Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Robert Faggen

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2017 Alexander J. Lombardo


This study examines the influence of various Western mystical traditions on Leonard Cohen’s second novel, Beautiful Losers. It begins with a discussion of Cohen’s public remarks concerning religion and mysticism followed by an assessment of twentieth century Canadian criticism on Beautiful Losers. Three thematic chapters comprise the majority of the study, each concerning a different mystical tradition—Kabbalism, Gnosticism, and Christian mysticism, respectively. The author considers Beautiful Losers in relation to these systems, concluding that the novel effectively depicts the pursuit of God, or knowledge, through mystic practice and doctrine. This study will interest scholars seeking a careful exploration of Cohen’s use of religious themes in his work.