December 20, 2011

I guess she owes us all an apology

I found it amusing that the stories on Mohawk convert Kateri (aka Catherine) Tekakwitha being given sainthood today don't mention the writer most responsible for her being known by pretty much outside of native Canadian circles: Leonard Cohen, who used Tekakwitha as a central character in his problematic 1966 novel Beautiful Losers, once called "the most revolting book ever written in Canada" by critic Robert Fulford. Yes, it's derivations from Joyce and others are clear, but the "God is Afoot" chapter and the Tekakwitha wine scene (from which the post title is taken) remain two of the most vividly memorable pieces of prose I've ever read. (As for the Danish Vibrator, enough has been written by earnest undergraduates to make anything I would say quite moot.) Anyway, I'm just glad Mr. Cohen lived to see this day: I'm sure he's amused.

Posted by BruceR at 10:36 PM