'The Dance of Masks': Desire and Identity in Leonard Cohen's Beautiful Losers
This thesis examines Leonard Cohen’s postmodern novel Beautiful Losers (1966). It considers the novel in relation to common themes in Cohen’s body of work, and the social context in which it was published. It applies postcolonial and philosophical theories of desire to examine how colonial hierarchies of race structure representations of desire. Through the lens of queer theory, it also examines how homosexuality is constructed, reflecting the homophobia of the time and unsettling concepts of sex and gender. This study argues that desire is integral and instrumental in the construction of identity, particularly of race and gender.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
SupervisorFlynn, Kevin G.
CommitteeRoy, Wendy; Englebert, Robert; Stephanson, Raymond
Copyright DateSeptember 2011
Cohen, *Beautiful Losers*, queer theory, postcolonialism, masculine studies, Quebec history, identity formation, mysticism/spirituality/asceticism