You Say You’ve OD’d on Leonard Cohen

Norman Ravvin

in The Oxford Handbook of Canadian Literature

Published in print January 2016 | ISBN: 9780199941865
Published online December 2015 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

You Say You’ve OD’d on Leonard Cohen

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Although Jewish writers such as Leonard Cohen and Mordecai Richler have attained widespread personal influence and popularity in Canadian literary discussions, the relationship of Canadian Jewish literature to the mainstream remains an understudied question. In order to understand its roots, and its relationship to the canon, the role of early Yiddish writers, the influence of Eastern Europe, and the impact of regionalism must be considered. In recent writing, largely by women with Montreal roots such as Anne Michaels, a return to imaginary constructions of Eastern Europe reflects new developments. The role of key early influences, such as A.M. Klein, requires reconsideration, while revisiting the work of neglected figures like Henry Kreisel and Eli Mandel redirects our thematic and stylistic focus, while also shifting attention to writers from western Canada.

Keywords: Canadian Jewish literature; Yiddish; Leonard Cohen; Mordecai Richler; A.M. Klein; Eli Mandel; Anne Michaels; Henry Kreisel; regionalism; Eastern Europe

Article.  9088 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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