Leonard Cohen

(2412 words)
  • Christopher Sinclair (University of Saskatchewan)

Leonard Norman Cohen was born in Montreal on September 21, 1934. The son of a successful clothing manufacturer, Leonard and his sister, Esther, grew up in the upper-middle-class Montreal neighborhood of Westmount, on the slope of Mount Royal. His father’s relatively early death had a pronounced influence on Leonard. The nine-year-old boy cut open one of his bow ties, sewed a message to his father into it, and buried it in the snow behind his childhood home. His mother, Masha, by all accounts melancholic, emotional, and romantic, was of Russian descent. Masha could often be heard singing European folksongs in Russian and Yiddish around the house. The bedroom window of Cohen’s youth overlooked a park that provided a clear view …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Sinclair, Christopher. "Leonard Cohen". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 December 2006
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=937, accessed 05 July 2015.]