I just finished reading Cohen's "Beautiful Losers" today while on break at work.
It was bittersweet. The book itself felt very much oxymoronic at times.I felt I had no idea what was going on a lot of the time yet, that seemed to be the point to me.
I have no academic basis to bounce my ideas around so I'm just jumping in here but I truly never understood the richness of Canadian Literature until my course last year.
The images in this novel created nightmares for me for a while. But I also came away after my reading sessions feeling renewed and less alone.
Perhaps, that affect is more because of how my life has been going lately and being able to connect with the narrator, with F. and with Edith.
Or perhaps it is just that I keep running over the question, "How to fuck a saint?" and find it absolutely brilliant.
Knowing both enough[meaning I have knowledge of the 'facts'] about Aboriginals and the history of the settlement of Canada helped with this novel but at the same time, the images are so rich and the descriptions so vivid that I didn't need to know and let Cohen take me on a journey.
I think we are all Beautiful Losers in this world, just reaching out for that touch of humanity [or divinity] to keep us from falling into a treehouse we cannot escape from. To keep us from being constipated in all every way. To keep us from being alone with ourselves. Because that is what I think most people find to be Hell. They need to know they have a connection to the world beyond themselves.
That seems oxymoronic too. But I truly think most people hate themselves and just refuse to admit it. So they reach out to get a connection to someone else, something else to "prove" they are loved, needed, wanted in this world.
That's what F. kept trying to do. He admits it in his letter. Edith admits it too. That's why she let F. change her.
That's why F. tries to make the divine human. To 'fuck a saint' is making the holy tangible. Touchable. Fuckable.
The text is both hard to read and easy to read. My eyes followed easily and yet sometimes my brain needed time to catch up. [This could have been due to my own exhaustion at certain points of reading]
Beautiful Losers made it okay for me to admit to being a Beautiful Loser. Again. And let me get back to myself in a way I forgot I needed. In a way I missed.
Or maybe just as the narrator is in Hell in Montreal, I really feel like I'm in Hell right now and so the 'lessons' that were taught hit me too close too home. Literally.
In any case, Cohen truly has written a wonderful novel that I am only saddened it has taken me so long to read.