What is a saint?

A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility.

It is impossible to say what that possibility is.

I think it has something to do with the energy of love.

Contact with this energy results in the exercise of a kind of balance in the chaos of existence.

A saint does not dissolve the chaos; if he did the world would have changed long ago.

I do not think that a saint dissolves the chaos even for himself, for there is something arrogant and warlike in the notion of a man setting the universe in order.

It is a kind of balance that is his glory.

He rides the drifts like an escaped ski.

His course is a caress of the hill.

His track is a drawing of the snow in a moment of its particular arrangement with wind and rock.

Something in him so loves the world that he gives himself to the laws of gravity and chance.

Far from flying with the angels, he traces with the fidelity of a seismograph needle the state of the solid bloody landscape.

Beautiful Losers

Beautiful Losers is the second and final novel by Canadian writer and musician Leonard Cohen. It was published in 1966, before he began his career as a singer-songwriter.

Cohen wrote the novel in two eight-month spurts while living on the Greek island of Hydra in 1964 and 1965.

He fasted and consumed amphetamines to focus his creativity on the novel.

Despite a lavish rollout, sales were disappointing, and critics were initially unsympathetic or hostile.

The book gained critical and commercial attention only after Cohen had given up novel-writing and turned to the songwriting and performing upon which his fame rests today.

Beautiful Losers has come to be seen as having introduced postmodernism into Canadian literature.

It has become a steady seller, and is considered a part of the Canadian literary canon.