e n j o y e d f o r t h e i r own s a k e a n d n o t b e c a u s e t h e y l e a d t o some d e s i r a b l e f u t u r e . Aesthetic values contrast sharply with instrumental values that i s , with values which stress c u l t i v a t i o n of p r e s e n t s a c r i f i c e and c o n t r o l f o r t h e sake o f the future.25  Kenniston,  The U n c o m m i t t e d ,  pp.71-72.  33 It  i s my  values" a  contention  the  is  connection  of "being"  "static"  aesthetic values  n a t u r a l l y gives  the concept  i n t h e c o n t i n u i n g moment Despite  not  similarities  identical  in  i s likely  of the universe  any a b s o l u t e  new a b s o l u t e s In  to  meaning  i s almost  vision  vision.  God f o r s a k e n .  existential  initially  the absurdity terms  tive  of reference  in  our c u l t u r e r e q u i r e s  social  values.  Cohen's work At  from  a morbid  a r e many  however, Cohen's  negative  vision  exis-  On t h e o t h e r  simple  that  an a c t i v e r e j e c t i o n  o f h i s sympathy w i t h  t h e same t i m e ,  life.  hedonism and  may b e s e e n a s a p o s i -  the fact  C e r t a i n l y , there  faith  physical gratification  The a e s t h e t i c p e r s p e c t i v e despite  of  the basic  exclusively negative.  pleasure. frame  a  as "becoming" and  philosophy,  i s p r i m a r i l y concerned with  with  His loss of  h a n d , a e s t h e t i c i s m may b e d i s t i n g u i s h e d f r o m which  The  sends h i m on a s e a r c h f o r  s p i t e of the a s s o c i a t i o n o f such  tential  i s coming t o  aestheticism i s  to concern himself  o r on a t i r a d e a g a i n s t  with  "expanded  of consciousness.  and purpose  "authenticity"  F o r example,  o f "becoming"  a l l life  of basic values,  being  em-  preoccupation  the idea  t o t h e modern e x i s t e n t i a l i s t  existentialist sense  rise  There i s  their  o f t h e more dynamic  moment" o r " e t e r n a l moment" i n w h i c h pass  with  and an a l i e n a t e d o u t l o o k .  s i n g l e moments w h e r e a s  consistent with  "instrumental  an a e s t h e t i c p e r s p e c t i v e .  between  on t h e p r e s e n t  notion  with  Cohen has r e j e c t e d  and has d e v e l o p e d  direct  phasis  that  aestheticism  of dominant  indications i n  the e x i s t e n t i a l aestheticism  of the kind  long  vision.  saves him faced  apostles  34 of  a n x i e t y and  tential  psychic  despair.  work r e p r e s e n t a way  The  an  that w i l l  torment peddle aesthetic values  attempt  either  make m e a n i n g l e s s n e s s  to  unimportant.  considers  freedom  for  d e s p a i r , Cohen a c c e p t s n a t u r a l states which  of  time  that  can  sents  be  the  tion  t h r e a t of  his  of the  and  on  the  an  as  than  cause  the  moment a n d present  facts  things  always  easy hedonism. always presents  of  dangers  these  or  meaninglessness  world  face  in  existentialist  meaninglessness  i n the  into  the  f o r meaning  more a l a r m i n g  enjoyed  falling  In  i s u n l i k e those  relevance  of  present.  Certainly,  last  the  two  past  decades  the  pre-  The a  Cohen  growing  disenchantment with  new  into  knowledge  psychology,  exposed  the  been  judged  This  has  value  of and  the  foundations as  illusory,  created  permanency,  This  that  seems the  basic  social the  rejected to  twentieth century  have r e v e a l e d  live.  have permeated  have merely  future i n order  place  that  to  and  who  popular  The  no  world  temptabalances  existence. Cohen  the  and  confusion  to d e s p a i r .  are  basis  exis-  Cohen's  a meaningless  freedom  Concentration  achieved  meaningless  both  p u b l i c as  U n l i k e the  a b u r d e n and  as  space.  a new  the  underlying  cope w i t h  generate  who  and  to  t o be  s c i e n c e , the  social  the  century  and  of  culture.  living they  best,  a  values  penetrating  at  the  is a  result  s t r u c t u r e and  amount o f  stability,  present  of modern  and,  in  especially  s t r u c t u r e of western  relative,  a certain  and  the  nineteenth  experience of  live  the  insights have have  tentative.  a n x i e t y among t h o s e  absolutes.  This  who  anxiety is  35 a u g m e n t e d by  the  traditionally tion  of  ning  has  not  the  become p a r t  to  of waste ity  made h i s t o r y  p a s t has  g i v e n up  arrives  faith  destroy  and  persisted.  the  as  past  an  The  the  this;  even the  and  personal  t h o u g h he  Cohen  conscious  of  that the  i n the  the  Though past  the  the  sacrifices  future. Cohen,  time  the  of  same.  s o c i e t y changes is self-alienated  his disinterest  on  and  the  the  see  of  reach  present  the  assumpnow  will  against  in  conventional  in  to  plans  many p e o p l e  worn concepts He  in  History conspires  like  has  anchored  emphasizes  i s based  always pageant  past  i t ; they  firmly  have  desirabil-  which  future  a  i s centered  supporting ladder  the  attitude  futility  these view,  social  es-  stabil-  k n o w s t h a t he  will  change  He  that  despite  a l s o knows  even to  i n the  though  the  someday p r o j e c t s o f  frustration  he  shapes h i s changing  self  i t remains  extent  future  the  of  of  plan-  who  i s s e e n as  view  view  and  future  more r u n g s  consistency.  eeternal present  the  a few  the  Venera-  those  add  making  remains  o f men,  society.  for  of  i t s r e l i a n c e on  plans  only  of  venerating  this  people  need  changes.  recognizes  pecially ity  people  everyone  times,  the  sake  same p e o p l e  schemes  the  f u t u r e and of  which  o f humanity.  conventional  conventional  tion  the  the  and  extendible Jacob's  f o r the  be  o l d hopes  of  sacrifice that  Utopian  the  of progress  e r r a n t romanticism  in historiosophy.  t o w h i c h we  heaven.  saviour  of  persistence  psychology  society  the  fiction  into  f o r the  The  the  turned  failure,  of planning  static  d e c l i n e of  as  and  that  he  a is  a repository  to  the  extent  f r o m moment-to-moment w i t h i n  consciousness  and  life.  Most  of  -  36 t h o s e who r e j e c t " i n s t r u m e n t a l tory,  and a r e m o d i f i e d  by e x t e r n a l  alienated  by f o r c e s  this  and has a v o i d e d  trap  He w i l l  outside  escape being  himself,  values"  that  ence and a r t .  i tby being  in  values  uses n e c e s s i t y  the present  determined  free  t o change  proposition  because  that  anything.  they  understanding  sponsibility ity  vidual  are not denied  i n changing  makes f l i g h t necessary  possible,  claims  Cohen's w i l l e d are  almost  concept tion  to the l i t e r a r y  century,  Game,  Choice  i s not  or reveals  and r e necess-  by t h e i n d i -  Thus, as g r a v i t y  f a v o r i t e game g r a v i t y i s  of beauty. and a e s t h e t i c  t o t h e dominant  and i n s t r u m e n t a l  a r e n o t so s t r i k i n g l y  perspective conventional  values.  and p h i l o s o p h i c a l thought  Cohen's v i e w s  lives have  he v i e w s  c a n be u s e d  and the world.  self-alienation  identity  who  on  i s to turn the  by Cohen b e c a u s e  c a t e g o r i c a l l y opposed  of static  directly  he i s n o t r e s p o n s -  determinism.  i n Liza's  f o rthe creation  state-  i tand, i n any event,  as f a c t s w h i c h himself  experi-  He d o e s n o t d e n y n e c e s s i t y  of personal  and determinism  into a  and n e c e s s i t y  Cohen's r e s p o n s e  on i t s head.  bear  The a e s t h e t e  experience  as he f i n d s  transforming  of this  c h a n g e , a n d h i s w o r k , e s p e c i a l l y The F a v o r i t e his  i s aware o f  willfully self-alienated.  implications  h i sv i s i o n of the world,  f o r the world  become  demands, b u t r a t h e r ,  i n Cohen's a r t .  and says  ible  Cohen  of his-  as a t o o l t o a c h i e v e  The d e t e r m i n i s t i c  inherent  They  h i s t o r y ' s pawn b y c o n s t a n t l y  ment a r e n o t t o be o v e r l o o k e d the  necessity.  themselves.  n o t i n t o what n e c e s s i t y  personality  become v i c t i m s  In rela-  of the last  unique.  37  However, him  there  apart  from h i s l i t e r a r y  temporaries. the  unusual  features  i n h i s work which s e t  predecessors  and most  T h e r e h a v e b e e n many a t t e m p t s qualities  particularly Cohen's  are s i g n i f i c a n t  peculiarities  distinguish  o f Cohen's work but few have  successful.  critics  to  o f h i s con-  One  o f t h e most  i s S a n d r a D j w a who  o f Cohen's  been  perceptive  of  h a s n o t i c e d some o f t h e  aesthetic vision  and w r i t e s :  R e a d i n g t h r o u g h C o h e n ' s w o r k we b e c o m e a w a r e of an u n s a t i s f i e d s e a r c h f o r an a b s o l u t e . In h i s w o r l d t h e r e a r e no f i x e d v a l u e s , s p i r i t u a l o r s e n s u a l , t h a t s t a n d b e y o n d t h e t r a n s i t o r y moment, a n d t h e moment i t s e l f , e x p e r i e n c e made m y t h , b l e n d s i m p e r c e p t i b l y w i t h o t h e r moments and o t h e r m y t h o l o g i e s , so t h a t i n t h e s h i f t i n g t h e v a l u e s c h a n g e , l e a v i n g o n l y t h e v a l u e o f e x p e r i e n c e made a r t . 2 ° Others force as  have r e c o g n i z e d behind  a pose  stemming The  i n Cohen as w e l l ,  (Ondaatje), from  o r as p a r t  the decadent  he h a s w i l l f u l l y  more  They, that  like  but the motive  t h e a e s t h e t i c p e r s p e c t i v e has been v i e w e d  deSade  c o n d i t i o n , were  a l i e n a t e d them  tradition  and B a u d e l a i r e  and t h e d e c a d e n t s ,  than  (Djwa).  however, i s  one  of the  and imposed t h e i r The  c o n d i t i o n upon decadents  them  to analyse  romanticize  the experience  i t . Their  r a t h e r than  of a l i e n a t i o n  t e n d e n c y was  analyze,  Djwa, "Leonard Cohen: B l a c k L i t e r a t u r e , 34, p.22.  them.  and  which enable  to rationalize  and they  most  Romantic,"  order  lacked the  modern p s y c h o l o g i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e and t h e v o c a b u l a r y externalize  He  decadents.  the v i c t i m s of a s o c i a l  They became v i c t i m s o f h i s t o r y .  could  either  a l i e n a t e d h i m s e l f ; he h a s c o n t r o l .  the marquis  in their  of a l i t e r a r y  romantics  d i f f e r e n c e between Cohen  that is  this  often  Canadian  or  ended  38  in merely their  reacting  problems  century  the forces  and d i s c o m f o r t .  of literature,  w h i c h makes as  against  the decadents.  The c u l t  number o f l i m i t a t i o n s t h a t shortly  after the turn  alienation  literary  time  i n a way t h a t  general  is  rather Cohen  This  portrayal Breavman's  is  i s very  of  the delight  i n our society  i n h i sw r i t i n g . perspective  begins  near  the beginning  see a l i m i t e d  sexuality.  o f The  This  Favorite torture,  finds himself  form which h i smother  Game, p . 3 .  Game.  i nhis child-  game o f G e r m a n s ,  and windows and hub-caps."  Cohen, The F a v o r i t e  and i t s s o u r c e .  i n The F a v o r i t e  t o h i s awakening  Breavman s u d d e n l y  i n perfect  We  on  aestheticism  t o emerge e a r l y  of the wartime  whips,  to rely  of h i scondition  27 mirrors  a  to the present  of the decadents.  related  portrayed  red string  continuing  that  conscious  aestheticism  and  a  i n both h i s  Thus, Cohen's  clearly  In the midst  Cohen,  i s not merely  errors  aware o f  forms.  of the aesthetic  amusingly  behind him  sake bred  were w e l l  he i s r e s p o n d i n g  d i f f e r e n t than  and i s c l e a r l y  Game.  writerss  of a  makes u s e o f i n e v i t a b l e a l i e n a t i o n a n d t h e  and outward  i s revealed  hood  of a r t f o rart's  d i s p o s i t i o n of people  appearances  and science  of the century.  tradition;  t o cause  h e w o u l d m a k e t h e same  and a e s t h e t i c i s m ,  weak  seemed  Cohen has t h e advantage  philosophy,  i t u n l i k e l y that  that  aware  "sought i n  39 Breavman watched  the  naked  form  of  Liza,  . . . and t h e c o t d i s a p p e a r e d f r o m u n d e r h e r and she f l o a t e d i n the a u t u m n a l gloom o f the garage, two f e e t a b o v e t h e s t o n e f l o o r . Oh  my,  my,  my.  Breavman d i d n ' t take h i s t u r n at w h i p p i n g . There were w h i t e f l o w e r s growing out o f a l l her pores. ° L  Breavman's f r i e n d , refuses Krantz  to admit plugs  a  and  interest  a preoccupation limitation  i s a l s o a f f e c t e d by  i t . Breavman  h i s ears  Breavman's to  Krantz,  early  insists  runs  the  that Liza  scene  is "perfect";  away.  i n p e r f e c t forms of beauty  with fixed i n the  but  moments w h i c h  leads  i s recognized  him as  book.  Here i s a movie f i l l e d w i t h the bodies of h i s f a m i l y . . . . H i s m o t h e r s t e p s b a c k . . . . She t h i n k s she i s out o f f o c u s . Breavman s t o p s the f i l m f a c e i s e a t e n by a s p r e a d i n g as t h e f i l m m e l t s . ... Breavman i s m u t i l a t i n g at h i s t o r y . . . . be  The m o v i e r u n s careful.^9  Breavman i s always m i n d ; he stillness  night  trying  mutilates l i f e  to  t o s t u d y h e r and h e r orange-rimmed s t a i n the  and  stop  film  day.  in his Be  efforts  careful,  blood,  the movie which runs  in his efforts  at a r t .  He  in his  enjoys  of p a i n t i n g s .  Breavman l o v e s the t h e way he s t o p s t i m e .  C o h e n , The Ibid.,  p i c t u r e s of Henri  F a v o r i t e Game,  pp.5-6.  p.14.  Rousseau,  the  40  A l w a y s i s t h e w o r d t h a t m u s t be u s e d . The l i o n w i l l a l w a y s be s n i f f i n g t h e r o b e s o f t h e g y p s y , t h e r e w i l l b e no a t t a c k , no g u t s o n the sand.*0 We  see  a more d e v e l o p e d p h a s e  the  d e s c r i p t i o n of  car  rides with  his  of  thoughts  Breavman's during  one  aestheticism of  the  in  midnight  Krantz.  Now, Breavman, here i s the p r o p o s i t i o n : Let us s u p p o s e t h a t you c o u l d s p e n d t h e r e s t o f y o u r l i f e e x a c t l y as you a r e a t t h i s v e r y m i n u t e , i n t h i s car h u r t l i n g toward brush country, at t h i s p r e c i s e s p o t on t h e r o a d b e s i d e a row o f w h i t e guide posts, always going past these posts at e i g h t y , t h i s jukebox song of r e j e c t i o n pumping, t h i s p a r t i c u l a r s k y and c l o u d s and s t a r s , y o u r mind i n c l u d i n g t h i s immediate c r o s s - s e c t i o n of memory--which w o u l d you choose? F i f t y more y e a r s o f t h i s c a r r i d e , o r f i f t y more o f a c h i e v e m e n t and failure?  It  And  Breavman never  Let  i t go  m u s t be  stressed  Breavman's yond in  this  this  aesthetic point.  on  as  that  this  failure  as  I t i s one  the  Despite  to  l i m i t e d because  his  at  the  C o h e n , The Ibid.,  he  did.  expense  of of  Favorite  p.104.  choice.  now.  l i m i t e d expression He to  eventually note  early  the  of  of  moves  word  He  of  could  achievement  Breavman,  be-  "choice"  indications  position.  values  have and  however,  is self-alienated.  self-alienation,  remains ego  the  for his  eventually  conform;  his  of  instrumental  Krantz  "chose" not  is a  perspective.  Breavman's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to  in his 31  i t is right  It i s important  passage.  conformed  hesitated  his  Breavman's  i n s i s t e n c e on  necessity. Game, p . 6 1 .  His  aestheticism maintaining  combination  of  41  alienation with  from  beauty  change  c o n v e n t i o n a l views  make h i s v i s i o n  the world  threatened  by  romantic.  with poetry.  reality  he  and  his artistic He  b e l i e v e s he  When h i s r o m a n t i c  m u s t move  obsession can  veil  is  on.  Some s a y t h a t n o o n e e v e r l e a v e s M o n t r e a l , f o r t h a t c i t y , l i k e Canada i t s e l f , i s d e s i g n e d to p r e s e r v e t h e p a s t , a p a s t t h a t happened somewhere else. This past i s not p r e s e r v e d i n the b u i l d i n g s or monuments, w h i c h f a l l e a s i l y t o p r o f i t , but i n the minds of her c i t i z e n s . The c l o t h e s t h e y w e a r , the jobs they perform are o n l y the d i s g u i s e s of fashion. E a c h man s p e a k s h i s f a t h e r ' s t o n g u e . . . . So t h e s t r e e t s c h a n g e s w i f t l y , t h e s k y s c r a p e r s climb i n t o s i l h o u e t t e s a g a i n s t the St. Lawrence, b u t i t i s s o m e h o w u n r e a l a n d no o n e b e l i e v e s i t , b e c a u s e i n M o n t r e a l t h e r e i s no p r e s e n t t e n s e , there i s o n l y the past c l a i m i n g v i c t o r i e s . 32 Breavman f l e d He  also fled  glory  and  refused into  and  his family.  mystery  he  to remain  another  chose  to  the  still;  form  live  had  of  i n the  The  city  tried  to  the  itself past  city.  past and  impose kept  the  behind  on  accept  it.  Montreal  t u r n i n g the  people,  w a l l s of  his  the  present  family,  tradition,  fashion^  respectability. Breavman condemns h i s u n c l e s  tic  refused to  vision.  insecure  They d i d not  because  moment c r e a t i o n  realize  i t r e s t e d on i n the  face  of  who that  do  not  share  "their  i n h e r i t a n c e and  nobility not 33  annihilation."  condemnation, however, r e v e a l s t h a t Breavman's vision  i s becoming  C o h e n , The Ibid.,  a more r e a l i s t i c  p.130 .  romanwas  moment-toThis  same  aesthetic  p o i n t of view.  F a v o r i t e Game, p . 1 0 4 .  his  Breavman  42  recognizes  i n the  beauty  f o r m w h i c h m u s t be not by  to  dissolve  Breavman  art  to  life  novel, him  to  i n chaos. the  in his  cause  he  synagogue.  a t t i t u d e has of  romantic was  to  to  a  her  and  and  with  she  hero.  was  this  as  He  i s why  he  the  that  lead  to  be  turning Shell  confirm  his  behis  heroine  as  Breavman r e a l i z e s t h a t  provided  f i n d s he  the  S h e l l to  happy  of  by  S h e l l are  would  of  truth.  Breavman wanted  needed  i f i t is  relation  end  i n ways  art  extended  the  the  Shell represents  Eventually,  death.  Toward  aesthetic  He  living  i s not  understands  changed  Initially  satisfaction  living  tation  the  comfort.  v i s i o n and  be  comfort  history.  desired  recognition  the  Breavman's a f f a i r point  This  w h e r e he  glimpse  a  f r o m moment-to-moment  point  outside  a  religious ritual  maintained  however, h i s  toward  of  rather  leading  live  in  he the  him  expec-  writes:  D e a r e s t S h e l l , i f y o u l e t me I ' d a l w a y s k e e p you f o u r h u n d r e d m i l e s away and w r i t e you p r e t t y poems and l e t t e r s . That's true. I'm a f r a i d t o l i v e any p l a c e b u t i n e x p e c t a t i o n . I'm no lifer i s k . 34 He  has  and  discovered  a l l experience  is  necessary  to  live  with  i n the  i n change.  i s the  varied  are  have  to  are  always  contains  our  life  and  C o h e n , The  Favorite  the  changes  change;  Breavman  change wishes  moment b e t w e e n  the  future  with  we  i n that  power to  means  of  experience.  conscious  and  comfort  and  Everything  sensation  e x p a n d e d moment; t h e  We  means c o m f o r t 34  absolute  i t s b e a u t i f u l memories  pectation. which  i f we  an  create.  stasis.  Game, p . 2 3 9 .  It  face  past ex-  s i n g l e moment Satiation is a  form  of  43  stagnation  wherein  falls  v i c t i m to  cause  she  prince could At  not  four  remain they and  time  offered  and  the  and  him  flattered last;  his  that  both "The  fair  shall  he  Breavman t e l l s  acknowledged  eventually  distance  the  he  can  The  parallel  Bust"  cannot  a t t i t u d e toward  Shell  i n the  himself Shell him  knew, h o w e v e r ,  always at  to be  i t  the  and  she  same  Grecian  is  can  time, Urn"  overlooked, but  change  letter,  her  disillusioned.  love  "The  and be-  as  that  become  i n h i s memory, w h i l e  and  i n the  He  would  creating  Breavman l e a v e s she  ego.  change.  Statue  difference  habit.  comfort;  hundred miles forever  i n d i v i d u a l stops  the  important.  "something wants  to  begin  3 5 in  me."  He  change. for  sake him  Implicit  of  to  the  slightly  i n Breavman's  above  Breavman w i l l  simple  warding.  He  enjoy  simple  the  must f i n d  people  to  dynamic  the  happy w i t h  way  of  aesthetic of  From and  values  the  moment.  being with  raises  this  he  can  a voyeur the  world  rather him  stage  perfect  Patricia,  dealing  sacrifice  in expectation,  element which  static  will  "present  sake  live  aestheticism. find  k n o w s he  on  moments no  re-  longer 3 6  poet. and  the  in i t .  that 3 5  s u d d e n memory o f  eventually  C o h e n , The 5 6  involve  s a t i s f a c t i o n s of  a new  Breavman's key  desire  longer  i s not  values"  Shell for  i s the  no  i t i s but  f u t u r e , " Breavman's  sacrifice  than possession,  He  know what  If "instrumental  the  caused  does not  Ibid.,  will  Favorite  pp.242-244.  help  Liza's  free  him  Game, p . 2 4 0 .  f a v o r i t e game i s from h i s  self-  the  44 alienated Bertha, the  condition with  who  other  snow.  represents  The  object  that  ing  impression.  the  He  others  aestheticism when t h e the  story  and  that  we  It is also  plane  of  see at  awareness  him  point  that  aestheticism  and  willed  the  fall  in  most will  at  he  and  perspective the  end  understanding  self-alienation  of of  a  his  new  perspective  f o r the  from  impression  Breavman enters  responsibility  modify-  alienation  developing  learn  himself  i n a new  an  a  pleas-  willfully  create  I t i s only  threw  into  w h e r e he  and  When  life,  the  c o n t r o l the  approaching  newly  his  point  Thus, h i s  close.  of  fall  created  become f o c u s e d  a  this  to  c h a n g e by  will  world.  of  bring  him  suffering  he  limited  por-  others.  Cohen's p r e s e n t a t i o n trayal  of  his  of  center  c o n t r o l the  change  that  to  to  the  as  understanding  caused  i s at  l e a r n to  about  the  that  "necessity"  comes t o  art.  an  experience;  the  at  game was  i n a way  are  novel  combined  the  will  moment-to-moment  force  egocentrism.  n e c e s s a r i l y had  Breavman  to  himself.  makes on  of  a l t e r e d the  surrender  ing  the  c h i l d r e n , they  way  to  i t s attendant  of  Breavman  his point in his  aesthetic  view.  leads  creation,  as  to  the  perspective  Breavman  to  the  i s presented  moved f a r  to  bear  aesthetic perspective, the  The  a  self-alienation  I t i s important  a c o n t r o l of moment.  i s only  Cohen has  f u s i o n of w i l l e d  perspective.  alienation  expand  of  of  necessity  culmination  in Beautiful  of of  beyond and  i n mind and  change, this  Losers.  the  that is  that self-  used  aesthetic  45 The the  b a s i c temporal  present.  concept. the as  future i s both  exists of  past to  move f r o m future whether  either  of l i f e  exists.  aestheticism expense ally  t h e moment personal tic,  his  aspects i tplaces  i n a way t h a t t r i e s  f o rthis  time  because  visions  which  t o time  of reality,  reason,  cannot  and t h e p o s s i b i l i t y  with  conceive  we a c q u i r e a s we  or frustrated  limitation  i s a preoccupation  to i n -  Our e x p e c t a t i o n s o f t h e  acquired values  The u s u a l  and e x p e c t a t i o n  o f w h a t we  of the future arriving  o f t h e dynamic  romantic  the future.  be r e a l i z e d  present  we c a r r y w i t h u s f r o m t h e  by t h e v a l u e s  and i t s r e l a t i o n  inevitability  already  into  The  c r a s h and  may b e e x t e n d e d  The n a t u r e  i s determined  o r n o t we h a v e  standing  of  the future.  the past  will  which  b r e a k f a s t and  i n a plane  t o memory o f t h e p a s t  The memory o f t h e p a s t  a s we m e e t  an i m a g i n a t i v e  as y e s t e r d a y ' s  on a c a l e n d a r .  t h e h a b i t s and v a l u e s  be r e a l i t y  the  date  perspective i s  i s largely  as u n c e r t a i n as l i f e  i n relation  the future.  clude  i s as f a c t u a l  as t h e next  only  o f any a e s t h e t i c  The p r e s e n t , h o w e v e r ,  The p a s t  certain  focus  depending  make o u r u n d e r -  consistent with t o change  connected single  of l i f e .  on  what  with  simple  moments a t t h e  This view  i s basic-  a premium on t h e f e e l i n g s t o deny  meaning, bear  time  f o r the sake o f  and v a l u e .  to face  of  The roman-  the i n e v i t a b i l i t y  t h a t t h e f u t u r e may n o t  support  precarious self-centered vision. Cohen removes  some o f t h e r o m a n t i c  element  aesthetic  vision.  He a p p a r e n t l y r e c o g n i z e s  of  H i s main  temporal  time.  focus  from h i s  the necessity  i s the present  moment, b u t  46 he  i s aware  sciousness clearly  that  i t i s the  where  a l l men  imaginative present  must  i n Cohen's p o r t r a i t  narrator,  in Beautiful  live.  of  the  This fused  moment o f  i s revealed  con-  most  characters,  F./  Losers.  H i s . p r e s e n c e was l i k e t h e s h a p e o f a n h o u r g l a s s , s t r o n g e s t w h e r e i t was s m a l l e s t . A n d t h a t p o i n t w h e r e he was m o s t a b s e n t , t h a t ' s w h e n t h e g a s p s s t a r t e d , because the f u t u r e streams through that p o i n t , going both ways. That i s the b e a u t i f u l w a i s t of the h o u r g l a s s ! That i s the p o i n t of clear light! L e t i t c h a n g e f o r e v e r w h a t we do n o t know! For a l o v e l y b r i e f n e s s a l l the sand i s c o m p r e s s e d i n t h e s t e m b e t w e e n t h e two flasks! Ah, t h i s i s not a s e c o n d c h a n c e . For a l l the time i t t a k e s t o l a u n c h a s i g h he a l l o w e d t h e s p e c t a t o r s a v i s i o n o f A l l Chances A t Once!37 This  vision  of  the  c h a r a c t e r becoming  consciousness  seems t o be  perspective.  In t h i s  dynamic  aspect  hourglass streams  in this  continue  to  image  Cohen's  represent  through  Implicit will  of  the  the  exist  of  the  f u t u r e makes p o s s i b l e and  change  the  present  or  life  will.  Thus,  nature  of both  when t h e  f u t u r e ; the  the  of  Cohen, B e a u t i f u l  the  past  Losers,  the  f u t u r e can  be  moment i n a way  "lovely and  be  so  the  ways." past  "becomes" "chances" modified  that that  b r i e f n e s s " of  by  will the  possi-  consistent with  f u t u r e are  p.305.  the  future  both  that  future  of  the  "going  modifies  future will  i n the  of  the  flasks  understanding  past  see  future but,  i t i s "becoming" past  bilities and  hourglass  streaming  f u t u r e as choices  the  the  we  The  the  i n the  past.  the  hourglass  and  i s the  words,  the  e x p a n d e d moment  of Cohen's a e s t h e t i c  aestheticism.  the  altering  essence  of  past  waist  vision  In other  the  the  the  the  present  comprehended  as  47 "necessary," ition  the individual  of personality  Chances A t Once." willed a  the  and v a l u e s ,  point  combines w i t h  of reality.  form n e c e s s i t y  aesthetic trapped and  demands.  who i s v i c t i m i z e d  by a f i x e d  traditional  identity  to flow  vision  of h i s hourglass  always  the future  l i k e the fabric  the  both ways, w a i t i n g  of self i n  t o become  what-  i s not l i k e the  i s maintained  time  Cohen's  aestheticism i n  n o r i s he  by p a s t  Cohen t r a n s c e n d s  with  of " A l l  s e e how  and n e c e s s i t y ,  habits  the static  and n e c e s s i t y .  In the  t h e p r e s e n t moment i s A l l moments a r e t h e  The t e x t u r e  o f a cosmic  imagination,  we  destruction  o f t h e l a s t moment.  constant  Consciousness,  which  we s e e t h a t  same b u t a l l a r e d i f f e r e n t .  mind  that  i tp o s s i b l e  by time  acquis-  the center  Thus, Cohen  s t a t i c values.  moment a n d t h e p a s t ,  of i t s past  dynamic  The w i l l f u l  moment o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s m a k e s  ever  devoid becomes  I t i s at this  self-alienation  new v i s i o n  life,  of time  ribbon  remains  passing  t o be e m b r o i d e r e d w i t h i s at the center  through visions.  of the ever  changing, but always  t h e same, e x p a n d e d moment, b u t i t i s  the  and i d e n t i t y  place  cannot  exist  nature, saw of  where  destroyed  of s t a t i c visions  That which remains  by the f l a s h i n g  Cohen has i n v e n t e d face  they  a n d t h e moment i s a l w a y s m o v i n g  between t h e t a b l e  necessity.  a r e "most a b s e n t . "  i n t h e e x p a n d e d moment b e c a u s e  static  blade  self  of necessity.  still  will  I t i s like Liza's  name o f t h e game m i g h t b e , d e f e a t  a r e by  l i k e a bandand t h e wheels  be s l i c e d a n d  moment a s t i m e p a s s e s  a new c o s m i c  through i t .  game t o p l a y favorite  destiny  They  i nthe  game.  by changing.  The  48  "I a  change/I  am t h e s a m e "  realization  vidual ness  symbolized  Cohen has opened  that informs  t h e moment.  t o become a p e r s o n a l i t y  that consciousness  Though t h e i n d i -  The c e n t e r o f Cohen's v i s i o n  i s the consciousness choosing  expression of  i n t h e same m o m e n t o f c o n s c i o u s -  as l o n g as he l i v e s .  willfully  mystic  by the h o u r g l a s s .  c h a n g e s , he r e m a i n s  reality  of  i s the almost  which  By  c a n make u s e  and t h e n e c e s s i t y o f change  an avenue  of  i n time,  t o a new w a y o f c o n c e i v i n g o f  reality. The the  nature  of r e a l i t y  individual's  the values  i s inextricably  way o f p e r c e i v i n g  he a c c e p t s .  of things are regarded  their  relation  was  structured  and  enjoy  imagination and  future.  always  been,  by others  and w i l l  our of  reality.  real  capacity The  The d e g r e e  i s directly  sane,  t o sense  related  freedom w i l l  Our w o r l d  of l i f e ,  t o which  to suffer  moment b e t w e e n be f o u n d ,  of existing  man  as i t has  categories of r e a l i t y , we a r e a s s e r t i n g i t merely  appearances  t o which  the past  cosmographies.  to the perceiving  and normal  i n h i sworld  reference to  of l i f e .  i s not r e a l i t y ;  the extent  rational,  comfortable  without  meanings, and purposes,  Appearance  aspect of  o n l y by e x e r c i s i n g our  i n the fleeting  a vision  with  t h e appearance and  l o n g b e f o r e we a r r i v e d  i n the rejection  responses,  freedom.  aspects  be c h a n g e d  Ultimately  W h e n e v e r we r e j e c t stock  as r e a l  t o t h e dynamic  i t ; i t will  the temporal  In our society  forms  interwoven  partakes  and forms a r e individual's  he, himself, i s r e a l .  i s usually  he o f t e n m i s s e s  so s e c u r e and  a comprehension of  49 the  degree  lem  of being  middle  "realistic"  course  program. reality tical  t o w h i c h he i s u n r e a l .  Nor i s the problem  purposes."  same w a y m o n e y is  value  ever,  to another  course  o f wars  when i t s w o r l d  to  with  lost  as  time  being  they  reject the  before  begin  may  begins  to conflict themselves  becomes  current  i n the  non-negotiable has  and s u b s c r i p t i o n vaults  fraud.  Indeed,  i n society f o r a i s accepted  the experience  i n order  one  of mutual  seems r e a l  When w h a t  with  and c o n t i n u i n g r e j e c t i o n Losers,  from  one w i t h p s y c h i c  of the society.  In Beautiful  positive  of the currency  o f some c o s m i c  remain  remains  E v e n t u a l l y , how-  of time,  i t i s discovered.  the " r e a l i t y "  reality.  i t has a  Thus, what  i s apt to leave  to f a l s i f y  willful  of the world  names a n d b o r d e r s  i n the face  counterfeit bills  real  c o n s t i t u t e s t h e mean-  the fate  a reality  "prac-  i n much t h e  as i t i s passed  suffer  no l o n g e r . e x i s t s .  existence  on  ideal  as i t i s exchanged,  i t the v i t a l i t y  their  and h i s t o r y ;  counterfeit reality  long  meaning  of r e a l i t y  current visions  filled  exists  t h a t makes s o c i e t y p o s s i b l e .  w h i c h have  a precarious  value  as a v i s i o n  carrying with  a l l visions  of n a t i o n s  argument based  among p e o p l e ,  i t generates  understanding  and a b e h a v i o r i s t  As l o n g  and t h i s  As l o n g  some  r e s o l v e d by p o s t u l a t i n g an  or i s real.  and i s exchanged  because  person  a  exists  t o the prob-  of taking  In our s o c i e t y r e a l i t y  i t has f o r u s .  current  vision  t o some v a g u e  c u r r e n t , i t has value  ing  i s not a matter  between a s c h i z o i d  or appealing  The s o l u t i o n  o f men  t o conform  Freedom  only  o f any s t a t i c  Cohen p o r t r a y s  this  or  they  exists i n vision  of  activity  50 in  the  narrator's  In  Beautiful  surreal the  plane.  of  the  everything tional  Losers  This  weaknesses  power  education.  of  reality  i s because  any  possible. of  and  The  the  world  t o c o m p r e h e n d F.,  the  dead  of  reality.  Indian F.  makes r e a l i t y ; great  visions  borrowing The  has he  of  ideas  and  n a r r a t o r seeks  understanding. narrator  F.  takes  and  the  has  Edith, He  respect  understands the  world.  a terrible, and  i s reaching  the  them.  He  empirically  t o be  and  real,  There real in  i s no and  he of  "reality"  purpose  true  see  and  i n a world  wants h i s v i s i o n mythical  to  arrive  facts,  of  wants h i s " s e l f " the  he  world  tries  t o be  where a b s o l u t e  such world  and  a fictional  one  must  knows what  universe  the  or not  and  learn that  where v i r t u a l l y  purpose world  be  real,  He  He  The  illusion.  anything  logicof  use.  he the  meaning  is possible.  life  must  is  He  and  wants  knowledge  i t i s .  and  i t is  still  t o be  to p e r c e i v e .  he  of  and  consistent with  i n a world  t h a t no  view  i t can  fiction  truth  meaning,  t h a t any  factual  at  what  fictions.  home w i t h u s e f u l i l l u s i o n s . of  of  always  i s at  illusions  to  vision  of a l l  i n order  that r e g a r d l e s s of whether  wants  quality  facts  and  happy  ideas  creates  fictional  i s not  for a  is happily eclectic;  he  He  conven-  Tekakwitha,  out  fictional  a  hysterical  Catherine  and  or  demonstrate  into  for traditional  F.  inverting  fails  or  o f v i e w when a l l t h e  seriously  ally  imaginative  i t s c a p a c i t y f o r i n v e n t i o n make  saint. no  an  narrator i s locked  yearning long  on  i t i s easier to  r e a l i s t i c point  imagination  vision  exists  alone  l e a r n to  is live  is possible;  51 he  must  g i v e up h i s q u e s t  predictable F. brings  safe  teaches  the narrator the operation  i n the midst  He w a n t s  to retreat  comfort,  b u t F. h a s e f f e c t i v e l y  able  the v a l i d i t y "being"  shattered monologue" of  with  i n t h e moment o f  of h i s hysteria life  raised  o f s c h o l a r s h i p and  s o many  questions  t h a t he i s no l o n g e r  historian. h i svision  degenerate  stability  breaks  into  of the world.  The  and r a v i n g s .  down a n d t h e s e m a n t i c  in  and incoherence.  The n a r r a t o r l e a r n s f r o m  and f i n a l l y  h i s own.  looks fest  out from itself  action his  faces  h i s eyes.  i n fantasy  which  recoils  identity,  world  together.  order  As  hisrationality  ates  The n a r r a t o r ' s  a n d he i s o n l y  uses h i s mind  able  imposes h i m s e l f  i s suspended  to maniinto "self," been  on t h e w o r l d of reality.  and h i s p e r v e r s i t y and  Mole"  t o sew t h e  vision  i n the stagnation of satiation  F.'s per-  t o ask ques-  as a needle  t o make i t f i t h i s r a t i o n a l i z e d  itself  has a l r e a d y  which  itself  the Brain  i t t o emerge  H i s reason  He n o l o n g e r  in  "Hitler  allows  upon h i m s e l f .  i s destroyed.  He n o l o n g e r  expresses  He a l l o w s h i s p e r v e r s i t y  and then  undermined by h i s h y s t e r i a tions.  hislife  As h i s  formulas  h i svalues  versity  "interior rationality  support lust  comfort-  His self-conceptioni s  hysteria  disintegrate,  him-  and a n x i e t y .  o f s e l f - c o n c e p t i o n and t h e grammatical  hisvision  verbal  of h i s past  and  The n a r r a t o r f i n d s  to h i s sedentary  a dusty  along  of a  of the w i l l  dynamically  by i n d u c i n g h y s t e r i a .  disintegrating  about  and s e c u r i t y  existence.  him t o a s t a t e of l i v i n g  consciousness self  f o r the comfort  annihil-  exhaustion,  52  all  that remains  comes b e a u t i f u l the  loss  life.  i s purged only  of static  The v i s i o n  b e c a u s e he l o s t  form  pure.  the  point of existence  It i s a vision  without  his static  where  self  It i s a vision  The  a c t i o n o f the f u t u r e becoming past  ing  moment  comes is  of underlying  o f a u n i t y o f time  which  identity;  i s non-existent;  i s the flowing l i f e  i s the l i f e  of  of  con-  of the  consciousness.  i n that moving,  chang-  A l l e l s e be-  T h e e x p a n d e d moment  alone  real. The  tive to  narrator i n Beautiful  based  a mode  Losers  on i n s t r u m e n t a l v a l u e s of e x i s t e n c e based  moves f r o m  and s t a t i c  on dynamic  a  perspec-  self-conception  aesthetic values  willed  self-alienation.  Within  novel,  the final  o f t h e n a r r a t o r a n d F. i n t o  character F.'s a  where  and w i l l ;  i s consciousness.  i m p e r f e c t i o n and i l l u s i o n .  He b e -  i smystical, religious,  i s smallest.  self,  e x p a n d e d moment w h i c h  and w i l l .  reveals the beauty  of the hourglass  and  sciousness  consciousness  merging  represents  the fact  lesson completely.  which  sense tinual do  of having process  not take  tion. the  i s "real";  Thus,  life.  value  This  form  o f time  create  to others; value  of w i l l f u l l y  negation  the hourglass  f o r m man m u s t  of the  the n a r r a t o r has  a  single  absorbed  c r e a t i n g a form f o r  i t i s a form which  of willed  the facts  that  context  The t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f F . / n a r r a t o r i s  p o r t r a y a l of the process  life  the surreal  and  illuminates the  i s achieved  through  of a l l other  forms  and n e c e s s i t y i n t o  i s the surreal  forhis life  a  con-  which  considera-  representation of  i f he i s t o c o n v e y h i s  i s a f u n c t i o n of the degree  to which  53 the  individual  values  implicit  ethical, the  h i s conscious  Aesthetic  and i n t e n s i t y  emerge f r o m  exemplar;  the fact that  Chances A t Once."  lies  i n the complete w i l l f u l  of  o f t h e expanded  view provides  reality,  a shift  but this  On t h e c o n t r a r y ,  time  and t o i n t r o d u c e  wise  die like  element  choice,  and  of the v i s i o n i nthe  of l i f e .  Thus,  and a l i e n a t i o n i n Cohen's  point  o f t h e b a s i c modes o f c o n c e i v i n g  the values  tend  considera-  a n n i h i l a t i o n of "self"  does n o t d e s t r o y  tive  i n terms o f  h a s become an  o r e t e r n a l moment  fusion of aestheticism  The  are aesthetic,  Ethical  F./narrator  The s p i r i t u a l  of l i f e .  exist  t h e way t o f r e e d o m ,  "All  the  values  of the vision.  o n e who p o i n t s  experience  possession  i n the figure of the hourglass  and s p i r i t u a l .  beauty  tions  reveals  t o harmonize with  that  emerge f r o m  o f human Cohen's  values. perspec-  t h e f a c t s o f human e x p e r i e n c e  vitality  t h e meaning  the basis  into values  of a r i t u a l  that  of  would  when w o r s h i p p e r s  i n  otherlose  faith. There Beautiful cal  i s a strange Losers.  Calvinism  I t takes  presented  Carlyle's rhetorical  is  willfully  he  flights.  a saint.  which  hysteria parody author  from w i t h i n the  Thus, he i s t h e  seems t o be l i v i n g  In B e a u t i f u l Losers  i s almost  throughout  Cohen's p o s i t i o n as  and h i s a r t i s t h e e x p r e s s i o n Cohen  runs  o f an i n v e r t e d  s e l f - a l i e n a t e d and he w r i t e s  p a n d e d moment. of  the form  o f t h e e x p a n d e d moment.  presents  theme w h i c h  i n a style  of  framework  religious  of riding h i s own  he w r i t e s :  characters t h e ex-  definition  54 A s a i n t i s s o m e o n e who h a s a c h i e v e d a r e m o t e h u m a n possibility. I t i s i m p o s s i b l e to say what t h a t p o s s i b i l i t y i s . I t h i n k i t h a s s o m e t h i n g t o do w i t h the energy of l o v e . Contact w i t h t h i s energy r e s u l t s i n the e x e r c i s e of a k i n d of balance i n the chaos of e x i s t e n c e . A s a i n t does not d i s s o l v e the c h a o s ; i f he d i d t h e w o r l d w o u l d h a v e c h a n g e d l o n g ago. I do n o t t h i n k t h a t a s a i n t d i s s o l v e s t h e chaos even f o r h i m s e l f , f o r there i s something a r r o g a n t a n d w a r l i k e i n t h e n o t i o n o f a man setting the u n i v e r s e i n order. I t i s a k i n d of balance that is his glory. He r i d e s t h e d r i f t s l i k e a n e s c a p e d ski. His course i s a caress of the h i l l . His track i s a d r a w i n g o f t h e s n o w i n a moment o f i t s p a r t i c u l a r a r r a n g e m e n t w i t h w i n d and r o c k . Something i n h i m s o l o v e s t h e w o r l d t h a t he g i v e s h i m s e l f t o t h e l a w s o f g r a v i t y and c h a n c e . Far from f l y i n g w i t h t h e a n g e l s , he t r a c e s w i t h t h e f i d e l i t y o f a s e i s mograph needle the s t a t e of the s o l i d bloody l a n d scape. H i s h o u s e i s d a n g e r o u s a n d f i n i t e , b u t he i s a t home i n t h e w o r l d . He c a n l o v e t h e s h a p e s o f human b e i n g s , t h e f i n e and t w i s t e d s h a p e s o f t h e heart. I t i s g o o d t o h a v e among u s s u c h men, such b a l a n c i n g monsters of l o v e . Within  this  d e s c r i p t i o n of  gether  with  the  to  book w h i c h u n l o c k s  the  Almost designed The  cess  of  vision  flow  of  activities the  to  on  form  an  of  grief,  of and  the  Jerusalem  arise  the  i n the  hourglass,  its  satiation  to-  i s found  a  with  explicit to  language  of  Cohen, B e a u t i f u l L o s e r s ,  during  before the  key  is a  of  perverse.  boredom.  strange  w h i c h he  The  hourglass  proreader  must  hatred,  seeing  pp.121-122.  the  is  d e s c r i p t i o n of  a form  fear, lust,  absurd  form  taken  ambiguity.  emerging r e v e l a t i o n .  a pilgrimage  and  especially  i s w r i t t e n i n language which  madness, h y s t e r i a , p e r v e r s i o n , illusion,  the  eventually lead  extremism  go  of  obscenity  r e d e m p t i o n and  forced  a  saint,  some o f  e n t i r e book  to b r i n g about  Underlying  is  the  constant  sensual  final  the  confront:  pain,  a fanciful  New  transformation  55 of  F . / n a r r a t o r , the  exhaustion  of  phasis  on  the  present  redeeming  hourglass;  achieved the  himself  of  stasis  the  "energy  of  the  saint.  Thus,  render  to  i t , an  rejection world. "His  of  world."  is  energy truly  saint  ballet  crest will  and  to r i d e  annihilating ing  time  and  as  he  the  w a v e he  not  be,  f o r he He  he  and  i s magic  loves  the  the  vision  willfully  world  social  and  he  not  but  will  grace  enough to  uses the  uses  may has  be no  balance  the  flow  face  of  the  the to  t i p of  annihilated concrete of  a mere m a g i c i a n .  of  the  the  balanced  or  to The  time  use saint  like  a  potentially sustain his  the at  board. any  identity  life  sur-  willed  in  time.  n e c e s s i t y of  of  home i n  fall"  of  is  precarious;  i s at  i s "free to  i t s energy  essence  visions  he  to  alienates  This  e x p a n d e d moment  exhilarating he  and  saint's  finite,  i n the  rides  i s the  order  of has  surrenders  balancing  acrobatics at  of  destroyed.  w h e n he  the  w h e n he  leads  life;  the  w a v e , he  and  i n the  w h e n man  em-  of being  order.  makes t h e  lives  f r e e because  surfboard  aspect  the  act which p a r a d o x i c a l l y involves a  i s dangerous  The  depravity.  e n e m y o f man  to  the  shown  conventional  saint  surrender  harmony w i t h his  of  conventional  This  house  chance";  love" which the  the  by  work p l a c e s  the  i s achieved  and  total  i s redeemed  longer  Grace  the  Time  on  purged  Cohen has  i n the  takes  time.  gravity  from  and  i t i s no  grace.  "laws  now  i s p o s s i b l e even from  aestheticism inherent  means o f the  saint,  his secular appetites.  transcendence The  perverse  i n an  balancOn  the  moment y e t  which  can  envelope  Hence F.'s  ode  he  be  of  skin;  to  magic:  56 God i s a l i v e . Magic i s afoot. God i s a l i v e . Magic i s afoot. God i s a f o o t . Magic i s a l i v e . Alive i s afoot. Magic never died. God n e v e r sickened. M a n y p o o r men l i e d . M a n y s i c k men lied. Magic never weakened. Magic never h i d . Magic always r u l e d . God i s a f o o t . God n e v e r d i e d . . . . B u t m a g i c i s no i n s t r u m e n t . Magic i s t h e e n d . M a n y men d r o v e M a g i c b u t M a g i c s t a y e d b e h i n d . M a n y men l i e d . They o n l y p a s s e d through Magic and out t h e o t h e r s i d e . . . . Though m o u n t a i n s danced b e f o r e them t h e y s a i d t h a t G o d was d e a d . Though h i s shrouds were h o i s t e d t h e n a k e d God d i d l i v e . T h i s I mean t o w h i s p e r i n my m i n d . T h i s I mean t o l a u g h w i t h i n my m i n d . T h i s I m e a n my m i n d w i l l s e r v e t i l l s e r v i c e i s but Magic moving through the w o r l d , and mind i t s e l f i s magic c o u r s i n g t h r o u g h t h e f l e s h , and f l e s h i t s e l f i s M a g i c d a n c i n g on a c l o c k , and t i m e i t s e l f t h e M a g i c l e n g t h o f God. Thus,  the mystery of r e l i g i o n  flesh, which life  mind,  communicates into  living lies and  and time.  The s a i n t  this  magic  a r t f o r the sake  i n harmony w i t h  i s the magic creates  alienation  of l i f e .  of time. this  The p r o c e s s c o n s i s t s  Losers,  reveal  sophisticated to  both personal ethical  enhances  and s o c i a l .  approach to  Game a n d  dismissed  or simple  by  i s highly  references  o f human  His perspective  life.  Beautiful  aestheticism.  the range  living  self-  o f v i e w as an a r t i s t  and n o t t o be e a s i l y  of h i s vision  the a r t of  process of  o f an a e s t h e t i c  h i s point  romanticism, decadence,  plexity  and  that  i n a form  Cohen's a r t  of willed  Cohen's p r o s e w o r k s , The F a v o r i t e  of  He m a k e s h i s  He p r a c t i s e s  the necessity  and the e x e r c i s e  himself  to the world.  i n d e m o n s t r a t i n g and r e c o r d i n g i t sperils.  continuity  T h e comexperience,  i s curiously  moral  a t t h e same t i m e a s i t i s c a p a b l e o f b e i n g  humorous a n d , o c c a s i o n a l l y ,  Cohen, B e a u t i f u l  vicious.  Losers,  C o h e n ' s mode o f  pp.197-199,  see a l s o  p.207.  57 existence, the  freedom  ates a  as i t i s r e v e a l e d  only  through  positive  present,  of w i l l  frame  even though w i l l e d  self-alienation  continuing negation. of reference;  i t does n o t deny  of meaning  i n h i s work, a f f i r m s a b e l i e f i n  and v a l u e  His aestheticism i s  though o r i e n t e d toward the  the fact  despite  o f time  and i s a  source  i t s c o n t r a d i c t i o n of conven-  tional  perspectives.  esting  f i g u r e s on t h e C a n a d i a n  Thus, Cohen  i s one o f t h e more  literary  scene.  inter-  His  perspective  i s unique  i n many w a y s a n d , i n c o m b i n a t i o n  his  generates  a r t which  talent,  life  and a c o n s c i o u s n e s s  oper-  i s filled  with  with  a sense of  of i t s value.  Ill  Cohen's p o e t r y found  i n h i s prose.  theticism point  inform  of view  be  seen by t r a c i n g  Mythologies,  h i s work.  first  various volume  contains  self-alienation i n this  Willed self-alienation poetry.  seems t o h a v e d e v e l o p e d  he p r o d u c e d  Cohen's  t h e same p o i n t  much o f h i s b e s t  as  poems  exhibits  This  over  change  and a dynamic  Cohen's  a period  of  recur  developing Some o f t h e  v o l u m e , w r i t t e n when C o h e n was b e t w e e n  in  T h e F a v o r i t e Game; e v e n  and t w e n t y , remind us o f Breavman's p o i n t  poems a r e r e m i n i s c e n t  may  i n h i s poetry.  reveal a  and an a e s t h e t i c p e r s p e c t i v e .  fifteen  time  L e t us Compare  many poems w h i c h  of  aes-  However,  i n h i s perspective  themes w h i c h of poetry,  of view which i s  the situations  o f Breavman's youth.  t h e ages of view  i n some o f t h e In a short  poem  58  entitled death  " R i t e s , " Cohen  i n terms  Game.  that  His father  sketches  h i sreaction  c a n be s e e n r e p r o d u c e d  was  to h i s father's  i n The  dying,  And i t seemed so o b v i o u s , t h e s m e l l so q u i t e so n e c e s s a r y , b u t my u n c l e s p r o p h e s i e d w i l d l y , promising life like frantic oracles; and t h e y o n l y s t o p p e d i n t h e m o r n i n g , a f t e r he h a d d i e d  Within and  and  I had begun  this  poem i s a l s o  inevitability  a recognition  of the destruction  to accept  father  died  j u s t as Breavman became  mality  of h i sfather's  life.  turn  entering he  He " b e g a n  funeral. to join  i n time  to shout" irritated  i n the business  and a  after his with  He i s a l i e n a t e d  i n language which  to touch people, h i s women t h e mind  becomes  rpt.  of flesh  o f t h e poems a r e w r i t t e n  t o h i s women  desires and  i t .  of the "necessity"  of  the for-  from the "promising  1 1  Several poet  not able  present,  t o shout.  willingness  proceedings;  Favorite  i n order  into art.  on t h e r e l a t i o n  foreshadows  to leave  lover  Breavman's  h i s mark on them,  I n "Song" t h e poet  o f h i s abandoned  of the  dreams o f  so completely  that  the center of her world. A n d may my b r o n z e name touch always h e r thousand f i n g e r s grow b r i g h t e r w i t h h e r w e e p i n g u n t i l I am f i x e d l i k e a g a l a x y and m e m o r i z e d ^ i n h e r secret and f r a g i l e s k i e s .  L e o n a r d C o h e n , " R i t e s " , L e t Us Compare M y t h o l o g i e s T o r o n t o : M c C l e l l a n d a n d S t e w a r t ) ,1966)', p . 1 9 . Cohen, L e t Us Compare M y t h o l o g i e s ,  p.31.  (1956;  59  The  situation  with  Shell's  egocentrism  o f t h e abandoned l o v e r i s v i r t u a l l y after  Breavman  informs  this  leaves  i t i s t h e d e s i r e t o make  "Had  We  identical  To P r o v e "  to that  from which  T h e same  limiting  poem a s i t d o e s B r e a v m a n ' s  ter;  Nothing  her.  identical  another  live  the s i t u a t i o n  charac-  f o r oneself.  of the lovers i s  i n T h e F a v o r i t e Game a n d t h e p o i n t  t h e poem  when he was h a v i n g  i s presented his affair  In  of view  i s t h e same a s B r e a v m a n ' s  with  Tamara.  H a d we n o t h i n g t o p r o v e b u t l o v e we m i g h t h a v e l e a n e d a l l n i g h t a t t h a t w i n d o w , merely beside each o t h e r , . . . but t h e r e were o b l i g a t i o n s , t h e f o r m a l i t i e s o f p a s s i o n ; s o we s e a l e d t h e s h u t t e r s and were e x p e d i e n t i n t h e b r e v i t y o f n i g h t ; r e a d i n g w i t h empty s o c k e t s m o o n l i g h t i n d u l l h a i r , softness of chafed thighs; b o t h o f us a n x i o u s and s h a k i n g t h e n i g h t , w i t h a l l my a r m , s h e w i t h f i n g e r s a n d g e n t l e ; no hope f o r s i l v e r l e a v e s i n t h e m o r n i n g . 4 2 The  a c t of sex i s reduced  "obligation"  to prove  trangement brought no  longer  through exists  enough  others.  vanishes  beneath  possible  only  Certain  love.  i n spite  inspired  t o some  as he s t a y e d  by t h e v i s i o n  people that  must  I ti s go  connection  however, r e a l  connection  and genuine  i s a poem  forms.  some  concern  of the formalities  Incredible Nights"  poems  on s o c i a l  of proving  In the process,  the form,  connected  i s an example o f t h e e s -  one a n o t h e r ;  activities  been w r i t t e n by Breavman writing  This  about by r e l i a n c e  t o be n e a r  the formal with  to a "formality"  f o r another  of society.  that might up t h r o u g h of Shell's  C o h e n , L e t Us Compare M y t h o l o g i e s , p . 5 0 .  easily  "On have  the night body.  i s  60 On c e r t a i n i n c r e d i b l e n i g h t s , When y o u r f l e s h i s d r e n c h e d w i t h m o o n And t h e windows a r e w i d e open: Your breasts are sculptured From the s o f t s i d e of d a r k n e s s And y o u r b e l l y a f r a g m e n t o f a g r e a t b r i g h t This  poem r e v e a l s  the  when c o m b i n e d w i t h the  poet  captured  treats  estrangement woman l i k e  are  several  poems  embody themes C o h e n  Hitler  nature from an  of  simple  aestheticism  the  lover  as  a  person;  object  t o be  romantically  in art.  There which  the  romantic  43 flask.  and  i n Let  later  Beautiful Losers.  presents  a v i s i o n of mixed  t a k e s up  later  i n Flowers  deals  In  the  horror For  Us  Compare with  Mythologies  i n Flowers  poem, " L o v e r s , "  and  sensuality;  For Cohen  a  theme  he  Hitler.  D u r i n g the f i r s t pogrom t h e y Met b e h i n d t h e r u i n s o f t h e i r homes-Sweet m e r c h a n t s t r a d i n g : her love F o r a h i s t o r y f u l l o f poems. And a t t h e h o t o v e n s t h e y C u n n i n g l y managed a b r i e f K i s s b e f o r e t h e s o l d i e r came To k n o c k o u t h e r g o l d e n t e e t h .  L a t e r he o f t e n w o n d e r e d : Was t h e i r barter completed? W h i l e men a r o u n d him p l u n d e r e d And knew he h a d b e e n c h e a t e d . The a  grotesque fusion  of  occupation in  the  element  aestheticism, with  his  presentation  Cohen, Let Ibid.,  in this  Us  p . 33.  represented  desire, of  the  poem e m e r g e s as  and poem  i n the  the  lover's  a l i e n a t i o n , which in a disinterested  Compare M y t h o l o g i e s ,  p.58.  result  is  of  preimplicit  tone.  61 Both are  the  a e s t h e t i c i s m of  undercut  by  the  nique  in his  gives  i t more v a l u e  Similarly, and  later  final  l o v e r and  stanza.  tone  ethical  larger social jingling  context  the this  in  together  1  final  of  framework  t h a n when i t i s p r e s e n t e d  i n "Ballad" ' Cohen b r i n g s  i n the  the  Cohen d e v e l o p s  w o r k s w i t h i n an  alienation in a  itself  the  poem tech-  which  isolation.  aestheticism  which  undercuts  rhymes.  We  b u r i e d her i n Spring-time. The s p a r r o w s i n t h e a i r W e p t t h a t we s h o u l d h i d e w i t h t h e f a c e o f one so f a i r .  earth  The  f l o w e r s they were r o s e s and s u c h s w e e t f r a g r a n c e gave t h a t a l l my f r i e n d s w e r e l o v e r s ,r and  This  particular  while His  bringing  dead  in  which  reality  danced upon her  poem e m p h a s i z e s into  "lady"  imaginary  we  i t a notion  is "like  one  the has  people  are  destroyed  form  of  the  poem  i s not  thus u n d e r l i n i n g the e a r l y examples and  Other ability cut  to  through  what  of  the  unique,  death how  of  social  by  girls"; by  toothpaste  c r e a t i o n and  i t is quite  an  the  world Social  a l l that  is  grave.  The  This as  i s one  a comment  of on  i t contains.  poems i n L e t  Us  step  a  outside  romanticism.  Compare M y t h o l o g i e s limited In  show  Us  Cohen's  aesthetic perspective  "Twilight}"' Cohen p r e s e n t s  45 Cohen, Let  is  conventional,  imagination. form  she  ads."  imagination's  Cohen uses  macabre  responsibility.  been destroyed  imaginative on  a e s t h e t i c and  Tennyson's  "inflamed  i s s e n s u a l i t y dancing  itself  of  c o n s t r u c t i o n w h i c h has  left  the  of  the  grave.  Compare M y t h o l o g i e s ,  p.  46-47.  and a  62 simple to  portrait  simple  of  an  aging  a e s t h e t i c i s m and  p o e t who  was  apparently  dedicated  sensuality.  When f i n a l l y he d i d b e c o m e v e r y o l d and n i g h t s were c o l d b e c a u s e No o n e was a s t r a n g e r A n d t h e r e was l i t t l e t o do But s i f t the y e a r s through h i s y e l l o w f i n g e r s Then l i k e f i r e - t w i s t e d shadows o f dancers A l t e r n a t i v e s would array themselves Around h i s wicker c h a i r ^ A n d he r e g r e t t e d e v e r y t h i n g . Implicit  in this  necessity  of  time  later  work.  as  he  diminishes  in  the  what in  and  "alternatives" with  Let  the  Us  theticism. we  of Cohen's  see  the  aged poet  His  The had  not  world  regret  is  sees,  revealed past  static  the  i n Cohen's  finally  "chances"  Losers.  i n the  provides  concern  to  development give  some p o e m s , h o w e v e r , have w r i t t e n . a  the  poet  is  lived of  sen-  ironically  with  some i n s i g h t  alienation  I n h i s s e c o n d b o o k o f p o e m s , The  i s d e r i v e d from  of  aging  in Beautiful  aestheticism.  a l r e a d y been noted  ation  like  f u t u r e ; the  of  i s demonstrated  the  Compare M y t h o l o g i e s  C o h e n was  Shell,  are  understanding  regretted everything."  beginnings  that  age,  figure  simple  "he  the  change which  e x p a n d e d moment, m e r e l y  perfect;  Earth,  i s some o f  and  "becomes" of  suality  has  The  hourglass  the  the  poem  Cohen, Let  Breavman  Us  the  point  i n The  The  Spice  t h a t the  Box  aes-  Spice  Box  of  of view  and  values  F a v o r i t e Game.  t h a t Breavman's p o e t r y ,  They r e p r e s e n t  simple  of  and  into  of E a r t h .  It  written for There  are  c h a r a c t e r , Breavman, c o u l d Cohen's  a e s t h e t i c and  awareness  merely  Compare M y t h o l o g i e s ,  of  the  self-alienated  p.53.  not  limitmode  of  63  existence. Cohen  F o r e x a m p l e , i n t h e poem, "You Have  criticizes  the pure a e s t h e t i c v i s i o n  The  Lovers,"  even w h i l e  he  47 creates  one  "Pretend uncles  o f i t smost  i t is a ritual,"  who  do n o t r e a l i z e  "moment-to-moment" by teristic are  of a r i t u a l  form  that  have  unknowing. ritual going  they  have become a work  they  taken  They  recall  must  be c r e a t e d  It i s also  a r e a c t i o n made i n t o of a r t themselves. they  making love  like  motions.  The  from  characRituals  art.  The  But the a r t  are s t e r i l e , by  read,  condemning h i s  " i t needs more p e o p l e . "  have become a b s o r b e d  meaningless  When we  Breavman  that a r i t u a l  i s static;  and a r e merely through  we  images.  the participants.  a human c r e a t i o n ;  lovers  beautiful  the form  robots;  blind,  and  of the  mechanically  l o v e r s have  become  v e r y m u c h l i k e B r e a v m a n ' s u n c l e s o f whom h e w r i t e s : They p a r t i c i p a t e d i n i t b l i n d l y , as i f i t w o u l d last forever. T h e y d i d n o t s e e m t o r e a l i z e how i m p o r t a n t they were, not s e l f i m p o r t a n t , but important to the i n c a n t a t i o n , the a l t a r , the r i t u a l . They were i g n o r a n t o f t h e c r a f t o f d e v o t i o n . They were merely devoted. T h e y n e v e r t h o u g h t how c l o s e t h e c e r e m o n y was t o c h a o s . T h e i r n o b i l i t y was i n s e c u r e b e c a u s e i t r e s t e d on i n h e r i t a n c e and n o t moment-to-moment c r e a t i o n i n t h e f a c e o f annihilation.48 The  "nobility"  tion.  This  longer  k n o w who  of the l o v e r s r e s t s  i s why  Their  have reached  is kissing  hardly matters"; ritual.  they  their  i n their  a n d who  lack of identity  the p o i n t where  i s being  consciousness  mindless  repetithey  no  k i s s e d and " i t  has been absorbed  does n o t m a t t e r ,  but  i n the their  47 L e o n a r d C o h e n , "You Have The L o v e r s " , The S p i c e Box o f E a r t h ( T o r o n t o : M c C l e l l a n d and S t e w a r t , 1970] , pp.29-30. C o h e n , The  F a v o r i t e Game, p . 1 3 0 .  64 inability  to distinguish their  indicative have a  taken absorbs  sense  close  must  also  your  no one e l s e  He m u s t b l i n d  entering  eyes  create  as  a warning:  the ritual  The f o r m  fails  The f o r m  i s perfect but  centers  himself:  them t o be sewn s h u t . " into  i t . "  h i m a s much a s he c a n l o v e to l i f e  they  to generate  must b l i n d  h i s own " e m b r a c e a n d f a l l  himself  a love which  stasis.  the r i t u a l  and a l l o w  to love  to  life;  of the lovers.  The p e r s o n  "You  and p s y c h i c  their  of the l i f e  sterile.  is  of passivity  contribution to the r i t u a l i s  and r e a l i t y  i n himself.  He There  himself.  and give  himself  I n t h e end Cohen  writes  T h e r e i s o n l y o n e moment o f p a i n o r d o u b t a s y o u w o n d e r how m a n y m u l t i t u d e s a r e l y i n g b e s i d e your body, but This  i s a warning  which It  a mouth k i s s e s and a hand because  t h e moment  i t i s t h e "moment o f p a i n  away.  or doubt"  i s central to life  as Cohen b e l i e v e s  i t must be  i s " t h e moment" w h i c h  i s " s o o t h e d " away  i n the r i t u a l .  The  l o v e r s deny  life  a n d have become u n r e a l  moment o f l i f e  and a c h i e v i n g  to  promising  a sensation  are  enemies  lovers  of l i f e  represent  of p e r p e t u a l of  soothes  motion.  Browning's  maintain pure  and good."  They  even  L o v e r , " where  Moment s h e was m i n e , m i n e  death  devote  Comfort  T h e y do n o t c h a n g e .  Death  by denying the  and  they are non-creative.  of sterile,  "Porphyria's  "That  poem; a l i v i n g  satiation.  because  a kind  comfort.  was t h e l o v e r ' s  i s what  lived.  though We  themselves  satiation The  perfect, a r t  are reminded  the lover tries  to  fair,/Perfectly  s o l u t i o n i n Browning's  t h e l o v e r s a c h i e v e i n Cohen's.  65 The  vision  escapist offers or  offered  who  i s satisfied  no s o l u t i o n  to a saint  anything the  that  that  itself  ant,  i n an attempt  simple  i n routine  a form which  they  are like  are  love;  like  and r i t u a l ,  albeit  appeal  which  they are ignorant  t h e u n c l e s who  denying to  i s a  tries  s e n s u a l and  to pleas-  from  pain  t h e poem's  three lines.  B r e a v m a n ' s u n c l e s who  It  referring  and freedom  to the limitations  of the craft  by  body"  undermines  i n the f i n a l  to the  i n expectation  moment  At the  of losing  does n o t d r a m a t i z e t h e f o r c e  are "ignorant  merely  humanity  Thus, Cohen e f f e c t i v e l y  aesthetic  lovers  live  beside your  condition;  only  of r i t u a l .  The p a s s a g e  to achieve comfort  same t i m e , h e p o i n t s to  a ritual.  "are lying  t o t h e human  doubt.  by t h e r e p e t i t i o n  t o a B r e a v m a n who m u s t  resembles  lose  or  satisfaction  who m u s t b e c o m e t h e e x p a n d e d  "multitudes"  reference  by Cohen g i v e s  one's  self  of l i f e .  are merely  of devotion."  The  devoted:  The  lovers  of the a r t of loving.  They  " t o o k f o r g r a n t e d w h a t was d y i n g i n  49 their  hands." In,  be  " I f I t Were S p r i n g , "  called  who w a n t s example  an a e s t h e t i c  aestheticism Amoral  which  i n the sense  occasioned  madness.  t o commit murder  of the action  Cohen d e m o n s t r a t e s The p e r s o n a  f o r the sake  o f a mind  that  exclusively  an amoral  aestheticism  by the n o t i o n s o f freedom,  i t y , i s n o t s u f f i c i e n t t o do m o r e t h a n 49 C o h e n , T h e F a v o r i t e Game, p . 1 3 0 .  o f a mad  o f a r t , i s an  committed  i s essentially  what  might man, extreme to  perspective.  c u t o f f from choice, isolate  or a  any v a l u e s  responsibilperson  66 morally  from  his fellows.  justification ism.  We  death  of King  this to  through  are reminded  poem,  savour  Charles  The c r e e d  beauty;  of this  murderer i s  a kind of aesthetic protestant-  of Marvell's magnificent a n d t h e many  on t h e  b a l l a d s about murder.  as i n "You Have The L o v e r s , " the act; to live  poetry  there  i s an  In  attempt  i n i tforever.  What  language the c i t y w i l l hear because of your death, anguish e x p l a i n , sorrow r e l i e v e . Everywhere I see the world w a i t i n g f o r you, the pens r a i s e d , w a l l s p r e p a r e d , ^ h a n d s h u n g a b o v e t h e s t r i n g s rarid k e y s .  The  aesthetic vision  generates  separated  a justification  from  any o t h e r  for artistic  portrait  o f an a e s t h e t i c desperado  ability  to enter  into  order  aesthetic  "The a  i s a more r e a l i s t i c problem  combined  tion,  reveals  of value This  par-  Cohen's  of h i s consciousness  i n  t o become t h e c h a r a c t e r he p o r t r a y s . There  is  source  perversity.  ticular  a dimension  n  with  i n The S p i c e  that  Breavman-like  solution  Box o f E a r t h .  When  a e s t h e t i c i s m i n a more dynamic  Cohen p r e s e n t s Flowers  but limited  a functional,  I left  perspective  i s o n e poem  i s introduced.  alienation  configura-  i fnot perfect,  i n the Ground"  to the  solution. i n which  He w r i t e s :  I t i s n o t m a l i c e t h a t d r a w s me a w a y , d r a w s me t o r e n u n c i a t i o n , b e t r a y a l : i t i s w e a r i n e s s , I go f o r w e a r i n e s s o f t h e e . G o l d , i v o r y , f l e s h , l o v e , G o d , b l o o d , moon-I h a v e become t h e e x p e r t o f t h e c a t a l o g u e .  C o h e n , The S p i c e  Box o f E a r t h ,  pp.6-7.  67 Who o w n s a n y t h i n g h e h a s n o t m a d e ? W i t h y o u r b e a u t y I am a s u n i n v o l v e d as w i t h h o r s e s ' manes and w a t e r f a l l s . T h i s i s my l a s t c a t a l o g u e . I breathe the breathless I  love  and The  you,  I  love  l e t y o u move  desire to catalogue t h e moment.  beautiful  moments a n d t e n d  fact  The p r o c e s s  of the object  almost  totally  implicit in  the point  stands  to represent  On t h e o t h e r  hand,  t h e moment  He w i l l  robot  lovers,  art.  He m u s t n o t s u r r e n d e r  in  life this  His of  a living particular  "uninvolvement" her.  son.  He  He  In this  Shell.  to repetition  of art.  combination  i s not sensitive  He  the a r t he  b u t he must one o f t h e  i n their  static  i f he i s t o make  of alienation  to her l i f e  he  i t . Thus,  However, t h e r e  i n h i s lover's beauty  accurate  art.  He c a n l o v e  inspires  living  detach-  poem  into  n o t become l i k e  i n a ritual,  form  implicit  the only  i n a r t by r e c r e a t i n g i t ,  forever." caught  i s with  are  and t h e v a l u e s  t h e b e a u t y w h i c h he t r a n s f o r m s  creates but not the beauty which  his  view  the alienation  to the world.  he  h e r "move  e g o c e n t r i c because the  makes t h e c a t a l o g u e  a l i e n a t e d , as Breavman  let  perfect or  i n t h e poem; t h e s p e a k e r ' s  is  capture  recall  con-  the feelings i n -  on h i s p e r s o n a l  of h i s relation  can  the aesthetic  and t h e r e c r e a t i o n o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e  of view used  outside  listed  i s essentially  ment and u n i n v o l v e m e n t , reflection  forever.  The o b j e c t s  dependent  i n it.  ^  t h i n g s comes f r o m  cern with  volved.  you—  are problems  and a e s t h e t i c i s m .  extends and v a l u e  to the rest as a  per-  i s " w e a r y " o f h e r , s h e h a s become one more i t e m i n  ^Cohen,  The S p i c e  Box o f E a r t h ,  pp.4-5.  68  a  catalogue.  There  this  context.  ship  yields  in  This  the  of  the  t o make  of  process  fact  i t real  In t h i s  the  poem t h e  poet  " s t a t i c " ' , ' p e r f e c t moments.  only  sever  in  a relationship  pain  you"  must  His of  sever  in  relationart  lies  separa-  s t a t e when S h e l l  is  the  four  rela-  of  the  limitation  f u s i o n of  the  dynamic  willful  single, to  the  expression  a complete  the  i t real.  and  t h a t he  i s an  a e s t h e t i c i s m and  "I love  d e s t r u c t i o n of  Breavman's  The  I t i s not  alienation.  phrase  l o s s w h i c h makes  rejection  away.  view.  aspects  of  is precisely  hundred m i l e s tionship  intentional  a pain  recording  tion.  The  i s i r o n y i n the  dimension  is still He  of  preoccupied  exercises his  which might  self-  otherwise  with  will  degenerate  time. This  clear  same f o r m  in a  short  poem  the  a l i e n a t e d poet  his  lover.  He  relationship  of  limiting i n The  i s not  remains  due  to  Spice  able  outside  his  alienation Box  of  i s made Earth.  to understand her  the  poignantly In  "Song,"  f e e l i n g s of  a p p r e c i a t i o n of  their  egocentrism.  I a l m o s t went t o bed without remembering the four white v i o l e t s I put i n the button-hole of your green sweater a n d how I k i s s e d y o u then a n d y o u k i s s e d me shy as t h o u g h I ' d ^ never been your l o v e r He  i s not  prised.  touched He  by  her  shyness,  but  merely  assumes t h a t p h y s i c a l c o n t a c t  C o h e n , The  Spice  Box  of  Earth,  p.63.  puzzled  i s the  and  height  surof  69 intimacy,,whereas  the  form  of  his  flowers,  i s more r e v e a l i n g o f  responds  to  the  gesture  pleasure  to  her  alone;  demonstrates The tions the  affection  p o e m s i n The  inherent  problems  theless,  the  limited  the  doubts  of  than  and  He  He  of  is  an  His  i s not  T h u s , The alienated, all  the  stands  of  has  t o be vision  Spice  outside point  taken  s a i n t but  of  up  t o be  context  religious i n a way  the  book. expresses "with  views  presented.  of  view,  however, permits  a  learning knowledge be  the  more  tyranny  of  is highly this of  religious  the  book  o l d man's  analysis  suggests  of  Virtually the  Cohen's w i l l e d him  there  anguish.  perspectives.  the  view  connected  never  a poetic  that  of  undercut  is  with  will  studying  contains  to  acquiring  his vision  i n the  Earth  undercut  point  believes  r e s i d i n g i n the  a e s t h e t i c , and  poems a r e  alienated  of  Never-  is integrated with  C o h e n seems  Box  of view.  Journal"  who  limitapresent  process  element  a man  a l i e n a t e d and  criticism  This  been  which  and  i n order  p r a c t i c e and a  She  i t brought  e x h i b i t the  Grandfather's  sympathetically yet, implicit  Earth  self-alienated  poems.  religious  aches  "instrumental." vision  of  religious  life  lovers.  lust.  alienated point  F r o m My  His  scholar.  belief.  the the  of  aesthetic perspective  frustrations  faith."  Law.  a  Box  i n an  with  "Lines  disciplines the  simple  aesthetic perspective  tenuously  example,  intimacy  some  made a b e a u t i f u l g e s t u r e  beyond  simple  v i s i o n s of  For  the  has  Cohen uses h i s w i l l e d  h i s dynamic  perfect  he  the  bestowing  i t s warmth because  Spice  involved  and  rather  in a  and  gesture,  poet self-  to p o r t r a y  the  70  limitations  of  His  aestheticism allows  dynamic  tion  between  imposed  on  individual the  a l l the  life  i t . and  field  of  and  The  the  Spice  examination  of view,  value,  a r e more e a s i l y  volume  many o f  the  The  F a v o r i t e Game.  the  concerns In  of  of  the  point  crimes  tyranny.  and  rela-  various  deals  mostly  This  forms with  narrows  forms  of  expression  the  down  p o i n t where v a r i a t i o n s  plane.  The  Flowers Spice  i d e a s w h i c h were For  Hitler  in  and  For  Box  of  Hitler, Earth  later  presented  tends  to  in  foreshadow  Losers.  H i t l e r , Cohen, i s c o n s t a n t l y e x a m i n i n g  medium, c o m f o r t a b l e ,  conformist  the  experiences.  to  Flowers  For  of  of E a r t h  the  poems.  to d e l i n e a t e the  of poetry,  Beautiful  Flowers  dangers  to  i n the  dealt with.  a more s o c i a l  parallels  Box  in relation  Cohen's next  him  of view  limitations  his personal  points  moves on  various points  of view which  normal,  i s s e e n as  In " A l l There  I s To  and  the  the  ordinary  source  Know A b o u t  of a l l Adolf 53  E i c h m a n n " we In  Eichmann d e s c r i b e d  as  a more d e v e s t a t i n g c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n  comfortable, In  find  "Opium and  does not  have  Cohen sees Hitler" one  of  i t as  the the  the  being of  source  individual  "medium."  the  normal  of H i t l e r ' s  described  "several faiths"  that  i s one "bid  and power. who him  54 leap,"  Opium, or  illusion,  and  Hitler,  who  represents  h y g e n i c o r d e r and t y r a n n y , " l e t him s l e e p . " In other words, 53 Leonard Cohen, Flowers For H i t l e r (Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d a n d S t e w a r t , 1964') , p . 6 6 . S4 C o h e n , F l o w e r s F o r H i t l e r , p p . 7 8 - 7 9 .  71  he  d o e s n o t make t h e l e a p  and  balance of a saint;  his  imagination  of faith  that  leads t o the grace  he does n o t t a k e t h e r i s k  t o f a c e danger  to  the comfort  of i l l u s i o n  if  tyrannical,  rule.  and a s t r u g g l e .  and t h e easy  of using  He  succumbs  o r d e r o f an  He d e n i e s h i s c a p a c i t y  The his  w o r l d was wax, t o mould.  No! for The his  He f u m b l e d h i s h i s t o r y dose. s u n same l o o s e woman c l o s e .  efficient,  to create.  Lost i n a darkness t h e i r bodies would reach, the L e a d e r s t a r t e d a r a c i a l speech. History,  which  failure,  intimidates  desire  f o rcomfort  lover's their  embrace  h i m , a n d he u s e s  and h i s l e t h a r g y .  lies  bodies would  speech." for  represents the chronicles  the e v i l  of past  i tto r a t i o n a l i z e h i s In the comfort  because  r e a c h , "that}''' t h e L e a d e r  started/  evil  resides  p l e a s u r e and t h e d u l l  glow  of satiation.  of conventional  fertile  ground.  is  as t h e epigram  used  comfort  This reminds  that  of h i s  i ti s " i n a darkness/  I n other words,  oblivion  success and  a  i n the "normal"  quest  I t i s i n the  tyranny finds  us o f Primo  racial  Levi's  i t s most  warning  which  of Flowers For H i t l e r .  I f from t h e i n s i d e o f t h e L a g e r , a message c o u l d have seeped o u t t o f r e e men, i t w o u l d h a v e b e e n t h i s : t a k e c a r e n o t t o s u f f e r i n y o u r own home w h a t i s i n f l i c t e d on us h e r e . In  the comfort  a conventional care."  of the lovers life  T h i s message  lies  and i n t h e ease  t h e danger  i s illustrated  and i l l u s i o n o f  of forgetting  to "take  i n "The F a i l u r e  Of A  72  Secular  Life"  where  the vision  surrealistically  exaggerated  ness  i s reduced  of humanity  of the conventional  to the point to a simple  where  matter  home i s  the viciouso f degree.  T h e p a i n - m o n g e r came home from a hard day's t o r t u r e . He came home w i t h h i s t o n g s . He p u t d o w n h i s b l a c k b a g . His and  w i f e h i thim w i t h an open nerve a c r y the trade never heard.  He w a t c h e d h e r r e a l - l i f e D a c h a u , Knew h i s c a r e e r was r u i n e d . Was t h e r e a n y t h i n g e l s e t o d o ? He s o l d h i s b a g a n d t o n g s , went t o p i e c e s . A man's g o t t o b e to b r i n g h i s w i f e something.55 Implicit tinue  i n this  to play  poem  roles;  if  they  are detached  is  only  a matter  create  i s the observation work  a t jobs  o f time  before  c o m e s home t o t h e m .  which  sanctions  It  becomes  the normal  the master  household  the social  he c o n t r i b u t e s  pain-mongering.  i s n o t p o s s i b l e t o keep  home;  injure  con-  others,  reality  The pain-monger  h i s j o b ,a tradesman,  wife  i f men  even  and n o t p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y i n v o l v e d , i t  doing  his  which  that  able  they  i s merely  a man  to a society  I t i s not surprising that  of a family concentration the world  locked  i s no s a n c t u a r y  camp.  out of the family after  a  "hard  day's t o r t u r e . " On t h e o p p o s i t e abnormal, Trocchi,  5 5  side  o f t h e c o i n , Cohen  t h e mad, a n d t h e a n a r c h i s t i c . Public Junkie,  Cohen,  Flowers  looks  at the  In "Alexander  P r i e z P o u r Nous'," C o h e n p r e s e n t s  F o r H i t l e r , p.53.  a  73  figure  who  reminds  us  o f F.  in Beautiful  ploits  are heroic;  he  lives  by  illusion "public he  is alive;  house." order lies  even  The  and  h i s "hypo"  act of taking  i s seen  as  an  their  loaf/ Law"  static  systems  h i s way  and  of e x i s t i n g ,  "a  appears  chaotic  t o be  constantly  surprise  striving  existence.  I f he  "balancing  monster  and  has  not  Alexander  i s not w i l l f u l l y  nevertheless, existence.  and  i s what c a u s e s  characters  who  In  one  life  on  the  for art  because  "a  silver  are  light-  to  The  and  ex-  in  affront  artificial  affirmation forges  are  locked  "apt  to  Alexander i s "changing  and  his flight  anarchistic  d e a t h and  he  has  but  the f r i n g e s  a  succumbed  social he  is  in his  of being not  a static  life he  of r e a l i t y  self-alienated  Cohen's  If his  status  The  moment-to-  i t i s because  achieved the at least  from  hour."  is  order. alienated  i n f o r m s e a c h moment  c o m b i n a t i o n of dynamic  alienation  of  t h e t i m e s and  identities  h i s constant energy  This  His  believe  p o p u l a t i o n who  every half  of love,"  as  of l i f e .  to c a p t u r e the chaos  the tyranny of a l i v i n g  his  normal  i n a coma o f n e w s p a p e r s . " by  i s an  Alexander rides  moment b r i n g s  to  a "fix"  seen  affirmation  of the c o n v e n t i o n a l ,  into  t o t h o s e who  c a n be  56  i s free  Alexander i s a f i tsubject  i n his action.  ahead  i m p u l s e and  of order which belongs clocks."  Losers.  interest  aestheticism  and  i n the n e a r l y  mad  of ordered  o f t h e b e s t poems, " D i s g u i s e s , "  of  society.  Cohen  contrasts  57 the  normal 5 6  5  7  and  t h e mad.  He  speaks  Cohen,  Flowers For H i t l e r ,  Ibid.,  pp.116-118.  with  pp.45-47.  mock s o r r o w o f  the  74 fact  t h a t the  fiends, the He  and  the  ordered says  he  rich  the  o l d workers,  c o n s p i r a t o r s "must  society; will  characteristic themselves  men,  they  "embrace of  which  the  are the  insane  go."  the  sex  and  They a l l b e l o n g  a l l normal  acceptable  changeless."  T h i s we  who  identity  reveals their  c r e a t e an  pure  dope to  types. find  is  for  i m a g i n a t i o n and  life.  I embrace the c h a n g e l e s s : t h e c o m m i t t e d men i n p u b l i c w a r d s o b l i v i o u s as H a s s i d i m who b e l i e v e t h e y a r e s o m e o n e e l s e .  Long l i v e you c h r o n i c s e l f - a b u s e r s I You m o n o t h e i s t s ! you f a m i l i a r s of the a b s o l u t e sucking at c i r c l e s ! Y o u a r e a l l my comfort as I t u r n t o f a c e t h e b e e h i v e a s I d i s g r a c e my style a s I c o a r s e n my n a t u r e as I i n v e n t j o k e s a s I p u l l u p my g a r t e r s as I a c c e p t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . You c o m f o r t me i n c o r r i g i b l e b e t r a y e r s of s e l f as I s a l u t e f a s h i o n a n d b r i n g my m i n d l i k e a promiscuous air-hostess handing out parachutes i n a nose d i v e b r i n g my b u t c h e r e d m i n d to bear upon the f a c t s . He  says  of the  They comfort  "committed"  him  because  Cohen uses  the word  brings  normal  of and  the  living  they  "comfort"  man  "You are  t h a t can  a l l my  "betrayers of  The  their  i s absolute though  the worst  are  ironically  comfort.  i n t h e moment a n d  the world  present  men,  self."  i n contrast to  insane  represent  alienation i t i s not  happen to him  comfort."  from  willed.  i f he  a  Here what way  themselves They r e -  rejects  the  75 conventional ventional  vision  point  annihilation parachutes a  desire  live and  i n a nose d i v e . "  of l i f e  fact. and  dynamic  destroying will  dive"  conformist  works.  than  h i s style  i t so t h a t  the " w i l l "  "salute appeal  that  parachutes o f g r a v i t y and  necessity  point  here  It i s much  i n any o f h i s e a r l i e r i s much b e t t e r ,  and s t y l e values.  because  and  life  of view.  expressed  i n much o f h i s w o r k .  together  i n relation The i d e a  i n h i s work.  only  disgraced  In this  j u s t as p a r a c h u t e s  the notions to a larger  He s a y s  by undermining  h i s work  this i s  of "style" i s  be r e c o g n i z e d  i t .  i n this  Perhaps  i t s worth w i l l  f a s h i o n " by p r o d u c i n g to viewers  to the safety  self-alienated perspective  t h e one p r e s e n t e d  and e t h i c a l  and t o  as a l t e r n a t i v e s t o t h e  t o Cohen's use o f forms  "disgrace"  The  to face  and i n s t r u m e n t a l  responsibility  scheme o f m o r a l  present  time.  others  the w i l l e d  of  i n slow motion, the  the aesthetic view  poem, t h a n  and time,  not submit  Cohen has s u c c e s s f u l l y b r o u g h t  personal  related  help  of  see an e x p r e s s i o n  between the n e c e s s i t y  The q u a l i t y o f t h e p o e t r y  particular because  that  i n the face  The poems he w r i t e s a r e  through  aesthetic values  be n o t e d  more v i t a l  He w i l l  which recreate,  T h u s , he w i l l  Cohen a s s e r t s  we  o f change  on t h e g r o u n d .  a means o f b a l a n c i n g  r e j e c t the con-  a i r - h o s t e s s / handing out  By t h i s  of danger.  o f t h e "nose  disaster.  to  "a promiscuous  the "parachutes"  violence  of  like  He w i l l  however, and l i v e  to ride the necessity  comfort  are  of view,  i n the face  like  of r e a l i t y .  will  i t c a n he as  secondary  connection  i n forms  he  he  will  that  will  are appreciated  i n a  76  nose d i v e . work;  However, f a s h i o n w i l l  i t s value  ance.  Thus,  i t touches  be t h e f o r m  ofh i s  i n i t s a c t i o n , not i t s appear-  i s an important  poem  on what  essential  i s most  i n Cohen's toh i s  of view. In  his  reside  "Disguises"  works because point  will  merely  a short  poem e n t i t l e d  aesthetic perspective  attitude.  "Father"  "Propaganda," Cohen  in relation  h a s made a  presents  t o a more  conventional  statement:  It had t o do w i t h t h e n a t u r e o f r e l i g i o n a n d the progress o f l u s t i n t h e t w e n t i e t h century. I m y s e l f have s e v e r a l statements of a competitive coherence which I intend t o spread a r o u n d a t no l i t t l e e x p e n s e . I l o v e t h e e t e r n a l moment, f o r instance. My f a t h e r u s e d t o r e m a r k , d o f f i n g h i s miniature medals, that there i s a time that i s r i p e f o r everything. A little extravagant, Dad, I guess, judging by v a l u e s ; Oh w e l l , h e ' d s a y , a n d t h e w h o l e w o r l d might have been t h e a d d r e s s . In  this  which the  poem we  c a n be e q u a t e d w i t h  flow  "there  of consciousness  i s a time  conventional the  present  there view  see Cohen's  view  into  Though  Cohen, Flowers  moment"  i s suddenly  "ripe."  consideration  time  will  that  merely  changes  F o r H i t l e r , p.78.  contains  idea,  i s part  i s concerned with  and t h e t h i n g s  i n the future  moment.  The f a t h e r ' s  f o r everything,"  of time which  t o take  consciousness present  and l i f e .  i s ripe  t h e time  i n the "eternal  t h e " e x p a n d e d moment" t h a t  f o r the future  because fails  that  interest  that  of the  sacrificing  will  This  that  "happen"  conventional  the individual  exist  i n t h e same  i tremains  t h e same.  77  Thus, such by  the conventional view a view  i s "a l i t t l e  present  actions in  of people  conflict with  filled with  to  he  this  itself  sighed,  the  a n d new v a l u e s o l d values.  The  great  a world  ideal  by t h e acting  t o be  Time must be  filled  c o n s i s t e n t w i t h human e x forms which  The f a t h e r ' s  of a generation's  might  reveal  response  attempt  Indeed,  to  when  have been t h e  the p o s s i b i l i t y of l i v i n g i n  a n d , t h e r e f o r e , a way o f l i v i n g of genuinely  human  of the alienated point  perspective  Hitler.  to ripen.  on  do n o t s i m p l y  i s not something  " t h e whole world  b e c a u s e he d i s m i s s e s  "judging  the past  are created  and i t s " i n s t r u m e n t a l v a l u e s . "  generate  thetic  Time  values  i s typical  "Oh w e l l , "  i s true  that  a r e c r e a t e d by people  i n the individual.  " e t e r n a l moment"  will  values  the creation of personal  suggestion  address"  For  through  flow of l i f e  excuse  Values  with waiting f o r things  perience the  Similarly,  i s ripe.  a c t i o n that generates  This  can f u n c t i o n t o impose  i n the future.  c h a n g e when t h e t i m e  b y t h e comment  extravagant."  v a l u e s " because values  the  i s undercut  i s expressed  values.  of view  and t h e aes-  i n a s h o r t poem  I n "Sky," Cohen r e c o r d s  i n Flowers  the alienation  ones" and w r i t e s : The g r e a t o n e s p a s s they pass without touching they pass without l o o k i n g each i n h i s j o y each i n h i s f i r e Of one a n o t h e r t h e y h a v e no n e e d they have t h e deepest need The g r e a t o n e s p a s s  that  of "the  78  R e c o r d e d i n some m u l t i p l e s k y i n l a i d i n some e n d l e s s l a u g h t e r they pass l i k e stars of d i f f e r e n t seasons l i k e meteors of d i f f e r e n t c e n t u r i e s Fire undiminished by p a s s i n g f i r e laughter uncorroded by c o m f o r t t h e y p a s s one another without touching without n e e d i n g o n l y t o know^g the The  truly  glance  great  at  the  have  that  make t h e i r  dynamic,  found  living take  its/value.  great  ones  necessary  are  know l i k e  a form  action  of a r t . which  always  Their  orbits  are  Cohen, Flowers  and  the world For  chances  comfort"  on  Hitler,  the the  comets by  They  become  mode o f  exist-  beauty  of  life  They are  and  always  is  con-  becoming  they  crest  the of  what  becomes  i t contains.  j o y and  p.58.  The  L o s e r s , who  because  they  always  "being."  t h e r e f o r e h a v e no  laughter i s of  passing through  their  never  They are  a l l the  sorrow  like  e x p a n d e d moment w h i c h  fire.  by  because  beautiful  "passing."  they  a  to the p o i n t where  F./narrator i n Beautiful  i s "uncorroded  alone  of p a s s i n g .  wills  are  be  casting  They are  Through  their  i n the  w i t h new  t h a t breeds  comfort.  can  r e v e a l s the  to pass,  e x p a n d e d moment a n d  stasis  they  elliptical  i n the  works  coming  filled  laughter  of  ones;  t o u c h i n g or  joy i n isolation.  They r e f i n e  and  stantly  the  the  pass.  without  o n l y t o know t h a t t h e y  passing  they  great  themselves  ence they  need  ones pass  other  they  consuming  g r e a t ones  looking  Their  reject need  the  of  exhilaration  time  like  79  balancing  monsters  In Flowers  For Hitler,  Spice  Box o f E a r t h .  lated  hiswilled  aestheticism earlier an  of love.  In this  book o f p o e t r y  to the conventional  point world  w o r k he was more c o n c e r n e d w i t h  vision  In  to the problem  and i n t r o d u c e s  beyond  The  Cohen has r e -  of view  and dynamic  of society.  In the  the limitations  a l i e n a t e d and a e s t h e t i c p e r s p e c t i v e .  a poet  and  Cohen moved a s t e p  self-alienated  Heaven, Cohen r e t u r n s his  They a r e s a i n t s .  of  In Parasites of  of the limitation of  a questioning  o f h i s own w o r t h  as  and budding v i s i o n a r y . "A c r o s s  vision  as a  didn't  fall  o n me,"  Cohen u n d e r c u t s  poet. A c r o s s d i d n ' t f a l l o n me when I went f o r h o t - d o g s and t h e a l l - n i g h t G r e e k s l a v e i n t h e S i l v e r Gameland d i d n ' t t h i n k I was h i s b r o t h e r L o v e me b e c a u s e n o t h i n g h a p p e n s I believe the rain w i l l not m a k e me f e e l l i k e a f e a t h e r when i t comes t o n i g h t a f t e r the s t r e e t c a r s have stopped b e c a u s e my s i z e i s d e f i n i t e L o v e me b e c a u s e n o t h i n g h a p p e n s  Why s h o u l d I b e a l o n e i f what I s a y i s t r u e I c o n f e s s I mean t o f i n d a passage or forge a passport o r t a l k a new l a n g u a g e L o v e me b e c a u s e n o t h i n g h a p p e n s I confess wings and I confess forgotten  I meant t o grow l o s e my m i n d that I've what f o r  h i s role  80 Why  wings  L o v e me He p a r o d i e s tension second not of  stanza  mind  because nothing  his aspiration  of being  change  and a l o s t  o f becoming  he p a r o d i e s  to "find  language." cend  Finally,  of h i s nature.  forge  i t . To " t a l k  same a s i n v e n t i n g new v e r b a l f o r m u l a s  the  imagination of h i s readers reality.  He c o n f e s s e s  grow w i n g s " lose  and l o s e h i s mind;  his worldly vision  self-satire, nothing might If  there  happens."  suggest.  his vision  implicit  he w a n t e d  i s a double He  meaning  i s not asking  He c a n o n l y was e v e r  We m u s t m a k e  The s u g g e s t i o n  thing  to realize  hisdesires.  and  a s h o r t poem e n t i t l e d  Leonard Stewart,  t o be an a n g e l ; " t o to enter  heaven; t o Despite h i s  i n " L o v e me  f o r comfort  he w o u l d  t h i n g s happen;  a result.  gone," Cohen q u e s t i o n s  conception  because  as t h e words happens  n o t be l o v e d .  i s the recognition that  about  In  a new  i s  capture  be l o v e d b e c a u s e n o t h i n g  realized  a new  to trans-  that w i l l  f o r a more e x a l t e d one.  i n the expression  happens."  talk  a new l a n g u a g e "  and generate  t h a t he w a n t e d  he  t h a t he h a s a  i s e q u i v a l e n t t o s a y i n g he w i s h e s  a s he f i n d s  do  t h e end  i f what  a passport/or  the  of  In the  Toward  be a l o n e  he c o n f e s s e s  a passage/or  This  the world  and h i s pre-  h i s imaginative f l i g h t s which  the physical facts  i s the truth.  desire  a saint  a " b r o t h e r " t o h i s f e l l o w man.  t h e p o e m he w o n d e r s why h e s h o u l d  sees  happens  only  Also  "nothing  action brings  i s t h a t he h a s n o t done  any-  " I am t o o l o u d w h e n y o u a r e  the value  of h i s poetry.  Cohen, P a r a s i t e s o f Heaven 1966), pp.14-15.  (Toronto:  McClelland  81 I am t o o l o u d w h e n y o u a r e g o n e I am J o h n t h e B a p t i s t , c h e a t e d b y m e r e w a t e r and m e r c i f u l l o v e , w i l d b u t over-known John of honey, of time, l o n g i n g not f o r m u s i c , l o n g i n g , l o n g i n g t o be Him I am d i m i n i s h e d , I p e d d l e v e r s i o n s o f W o r d that don't s u r v i v e the t a b l e t s broken stone I am a l o n e w h e n y o u a r e g o n e . 6 1 There  is a slightly  poem. It  I t i s not  Him."  poetry  the  poetry  give  this  degenerates  survive own  element  Without  them a  questioning  has  given  i t is likely  i s the d i v i n e  "be  In  c l e a r who  seems, however, t h a t  perspective, It  ambiguous k i n d  of h i m s e l f  would  q u a l i t y he  alone.  which  i s gone.  i t possible  o f Word/ t h a t  T h u s , he  the  element  i n the world  a n o t h e r poem, " T h e s e  this  the poet  to  i s " d i m i n i s h e d " and  stone."  h i s competence  make  "versions  containing  life  left  in  Cohen's w i l l e d s e l f - a l i e n a t e d  which  t a b l e t s broken  long  gone and  a part  i n t o mere  f o r not  of schizophrenia  to communicate  notebooks,  don't  condemns h i s  of grace  o f men.  his  that  would  Cohen seems a genuine  to  be  vision.  these notebooks!",  he  wr i t e s :  In not  this  P o e t r y i s no In the books  substitute for b e s i d e my b e d  I used  will  like  an  poem C o h e n r e c o g n i z e s  that  m e r e l y w r i t i n g poems i s  sufficient  imaginative must use In takes  up  my  to carry  point  of view  his "will"  the task  i s t o have  i n the world  a poem e n t i t l e d  the form  out  "Created  of a prayer,  Cohen, P a r a s i t e s  not  survival.  alphabet.  of l i v i n g . any on  value the  I cannot  Cohen asks  f o r some  p.47.  a t a l l he  page.  fires  of Heaven,  If his  love,"  which  confirmation  82  of  his vision  i n tones  reminiscent  of  Blake.  Do y o u h a t e t h e o n e s who must t u r n your world a l l to dust Do y o u h a t e t h e o n e s who ask i f C r e a t i o n wears a mask? God b e y o n d t h e God I name i f mask and f i r e a r e t h e same, r e p a i r t h e s e a m my l o v e l e a p s through, uncreated f i r e to pursue. Network of c r e a t e d f i r e , m a i m my l o v e a n d my d e s i r e . M a k e me p o o r s o I may be ^ servant i n the world I see, Implicit the  world  wants  to  is a like  love  is  afraid  to  l e a r n how  the  willed  love of  will  the  loves the  of  the  Cohen's t e n d e n c y  that  past,  own  servant  world  poems o f  In  "Suzanne  trait  C h r i s t as  point takes  eats  i n the  "created  and  and  of v i e w and you  rough."  at  his  art.  own  poetic  Ibid.,  p.11.  Heaven,  pp.62-63.  he prays  like  to i t .  combining dynamic  is  a  his aesthetic a  por-  perspective.  J e s u s was a s a i l o r w h e n he w a l k e d u p o n t h e w a t e r a n d he s p e n t a l o n g t i m e w a t c h i n g from a l o n e l y wooden tower and when he knew f o r c e r t a i n o n l y d r o w n i n g men c o u l d see him he s a i d A l l men w i l l be s a i l o r s t h e n u n t i l the sea s h a l l f r e e them,  Cohen, P a r a s i t e s of  can-  He  world  down," Cohen p r e s e n t s  embodying h i s  He  because  self-criticism  a vision  beautify  r o s e s . H e  existing  surrenders  doubt  to  fires,"  attempts i n the  i n w h i c h Cohen p r e s e n t s  values.  only  "diamond  hamper h i s  self-alienated  of  the  t o become a  Balancing poem  "vegetarian  works  they  s a i n t who  long  a  l e a r n to  not  a  self-criticism  83  b u t he h i m s e l f was b r o k e n long before the sky would open, f o r s a k e n , a l m o s t human, he Jesus  possessed  walk upon the  o n l y men  desperately  fort  die.  of their  because before  between  any heavenly  self-alienated  to  the s p i r i t .  the  forms  he knew t h a t  there  Jesus  had a l r e a d y  that  was  forsaken  i n their  only  would live  men face the  i n t h e com-  "almost  human" "broken"  immortality.  But i t and he  H i s mode o f e x i s t e n c e  h i s values  the form h i s l i f e  i s a double meaning  h a n d , he was f o r s a k e n  ^Cohen,  drown  self were  took  he l a t e r  i n t h e word  h i s body  i n order  at birth gave  life.  "forsaken."  and " s e l f . "  pp.70-71.  and  i t were  On t h e o t h e r  b y h u m a n i t y who m i s u n d e r s t o o d h i s  P a r a s i t e s o f Heaven,  was  dynamically  t o t h e end o f r e v e a l i n g t h e s p i r i t o f  Thus,  his  life's  t h a t were f o r s a k e n  o f p e r s o n a l i t y and p a r a b l e  m e r e l y means  they  a n d he h a d r e n o u n c e d Similarly,  of  H i s f o r m was  announce  on them anyway.  faced  f r e e them" then a l l  Jesus  and h i s body  could  I f " A l l men  and death  of humanity.  s i g n would  willfully  aesthetic;  t h e moment  until  life  he  can understand  recognized  "wisdom."  he h a d t h e f o r m  reveal  the sea shall  stone.  b e c a u s e he  t h e e x p a n d e d moment.  of the world  illusory  no v a l u e  a sailor  to face  a  of the saint;  The r e s t o f h u m a n i t y w o u l d  was m e r e l y h i s " s e l f " placed  like  d r o w n i n g men  Thus, Jesus  balancing  moment.  balance  like  forced  "until  the dangers  illusions.or  eternal  Only  can appreciate  be s a i l o r s "  must f a c e  He w a s  of the sea.  power b e c a u s e  will  the incredible  the water.  danger  intensity  sank beneath your wisdom  84  m e s s a g e ; he sank b e n e a t h is  wisdom  t h e embodiment o f t h e s p i r i t  half  crazy  and "holds  of  life  and l o v e .  is  like  a mirror  becomes beauty  his  that  of l i f e .  later  version desire  record  the mirror" which  reflects  album  seems t o r e p r e s e n t a vision  performed  h i s poetry  the l i f e  thus  a partial of l i f e  Poems" w h i c h Most  1956-1968  contains  o f t h e poems  Cohen d e v e l o p e d little  includes  i n this  the context  i t .  the song  o f Cohen's Indeed,  and gave p u b l i c h i s own  recitals life.  works.  a section entitled  echo  of verse  The theme o f h i s p e r s o n a l  "New poems.  themes  that  and they  I n " I t ' s Good t o S i t w i t h  dreams.  offer  People"  a y o u n g woman who h a s  a l i e n a t i o n emerges  i n some  t h e e n d o f t h e poem:  L e o n a r d Cohen, S e l e c t e d V i k i n g , 1968), pp.236-238.  Poems 1 9 5 6 - 1 9 6 8  Cohen  expensive  Only with you I d i d not imitate myself only with you ,_ I asked f o r nothing 6 5  until  Parasites of  of h i s previous  books  a relationship with  near  them t h e  responsible f o r  realization  after  she  as a song i n  Considering  section merely  i n his earlier  of interest.  Suzanne  twenty p r e v i o u s l y unpublished  sketches  lines  the v i s i o n  s h e shows  h i s a r twith  a collection  She i s  of the s p i r i t ;  and l i v e  h i s songs  informing  H e a v e n , was b a s i c a l l y Poems  Suzanne  i n P a r a s i t e s o f Heaven,  Cohen's n e x t volume o f p o e t r y ,  Selected  reflects  a n d was l a r g e l y  as a f o l k - s i n g e r .  to create  a stone.  i n t h e poem.  poem was p o p u l a r i z e d  t h e poem e m e r g e s  recently,Cohen  of l i f e  o f everyone because  This  success  from which  like  Her i n s a n i t y i s h e r a l i e n a t i o n .  the beloved  Cohen's f i r s t  of  their  (New Y o r k :  85  The  portrait  yet  detached,  The  F a v o r i t e Game.  "He  studies  like  o f t h e y o u n g woman, F r e d e r i q u e , similar  i s sympathetic  t o some o f t h e c h a r a c t e r  In the l a s t  to Describe"  o f t h e new  Cohen warns  drawing i n  poems  against  a  entitled  Breavman-  perspective. He s t u d i e s t o d e s c r i b e t h e l o v e r he c a n n o t become f a i l i n g t h e w i d e s t dreams o f t h e mind § s e t t l i n g f o r v i s i o n s o f God.  He to Do  d o e s n o t k n o w how trade himself f o r your not t r u s t him  unless In  this  ated  poem C o h e n  point  life. The  "He  last  between loved;  lines  to describe" draw  new  does  like  piece  ^Cohen, 6  7  Ibid.,  rather  than  o f an  He  may  be  alien-  with  a sense  to  "become."  a t t e n t i o n to the p e c u l i a r trusted only  of  relation  i f he i s  f o r him, not  to deserve i t .  a r e a number o f p i e c e s  lines  approach.^  This  the l i m i t a t i o n s  i s d e p e n d a n t on f e e l i n g s o f l o v e  i n d i c a t e a change  graffiti  him.  i s sketching  and t r u s t .  trust  There to  studies  two  he  love  o f v i e w when i t i s n o t b a l a n c e d  love  anything  you  love  i n Cohen's entitled  i n "New  interest  Poems" w h i c h i n poetry.  " M a r i t a " a r e an example  seem  The of  this  7  is riddled  Selected p.239.  MARITA P L E A S E F I N D ME I AM ALMOST 30 with implications.  Poems,  p.239.  It i s cynical  in  86  light is  of popular  generation  t h e i s s u e , and  poems.  Two  stance  with  meant  little  "suicide  Cohen  some t i m e "  of these,  t o h i m a n d t h a t he  and money."^  parodies  says  8  polarization  I n "A p e r s o n i n argument  who  eats  h i s previous  i s now  more  who  of  anti-poetic  a n d "A p e r s o n  Cohen  i f love  o f a book  s h o r t poems w h i c h r e v e a l a s i m i l a r  In the f i r s t  vities  i t i s poignant  i t i s amusing i n the context  a r e " I t has been  meat."  rhetoric;  eats  acti-  concerned meat,"  of a l l kinds.  A p e r s o n who e a t s m e a t wants t o get h i s t e e t h i n t o something A p e r s o n who d o e s n o t e a t m e a t wants to get h i s t e e t h i n t o something e l s e I f t h e s e t h o u g h t s i n t e r e s t y o u f o r e v e n a moment Y o u a r e lost.°9 The  tone  either  of these  challenge  work w e l l to  of view Cohen new  this  Cohen's  presents  i s n o t p o e t i c a n d seems  o r amuse t h e r e a d e r .  i n the context  develop In  lines  approach most  o f "New  Such p i e c e s  Poems," b u t Cohen  i n h i s next  recent  volume  b o o k , The  the culmination of h i s w i l l e d and dynamic a e s t h e t i c i s m .  transform  voice  C o h e n was attempting  himself  speaking  of view  to the process  writing  poetry.  Energy  of l i v i n g  of Slaves,  v o l u m e we  of h i s perspective o f how  to apply  he  see a  Heaven, and his point  instead of the process  p.233.  on  point  t o "become"  For example, i n "These notebooks,  68 Cohen, S e l e c t e d Poems, 69 I b i d . , p . 233.  goes  poetry.  In Parasites of  the problem  to  do n o t  self-alienated  In this  language.  questioning the value to confront  of  and h i s a r t i n o r d e r  a new  designed  These  of  87  n o t e b o o k s ! , " he h a d s p o k e n o f u s i n g up h i s " w i l l "  i n the  c r e a t i o n o f poems w h i c h were "no s u b s t i t u t e f o r s u r v i v a l . "  70  S i m i l a r l y , o t h e r poems i n P a r a s i t e s o f H e a v e n r e v e a l h i s r e c o g n i t i o n o f t h e d i v i s i o n between t h e w o r l d and h i s a s p i r a t i o n t o become a " s a i n t " and c o m m u n i c a t e a new v i s i o n t o t h e world.  I n The E n e r g y o f S l a v e s , Cohen moves o u t o f p o e t r y  i n t o t h e w o r l d , o u t o f p o e t i c l a n g u a g e a n d f o r m i n t o a new language, tice. his  and o u t o f g l o r i f i e d  The r e s u l t  experience  theory  into disciplined  i s a " w i l l e d " p e r s o n a l form which  of l i f e .  The p i e c e s  prac-  represents  i n t h e book a r e f r a g -  m e n t e d , o f t e n s c h i z o p h r e n i c , r e v e a l i n g Cohen's s e n s e o f l i f e as  i t emerges i n t o h i s c o n s c i o u s n e s s  Thus, h i s w i l l e d for  i n t h e e x p a n d e d moment.  s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n has l e d h i m t o c r e a t e a f o r m  h i m s e l f which r e v e a l s h i s sense o f l i f e  generates  c e r t a i n human v a l u e s .  i n a way t h a t  The d y n a m i c a e s t h e t i c i s m o f  Cohen's p e r s p e c t i v e emerges i n t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e poems which r e v e a l h i s "balance" e x p a n d e d moment.  a s he r i d e s t h e e x p e r i e n c e  The poems a r e p r e s e n t e d  w r i t t e n " ; we r e a d what goes t h r o u g h lives  of the  "as they a r e  the poet^s  m i n d as he  i n t h e e x p a n d e d moment. The f i r s t  p i e c e i n t h e b o o k , "Welcome t o t h e s e  . . .," s e t s t h e t o n e . Welcome t o t h e s e l i n e s T h e r e i s a war on b u t I ' l l t r y t o make y o u c o m f o r t a b l e Don't f o l l o w my c o n v e r s a t i o n i t ' s j u s t nervousness D i d n ' t I make l o v e t o y o u when we were s t u d e n t s o f t h e E a s t  Cohen, P a r a s i t e s o f Heaven, p.61.  lines  88 Yes t h e house i s d i f f e r e n t t h e v i l l a g e ' w i l l s o o n be t a k e n I've removed w h a t e v e r m i g h t g i v e c o m f o r t t o t h e enemy We a r e a l o n e u n t i l t h e times change a n d t h o s e who h a v e b e e n b e t r a y e d come b a c k l i k e p i l g r i m s t o t h i s moment w h e n we d i d n o t y i e l d ^ and  call  Cohen does n o t r e f e r merely he  presenting  will  just  t r y t o make  tion,  to  the reader  the  poetry.  existing  comforted rule  situation  says  by being  created  Cohen i s s a y i n g  students  he w i l l  i n this  by p r a i s i n g  that the present  order  t o c l a i m t h a t men w r o t e  when t h e y  were  slaves.  Leonard Stewart,  supports i t , or called  will  n o t be  poetry  during  Thus, Cohen has c r e a t e d  i s n o t p o e t i c and i s d e v o i d  C o h e n , The E n e r g y 1973), p.9.  view state-  c a n n o t be  able  that  not y i e l d  final  by b e i n g  i n a form  that  w r i t t e n which  i n i t s midst,  of  the " v i l l a g e "  o f t h e modern w o r l d  directly  refer-  i n a ques-  empty o f a n y t h i n g  Implicit  either  The  i n t h e outmoded  to h i s poetry;  He  of Slaves  says  The l i n e s a r e  t o y o u / w h e n we w e r e  of the darkness  when he  i s contained  i s the observation that anything  poetry.  self  love  He i s  "nervousness."  and h i s i n t e r e s t  b y t h e "enemy."  the result  indirectly  its  from  He h a s made h i s w o r k  the pressures  ment  and  I make  be c l a i m e d  call  "comfortable."  The " h o u s e " r e f e r s  a l l art.  and  poetry  as " p o e t r y . "  i s heavily ironic  "fashion" of mysticism  "Didn't  East."  might to  He  "conversation" resulting  intellectual  poetry  to the contents  "lines."  ence t o h i s e a r l i e r  the  the darkness  of  (Toronto:  him-  those  McClelland  89  qualities during be  their  used  to  His pieces  that  allow  tyrants  to  administration.  glorify  or  The  justify  Energy  of  i s made i n "The  piece  the  form  guage  i s not  of  his  thrives  slaves  must  not  masters.  Perhaps  progress  i s s i m i l a r to  culture  is exhibited  Slaves.  statement  that  energy  their  a t t i t u d e toward poetry  i n The  claim  o f my  earlier  the  i n a number most  of  direct  style."  In  this  work but  the  lan-  poetic: I r a r e l y t h i n k of you d a r l i n g Tonight I indulge myself remembering the b e a u t y you lost in your t h i r t i e t h year b u t I c a n ' t g e t o f f on i t I h a v e no a l t a r f o r my song  T h i g h s f r o m my o l d p o e m s would help None o f t h e s e i t e m s c a n a p p e a r for p o l i t i c a l reasons P e r h a p s you can detect that I s t i l l t r y f o r music i d l e music f o r the v e r y idle you m i g h t say unemployed w o r k i n g t o r e a c h you l i k e a computor through holes i n the p a p e r 2 7  The  first  are  no  of  the  the  stanza  longer  states  an  religion  "altar" of  s e n s u a l i t y of  T h u s , he  has  order  follow  to  however, h i s  clearly f o r him;  beauty. his  moved h i s the  new  that  Energy  earlier  poetry  style into "fashion"  of  refuses  Ultimately,  a t t i t u d e undermines  C o h e n , The  he  s e n s u a l i t y and  Slaves,  the of the  for  he  to  will  not  "political  political political fashion  p.52.  be  beauty a priest present reasons."  arena  in  versification,  itself  because  90 he  i s consciously  fashion  he v e i l s  idle."  We  His in  Cohen  says  no  of the  f o r the  observation  very  that  novels  of the i n t e l l e c t u a l l y has r e a c h e d  such music;  and r e a c h  the reader  t h e same  i twill only  unem-  be  state.  conspicuous  "through  holes  in  page." In a p i e c e  out  of Wilde's  that poetry  contain  i t s absence  Beneath the surface  of poetry;"music  the entertainment  work w i l l  the  i t .  the music  are reminded  were m e r e l y ployed.  "using"  that  entitled  he w i l l  "The  form  not use a " p o e t i c  of poetry," form"  any  Cohen  points  longer.  The f o r m o f p o e t r y has b e e n d i s g r a c e d b y many p i o u s h a n d s T h a t ' s why I c a n ' t w r i t e i t a n y m o r e I c o u l d n ' t t a k e t h e company.?3 The  "form"  too  m a n y c a u s e s w h i c h make s l a v e s  p o e t s who for  and  used  himself.  style form  i s disgraced  i t this This  f o r himself f o r himself  thereby  tent  with  this  piece,  speaks w i t h t h o u g h he a tendency  as  i n this i f he  o f men  b o o k ; he m u s t  create  i s to reveal h i s l i f e values;  i n others and  i n The ironic  i t necessary  those  to laugh  of Slaves,  p.107.  chooses  unpoetic a  non-poetic  as an  individual  are consis-  be n o t e d  that i n  Cohen  I t i s almost  i n order  morbid.  Energy  Cohen  of Slaves,  humour.  support  "pious"  which  It will  Energy  to  and t h e  Cohen makes u s e o f an  and t h e i n d i v i d u a l .  t o become  C o h e n , The  i t has been used  a r e n o t t h e company  "real"  a cynical  finds  way  i s why  establish  life  because  to  as  overcome  91  In poetry  "The poems d o n ' t t o speak  l o v e us anymore," Cohen  permits  for itself.  The p o e m s d o n ' t l o v e u s a n y m o r e they don't want t o l o v e us t h e y d o n ' t w a n t t o be poems Do n o t summon u s , t h e y s a y We c a n ' t h e l p y o u a n y l o n g e r T h e r e ' s no more f i s h i n g in the B i g Hearted River Leave us alone We a r e b e c o m i n g s o m e t h i n g  new  They have gone b a c k i n t o t h e w o r l d to be w i t h t h e ones who l a b o u r w i t h t h e i r t o t a l b o d i e s who h a v e n o p l a n s f o r t h e w o r l d They n e v e r were e n t e r t a i n e r s ^ 7  Thus, Cohen says  that poetry  the  R i v e r " has been f i s h e d  " B i gHearted  P o e t r y must art  which  slaves; plans  "become" s o m e t h i n g  reveals l i f e  those  lives,  Energy world  new" w h i c h w i l l  and g i v e  The  of Slaves  perspective.  total  bodies/  i s apparently  t o a c t as joined the who h a v e  going  r e v e a l the energy  o f Cohen as a poet i n connection  him.  no  to write  of slaves;  i s a l s o examined  with poetry  A number o f t h e p i e c e s  For example,  succeeds,"  The poems h a v e  up.  their  i t value.  position  around  rarely  Cohen  their  anymore;  out o r has d r i e d  new i f i t i s g o i n g  and v a l u e .  "who w o r k w i t h  f o r the world."  "something  i s o f no u s e t o a n y o n e  Cohen  i n "Poetry  steps  exhibit  begun  of Slaves,  p.117.  and t h e a  i n this  out of the " r o l e "  the poet has overeaten i n f a c t he b e g i n s t h i s poem at another c a f e w a i t i n g f o r h i s second dinner  Cohen, The E n e r g y  itself  i n The  schizoid mood  of the poet.  92  we  have  little  hope for h i s a r t or h i s evening He w i l l p r o b a b l y h a v e t o buy an a i r p l a n e t i c k e t t o M o n t r e a l a n d s l e e p one n i g h t w i t h the m i s t r e s s he p l a n s t o a b a n d o n I ' l l get the b i l l f o r i t a l l i n the middle of w i n t e r Since I have i n t r o d u c e d m y s e l f l e t me go o n t o s a y there are p e r f e c t heart shaped leaves c l i m b i n g t h e bamboo t r e l l i s of  Cohen becomes self. is  He  looks the  process  illustration  piece  at  person watching  i s i n the  a vivid  another  the  the  entitled man  this  he  of  used  eyes  t o be  the  p o e t who  him-  someone e l s e . In  are  Cohen  before  very he  strong,"  became  the  voice  This  in  poem.  is tyrant  society ing  is also  self-alienation.  You h a v e m i s t a k e n y o u r It i s not a hero but a t y r a n t you l o n g t o become Therefore weakness  A  cafe  "becoming"  of w i l l e d "Your  small  of  slaves.  his old "self"  he  betrays  one  those  which w i l l who  the blue sky makes t h e p l a n e  Ibid.,  Energy  p.29.  of  not  f o l l o w him.  writes:  C o h e n , The  by  Thus, Cohen renounces  This  he  become a c c e p t e d  exemplar, with  voice;  a  has  quality  l e a d e r , or  a new  i s why  a h e r o who  becoming  speaks w i t h  France,"  your most a t t r a c t i v e  i s merely thereby  ideal  go  Slaves,  slow p.18.  gain In  his a followand  a following. "On  leaving  93  they say I s t o l e which i s true  their  let the proprietors consider this:  money  of the revolution  a song t h e p e o p l e l o v e d was w r i t t e n b y a t h i e 77 f  C o h e n ' s new v o i c e  speaks  from  the position  but  i t does n o t speak  as a r e v o l u t i o n a r y .  who  construct  o f any k i n d  piece  systems  entitled  condemns r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s of  Indeed,  a r e condemned.  " I dream o f t o r t u r i n g  y o u , " Cohen  who h a v e m e r e l y  of the slave, a l l those In a  short  clearly  s p o n s o r e d new  forms  enslavement. I dream o f t o r t u r i n g y o u b e c a u s e y o u a r e so p u f f e d up w i t h p r i d e You s t a n d t h e r e w i t h a b i l l o f r i g h t s or an a u t o m a t i c r i f l e o r y o u r new r e l i g i o n ^g I am t h e a n g e l o f r e v e n g e  Cohen a l s o they of  condemns  t h o s e who  are revolutionaries  these  offer  "solutions,"  whether  o r n o t , i n a poem e n t i t l e d  "One  days." One o f t h e s e d a y s You w i l l be t h e o b j e c t of t h e contempt o f s l a v e s Then you w i l l n o t t a l k so e a s i l y about our freedom and our l o v e Then you w i l l r e f r a i n yg from o f f e r i n g us your s o l u t i o n s  Similarly,  i n "Any s y s t e m  condemns t h e s y s t e m based  7 7  on " g r a s s o r  Cohen,  makers  ^Ibid.,  p.53  7  ^Ibid.,  p . 58.  w i t h o u t u s , " Cohen  of a l l k i n d s whether  bullets."  The E n e r g y  7  you c o n t r i v e  of Slaves,  p.104.  they are  94  Any s y s t e m you c o n t r i v e w i t h o u t us w i l l be b r o u g h t down We w a r n e d y o u b e f o r e and n o t h i n g t h a t you b u i l t has s t o o d H e a r i t as you l e a n o y e r y o u r b l u e p r i n t H e a r i t a s y o u r o l l up y o u r s l e e v e Hear i t once a g a i n Any s y s t e m you c o n t r i v e w i t h o u t us w i l l be b r o u g h t d o w n ^ 8  The  energy  ducible the  to forms,  things  needs. into of  The if  men  The  life  on  used  and be  they withdraw  energy  undercuts  i s what  i n our w o r l d .  his creation  "lucky American  system  "will  be  In " P o r t r a i t  do  Ibid.,  Energy  p.15.  take  of "love" f o r w h i c h must  brought  by;  down."  Cohen m a n i f e s t s  the death  of a G i r l , " into  that  p.121.  only  individual.  of he  poetry.  she  i s not  Cohen c o n c l u d e s :  of Slaves,  this  interpretations  T h e r e i s no i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t t h i s except i n these l i n e s a n d l e t me m a k e i t c l e a r a s f a r a s I'm c o n c e r n e d s h e h a s no p r o b l e m w h a t s o e v e r .  C o h e n , The  not  their  i s sustained  turn  i s unhappy  merely  and meet  of the s l a v e ,  before i t can  girls,"  are  their  which underline  a y o u n g woman who  These  v a l u e s of the  any  the p o s i t i o n  i s not r e -  who  f o r m i s u s i n g forms  i n some " l i n e s "  describing  systems  and  which  lives  i t i n m a l i c e or out  i t the system  from  systems. their  and  to express the l i f e of slaves  and  life  t r y to "impose"  a r e condemned  energy  in their  to r e v e a l  of forms  others,  imagination  the  create  makers  Writing his  resides  solutions,  consideration  humanity, be  of slaves  person  After like  95  In another parodies escape  the  piece  popular  from  entitled  "One  of  fad of mysticism  the  lizards,"  which  Cohen  i s merely  an  reality. One o f t h e l i z a r d s was b l o w i n g bubbles as i t d i d p u s h u p s on t h e t r e e t r u n k I d i d pushups t h i s morning on t h e c a r p e t and I b l e w b u b b l e s o f B a z o o k a l a s t n i g h t i n the car I b e l i e v e the m y s t i c s are r i g h t w h e n t h e y s a y we a r e a l l One 82  Cohen has of  i t and  now  stopped merely  foreshortening  of  c a u s e p o e t i c and a process values is  no  world  of  We  are  by  Eugene  writes "lines."  imagination  of negation,  longer  This  sensual  turned forms  "poetry"  i n The  reminded,  their  i s true and  form  and  only  of  and  systems  style that  at  are  absence  of  out  enslaves  i n the and  Bethrough  their lines;  i t  cold.  to confront  of  think  considerable  eliminated  the  lines,  to  Slaves.  renders  voice  inside  used  is a  i t i s sharp  i n some o f C o h e n ' s  Ionesco  he  Energy  the  lyrical,  as  There  imaginative qualities  visible.  Cohen has  writing  energy  the  of  men.  a speech  made  Salzburg:  In a l l p a r t s of the w o r l d the l u n a t i c s of power l a y t h e y o k e o f s l a v e r y on t h e s h o u l d e r s o f h u n d r e d s o f millions. The f r e e d o m f a n a t i c s s u b m i t and p r o p a g a t e t h e most i n e x o r a b l e d e c r e e s a g a i n s t freedom. Appare n t l y the l o n g i n g f o r l i b e r t y i s , i n r e a l i t y , o n l y a wish to submit. I n o t h e r w o r d s , u n d e r t h e mask of d e s i r i n g freedom l u r k s the r e a l d e s i r e to b e c o m e e n s l a v e d . 83  oo C o h e n , The  Energy  of  Slaves,  p.123.  8 3 The  E u g e n e I o n e s c o , "We m u s t r e c o v e r V a n c o u v e r S u n , 17 J a n . 1 9 7 3 , p . 5 ,  the g i f t of cols. 1-6.  wonder,  1  96  In  The  Energy  approach that  o f S l a v e s , Cohen has p r e s e n t e d  to the problem  "poetry,"  no  longer  it  i s precisely  brought  o f a n y u s e i n l e a d i n g men  into  cease  because  such  that  a way  creative  force  rhetoric  and " n a t i o n a l i d e n t i t i e s , "  i t manifests itself.  This  a sense  supported  the essence  moment o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s . willfully rounded emerge  generated  i twith  other  vitally poetry  i s valuable  Compare  The  values  as  well.  which they  o f S l a v e s , he  are  has  those  C o h e n we  who  live  that  Thus,  are broken  in a  world  i t s absence.  can see a unique  In both  sur-  The v a l u e s  i n the page."  a n d who  a point  feelings  order  form.  i s known o n l y by  together  of the  i s f r a c t u r e d and has  the "holes  c r e a t i v e mind a t work.  i ti n  as i t i s i n t h e expanded  and d u l l  and forms  the a r t of Leonard  he b r i n g s  poetry  of l i f e .  t o be b e c a u s e  of the enslaved;  men's s y s t e m s  where what In  a fragmented  the voice  new  that  Cohen's  I n The E n e r g y  a voice which  come t o u s t h r o u g h  Cohen uses  to  that poetry i s  the " r e a l "  of l i f e  fact,  being  of the worth  parallels  f r o m w h a t he b e l i e v e s p o e t r y with  In  reveal the c r e a t i v e force behind  Cohen has c o n t i n u a l l y  consistent  of, i s  p o e m s i n L e t Us  the idea  new  concluded  conceived  t h e f u n c t i o n o f p e r s o n a l i t y and s o c i a l  emerge  He  t o l e a d men  From h i s f i r s t  a  visions.  t o be a medium f o r t h e r e v e l a t i o n poem m u s t  by  i n order  Cohen has m a i n t a i n e d  individual  about  t o new  of the p o l i t i c a l  modern p o e t r y ,  to exist.  Mythologies, supposed  i n the world.  as i t has been t r a d i t i o n a l l y  "systems," v i s i o n s , must  of poetry  us w i t h  h i s prose  of view  and  and h i s  and a s e t o f  values  97 w h i c h make h i s a r t a t r i b u t e t o t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s w o r t h . the  face  o f mass c u l t u r e and p o p u l a r  Cohen a s s e r t s  that  human v a l u e s . its  view  In a society which  of time  necessity  the individual  must be t h e s o u r c e o f i s increasingly static i n  t h e dynamic  sciousness  and what c a n emerge f r o m  alienation  and h i s dynamic  of  h i s personal  men  and t h e i r  emerge f r o m  place  the problems  i s doubtful  i t give  that  point  of l i f e  aspects i t .  His point  His willed  of l i v i n g of view  could  self-  Throughout h i s attempting  i n a world  human  do more.  of  and t h e v a l u e s  to existence  i n a genuinely  an a r t i s t  con-  are at the center  of view.  some m e a n i n g  to the  o f human  i n s i g h t s i n t o a mind  the problems  creations.  which  It  us w i t h  come t o t e r m s w i t h  Cohen p o i n t s  aestheticism  and a r t i s t i c  work Cohen p r o v i d e s to  movements o f a l l k i n d s ,  a n d human e x i s t e n c e ,  of recognizing  In  and  perspective  98  Bibliography Banton,  M i c h a e l . R o l e s . London: T a v i s t o c k , 1968.  B a t t e n , J a c k . " L e o n a r d Cohen: The Poet N i g h t , June 1969, pp.23-26.  as H e r o . I . "  Saturday  B a y l e y , J o h n . The C h a r a c t e r s o f Love: A S t u d y i n t h e Literature of Personality. 1962 ; r p t . L o n d o n : C h a t t o and W i n d u s , 1968. !  Broom, L e o n a r d . , Row, 1 9 6 8 .  e t a l . S o c i o l o g y . New Y o r k :  B u c k l e y , Jerome H a m i l t o n . The V i c t o r i a n V i n t a g e , 1951.  Harper and  T e m p e r . New  C o h e n , L e o n a r d . L e t Us Compare M y t h o l o g i e s . 1 9 5 6 ; Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d and S t e w a r t , 1966. Cohen, L e o n a r d . The S p i c e . B o x and S t e w a r t " 1 9 6 1 . Cohen,  Leonard.  The F a v o r i t e  of Earth.  Cohen,  Leonard.  Beautiful  Cohen, Leonard. P a r a s i t e s and S t e w a r t " 1966 . Cohen, Leonard. 1968.  Selected  o f Heaven.  Cohen, Leonard. The E n e r g y and S t e w a r t , 1972.  Bantam, 1967.  Toronto: McClelland  1 9 5 6 - 1 9 6 8 . New Y o r k :  Viking,  of Slaves. Toronto: McClelland  D i m o n t , Max I . J e w s , God a n d H i s t o r y . Djwa,  Bantam, 1963.  Toronto: McClelland  L o s e r s . New Y o r k :  Poems:  rpt.  Toronto: McClelland  Game. New Y o r k :  Cohen, Leonard. Flowers f o rH i t l e r . and S t e w a r t , 1964.  York:  New Y o r k :  S i g n e t , 1962.  Sandra. "Leonard Cohen: B l a c k Romantic." Canadian L i t e r a t u r e , 3 4 . V a n c o u v e r : U.B.C. P r e s s , 1 9 6 7 .  F r a n k e l , C h a r l e s . The C a s e f o r M o d e r n Man. 1 9 5 5 ; B o s t o n : B e a c o n P r e s s , 196 7.  rpt.  Fromm, E r i c h . M a r x ' s C o n c e p t o f Man: W i t h a T r a n s l a t i o n from Marx's "Economic and P h i l o s o p h i c a l M a n u s c r i p t s . " t r a n s . T.B. B o t t o m o r e . New Y o r k : F r e d e r i c k U n g a r P u b l i s h i n g , 1966.  99  Frye,  N o r t h r o p . The E d u c a t e d Publications, 1963.  Frye,  N o r t h r o p . The 1967. T o r o n t o :  Imagination. Toronto:  Modern Century: Oxford, 1967.  The  Whidden  CBC  Lectures  G i d e , Andre'. T h e C o u n t e r f e i t o r s : W i t h J o u r n a l o f "The C o u n t e r f e i t o r s . " t r a n s . D o r o t h y B u s s y and J u s t i n O ' B r i e n . New Y o r k : M o d e r n L i b r a r y , 1955. G i d e , Andre''. and ed.  The J o u r n a l s o f A n d r e G i d e . 2 V o l s , t r a n s , J u s t i n O ' B r i e n . New Y o r k : V i n t a g e , 1 9 5 6 .  Gombrowicz, W i t o l d . Ferdydurke. New Y o r k : G r o v e , 1968.  trans.  G o o d m a n , P a u l . The M o r a l A m b i g u i t y CBC P u b l i c a t i o n s , 1966.  Eric  Mosbacher.  of America.  Toronto:  H e g e l , G e o r g e W i l h e l m F r i e d r i c h . The P h i l o s o p h y o f H i s t o r y . t r a n s . J . S i b r e e . New Y o r k : D o v e r , 1956. Henry, J u l e s .  C u l t u r e A g a i n s t Man.  New  York:  Vintage,  1963.  H i g h , D a l l a s M. L a n g u a g e , P e r s o n s , a n d B e l i e f : S t u d i e s i n W i t t g e n s t e i n ' s P h i l o s o p h i c a l I n v e s t i g a t i o n s and R e l i g i o u s Uses Press, 1967.  o f L a n g u a g e . New  York:  Oxford  Univ.  Hubben, W i l l i a m . D o s t o e v s k y , K i e r k e g a a r d , N i e t z s c h e , K a f k a : F o u r P r o p h e t s o f O u r D e s t i n y . 195 2; r p t . Toronto: C o l l i e r , 1968.  and  Jones,  1970.  D.G.  -Butterfly  on  Rock. Toronto:  Univ.  Press,  K e n n i s t o n , K e n n e t h . The U n c o m m i t t e d : A l i e n a t e d A m e r i c a n s o c i e t y . New Y o r k : D e l t a , 1965. K l e i n , A.M. The R o c k i n g Ryerson, 1948.  C h a i r , and  youth  o t h e r poems.  in  Toronto:  Kloman, W i l l i a m . " L e o n a r d Cohen." Songs o f L e o n a r d Cohen, e d s . H a r v e y V i n s o n a n d I r a F r i e l a n d e r . New York: Collier, 1969. K o l a k o w s k i , L e s z e k . T o w a r d a M a r x i s t Humanism: E s s a y s on t h e L e f t T o d a y , t r a n s . J a n e Z i e l o n k o P e e l . New York: Grove, 1968. Krech, David., et a l . Elements.of K n o p f , 1969.  Psychology.  New  York:  10.0.  L a i n g , R.D. Sanity  The D i v i d e d S e l f : An E x i s t e n t i a l S t u d y i n and Madness. 1960; r p t . London:'Penguin, 1965.  Laing,  Self  R.D.  and O t h e r s .  London:  Penguin, 1971.  L a i n g , R.D. T h e P o l i t i c s o f E x p e r i e n c e a n d T h e B i r d P a r a d i s e ^ 1967 ; r p t . London: P e n g u i n , 1 9 7 1 . Layton, Irving. McClelland  S e l e c t e d P o e m s , e d . Wynne F r a n c i s . and S t e w a r t , 1969.  of Toronto:  L u k a c s , Georg. R e a l i s m i n o u r Time: L i t e r a t u r e and t h e C l a s s S t r u g g l e , t r a n s . J o h n a n d N e c k e M a n d e r . New H a r p e r , 19.71. Mead, M a r g a r e t . 1970.  Culture  a n d C o m m i t t m e n t . New Y o r k :  Doubleday,  :  Mothner, I r a . "Leonard Cohen. Songs S a c r e d L o o k , 10 J u n e 1 9 6 9 , p p . 9 2 - 9 6 . Newlove, John.  York:  Moving  In Alone.  O g d e n , C.K. B e n t h a m ' s T h e o r y 1932 . Ondaatje, M i c h a e l . Leonard S t e w a r t , 1970.  Toronto:  Contact  of Fictions.  Cohen. T o r o n t o :  Owen, D o n . " L e o n a r d C o h e n : T h e P o e t N i g h t , J u n e 1969, pp. 31-32.  and P r o f a n e . " P r e s s , 1965.  London:  Kegan  Paul,  M c C l e l l a n d and  as Hero.2."  Saturday  P a c e y , Desmond. "The Phenomenon o f L e o n a r d C o h e n . " C a n a d i a n L i t e r a t u r e , 3 4 . V a n c o u v e r : U.B.C. P r e s s , 1 9 6 7 . Purdy, A l . W i l d Grape Wine. Toronto: 1968 .  M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart,  Purdy, A l . North 1969  M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart,  o f Summer. T o r o n t o :  r  P u r d y , S.W. " L e o n a r d C o h e n , A P e r s o n a l L o o k . " Canadian L i t e r a t u r e , 3 4 . V a n c o u v e r : U.B.C. P r e s s , 1 9 6 5 . R e a n y , J a m e s . "The C a n a d i a n P o e t ' s P r e d i c a m e n t . " M a s k s o f P o e t r y . ed. A.J.M. S m i t h . T o r o n t o : M c C l e l l a n d and S t e w a r t , 1962. R u s s e l l , B e r t r a n d . M y s t i c i s m and L o g i c . Unwin, 1970. Saltzman, Paul. Maclean's,  1917; r p t . London:  "Famous L a s t Words From L e o n a r d June 1972.  Cohen."  101  S m i t h , A.J.M. "The C a n a d i a n P o e t . " C a n a d i a n L i t e r a t u r e , 3 7 . V a n c o u v e r : U.B.C. P r e s s , 1 9 6 8 . S m i t h , A.J.M. "The C a n a d i a n P o e t : P a r t I I . " C a n a d i a n L i t e r a t u r e , 3 8 . V a n c o u v e r : U.B.C. P r e s s , 1 9 6 8 . Sutherland, Ronald. "Twin S o l i t u d e s . " Canadian 3 1 . V a n c o u v e r : U.B.C. P r e s s , 1 9 6 7 .  Literature,  V a i h i n g e r , H. T h e P h i l o s o p h y o f " A s i f " : A S y s t e m o f t h e T h e o r e t i c a l , P r a c t i c a l and R e l i g i o u s F i c t i o n s o f M a n k i n d " ^ t r a n s . C.K. O g d e n . 2 n d e d . 1 9 3 5 ; r p t . L o n d o n : Kegan P a u l , 1952. V i n s o n , H a r v e y . , e t a l . Songs C o l l i e r , 1969.  o f L e o n a r d C o h e n . New  York:  W i l l e y , B a s i l . "The R e j e c t i o n o f S c h o l a s t i c i s m . " The S e v e n t e e n t h C e n t u r y B a c k g r o u n d , o r i g i n a l , 1 9 3 5 . New York: Anchor, 1953.  

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