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Beautiful Games: alienation, autonomy and authenticity in Leonard Cohen's fiction

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Beautiful Games: alienation, autonomy and authenticity in Leonard Cohen's fiction

Gélinas Faucher, Claudine (2007) Beautiful Games: alienation, autonomy and authenticity in Leonard Cohen's fiction. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

As a young artist, Leonard Cohen continually attempted to navigate between the conflicting ideologies of bohemia and bourgeoisie, and his struggle was representative of the widespread postwar North American concern with marginality, conformity and alienation. Cohen's fiction, in turn, engages with these various postwar North American values and ideologies. More specifically, his two novels examine how the conditions of alienation, autonomy and authenticity combine and interact to either uphold or destroy one's identity. The Favorite Game portrays a young artist who cultivates alienation, or the image of alienation, because he believes it fosters creativity. Beautiful Losers illustrates the fate of a character whose individuality is threatened as his alienation grows more acute. My thesis discusses these two novels through the lens of mid-century thought. Particularly relevant to my examination of Cohen's novels are the writings of Herbert Marcuse, Norman Mailer and David Riesman. I contend that, in The Favorite Game and Beautiful Losers , Leonard Cohen argues that the artist, though subject to failure, is the individual most likely in this society to achieve and sustain a state of autonomy. Cohen thereby advances his belief that aesthetics may be mobilized against the condition of alienation.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > English
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Gélinas Faucher, Claudine
Pagination:v, 91 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:English
Date:2007
Thesis Supervisor(s):Esteve, Mary
ID Code:975390
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:07
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:40
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