Quiet Fanaticism: The Phenomenon of Leonard Cohen’s Popularity in Poland

  • Ewa MazierskaEmail author
  • Xawery Stańczyk
Part of the Palgrave European Film and Media Studies book series (PEFMS)


This chapter describes the phenomenon of Leonard Cohen’s popularity in Poland as a ‘quiet fanaticism’: private, yet fanatical, due to a deep internalisation of Cohen’s songs, poems and sensibility by the artist’s fans. It focuses on both the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of Cohen’s Polish popularity. The first concerns the presence of Cohen’s music in the Polish music press, radio and television, and its circulation in its original form and in translation on records and cassettes. The second refers to the dominant interpretations of Cohen’s music in Poland, as reflected in the translation of his lyrics and how his music was represented in the media, reflected in Polish poetry inspired by Cohen’s work and personal testimonies of his fans. Ultimately, the chapter tries to establish what is characteristic of the ‘Polish Cohen’.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Central LancashirePrestonUK
  2. 2.Institute of Philosophy and SociologyPolish Academy of SciencesWarsawPoland

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