A TROUBADOUR’S FI­NAL TES­TA­MENT

ZOOMER Magazine - - ZOOM IN ETC - — MC

In the fi­nal weeks of his life, Leonard Cohen worked fu­ri­ously through the pain that rav­aged his body and the knowl­edge that his days were num­bered to com­plete his fi­nal lit­er­ary tes­ta­ment – a col­lec­tion of un­re­leased po­etry, prose, lyrics and il­lus­tra­tions from his note­books called The Flame. “Noth­ing gets me high and of­fers re­lief from the suf­fer­ing like black­en­ing pages, writ­ing,” Leonard de­clared, as quoted by his son, Adam, in his fore­ward to the book. The vol­ume also con­tains the text of Leonard’s 2011 ac­cep­tance speech for the

Prince of As­turias Award, as well as some of his fi­nal cor­re­spon­dence with friends, in­clud­ing a mes­sage sent on Nov. 7, 2016, the day he died at age 82. Leonard, of course, didn’t live to see the fin­ished book, and it was his son who con­ceived of the ti­tle, not­ing the re­cur­ring theme of flames and fire in his fa­ther’s work. But, as Adam ob­serves, even death failed to ex­tin­guish Leonard’s light. “Each page of pa­per that he black­ened,” he adds at the con­clu­sion of his fore­ward, “was last­ing ev­i­dence of a burn­ing soul.”

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