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Leonard Cohen and Philosophy 

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ISBN 978-0-8126-9856-5


xiv + 281  pages


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Leonard Cohen and Philosophy

Various Positions

Edited by Jason Holt
Volume 84 in the Popular Culture and Philosophy® series

“Cohen famously said that there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in. This book takes the brilliant light of Cohen’s words and shines it into Plato’s cave with such strength the prisoners are not only free but see the sun.”

—Kimberly Baltzer-Jaray, author of Doorway to the World of Essences

“Anyone interested in Leonard Cohen—whether a newcomer to his work or a longtime fan—will find much to reflect upon and savor here. Exploring Cohen’s songs, albums, poems, and novels through the prism of philosophical and religious ideas, this volume covers diverse ground. . . . certain themes receive special focus, such as romantic love, authenticity, irony, perceptions of time, embodied consciousness, the Holocaust and the banality of evil, and the process of redemption.”

—Kathleen League, author of Adorno, Radical Negativity, and Cultural Critique

Leonard Cohen and Philosophy? ‘Everybody knows’ there’s a connection: not only through his Judaism cut with classico-medievalist Québécois Catholicism and then further cut with Zen Buddhism, but also via his tutoring in the ‘School of Hard Knocks’ that is the pop-rock balladeer scene. . . . Editor Jason Holt, himself a fine absurdist experimental poet and a professor of philosophy, draws us into examining the k.oan of Cohen, so to speak. . . . Holt assembles twenty scholars to ponder the ideational links between Cohen as writer/songwriter and a cosmopolitan who’s who of philosophers . . . . Reading these superb assessments of Cohen’s (sung) words bids us read and/or hear the bard ever more intensively, to recognize in him the extension of a troubadour tradition . . .”

—George Elliott Clarke, Professor of Canadian Studies, Harvard University & Poet Laureate of Toronto

 “Leonard Cohen and Philosophy . . . provides a delightful and engrossing philosophical journey through the life and art of Leonard Cohen. Jason Holt and his roster of engaging contributors make you want to travel with them—and you’ll be glad you did.”

—Shaun P. Young, editor of Jeopardy and Philosophy

Leonard Cohen and Philosophy deals with a wide range of issues, including the metaphysical world created in ‘Suzanne’ . . . the poetics of relationships , . . . and the phenomenology of time. . . . This volume presents perspectives not to be found elsewhere and offers readers a fuller resonance with Cohen’s work.”

—DrHGuy on Heck Of A Guy: The Other Leonard Cohen Site

 “It is rare for a promising young literary figure to become an influential pop music star, but that is exactly what Leonard Cohen has accomplished. . . . The chapters in this book run the gamut from classical and modern philosophical contexts to Cohen’s varied masculinities and prophetic tone to his unusual singing voice and concepts of beauty, authenticity, irony, love, evil, and transcendence.”

—Durrell Bowman, author of Experiencing Rush: A Listener’s Companion

Jason Holt is Associate Professor at Acadia University, where he teaches courses in philosophy and communication for the School of Kinesiology. His research focuses on aesthetics and philosophy of mind as well as popular culture and philosophy. His books include Blindsight and the Nature of Consciousness, which was shortlisted for the 2005 CPA book prize, various edited volumes, and literary books, most recently a book of poetry, Inversed.

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