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Re: THE FLAME - Reviews

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:58 am
by jarkko
THE FLAME received a starred review in the October 15 issue of Library Journal:
"Renowned singer/songwriter Cohen (1934–2016) shares a deeply personal take on the wonders and challenges of life and love in this collection that will appeal not only to his fans but also anyone who loves beautiful lyrics that parse life's meaning. Cohen devotees, in particular, will be entranced by the many line drawings—mostly self-portraits—that extend the words in a kind of visual diary. (One caveat with the drawings—the words reproduced often appear too small for easy reading.) Cohen, who struggled to finish this work before his death, also included a dialog with a former teacher. Sometimes, the poet's language is ordinary and the line breaks arbitrary ("Vanessa called/ all the way from Toronto/ She said that I/ could count on her/ if ever I was/ down and out"), but even this poem is transformed by the title, "G-D Wants His Song." Far more eloquent and frequent are lines that examine life from the inside out: "The Heart beneath is teaching/ To the broken Heart above" and "If the sea were sand alone/ And the flowers made of stone." VERDICT: An excellent addition for all poetry collections. —Doris Lynch

Re: THE FLAME - Reviews

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:05 am
by jarkko
THE FLAME is #15 on The New York Times' Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers List as of October 28. I don't believe Book of Longing ever made this list. ... r-fiction/

Two other reviews found by Marie:

Spiegel ... 33722.html

Kirkus Review ... the-flame/

Re: THE FLAME - Reviews

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:27 pm
by jarkko ... 111135041/
Les Inrockuptibles
Pourquoi il ne faut pas rater le dernier livre de Leonard Cohen
17/10/18 12h00
Pierre Siankowski

The Flame, recueil de poèmes, notes et dessins, nous offre le bonheur de retrouver tout le génie du Canadien.
Leonard Cohen fut un artiste de génie et un homme magnifique. The Flame, recueil de poèmes, notes et dessins, est un témoignage considérable que le Canadien errant aura rédigé jusqu’à son dernier souffle. Ce qui transparaît de ce livre, et qui manque aujourd’hui, c’est sa grande honnêteté et son courage.

A l’heure où l’on se ment, où l’on sacrifie avec aisance jusqu’à ses plus essentielles valeurs, où l’on joue la conservation à tout prix, Leonard Cohen nous montre à quel point il s’est remis en jeu chaque jour, et avec quelle clairvoyance il se sera sans cesse observé, comme homme et comme artiste.

Ce qu’il faut retenir de ce livre : la joie, la flamme

De ces poèmes, textes courts et dessins ressortent une énergie et une lucidité incroyables. Cohen voit le monde, Cohen est le monde, et il le traverse avec sa sensibilité propre. Il charrie les concepts et le tout-venant, évoque ses souvenirs de l’île d’Hydra comme de Kanye West, chante les hommes et surtout les femmes, se plaçant en observateur joyeusement participant.

C’est ce qu’il faut retenir de ce livre : la joie, la flamme. Alors que sa lecture pourrait paraître tristoune, ne faisant que rappeler le vide qu’a laissé Cohen, elle est au contraire jouissive. C’est un appel à la liberté, une déclaration d’indépendance, et surtout une merveille d’écriture. On retrouve dans les textes de Cohen l’allégresse de celui qui fut son idole, Federico García Lorca.

A la lecture, on pense aux recueils de poèmes de ce dernier, Romancero gitano et Un poète à New York, à cette poétique du duende qui sublime l’expression. Au fur et à mesure des pages, et c’est là que le livre devient sublime, on découvre aussi un field commander Cohen qui capitule devant la mort avec cette élégance qui n’appartient qu’à lui.

Les mots s’enchaînent et l’heure approche, les pages se tournent de plus en plus vite, sa tête est bien haute sous le chapeau qu’il aimait porter sur la fin, et son cœur énorme. Le regard qu’il pose, sur lui, sur les autres, est très doux. Prêt, parce qu’il n’a plus le choix, Cohen signe avec nous, tout au long de The Flame, ce fameux Treaty qui vient conclure la dernière chanson de son magnifique dernier album. Il nous manque chaque jour.
Google translation:
Why do not miss Leonard Cohen's latest book
17/10/18 12:00

The Flame, collection of poems, notes and drawings, offers us the happiness of finding all the genius of the Canadian.

Leonard Cohen was an artist of genius and a magnificent man. The Flame , a collection of poems, notes and drawings, is a considerable testimony that the wandering Canadian wrote until his last breath. What transpires from this book, and which is missing today, is its great honesty and courage.

At a time when one is lying, where one sacrifices with ease until one's most essential values, where one plays the conservation at all costs, Leonard Cohen shows us how much he has recovered in every day, and with what clairvoyance he will have been constantly observed, as a man and as an artist.

What to remember from this book: joy, flame

From these poems, short texts and drawings emerge an incredible energy and lucidity . Cohen sees the world, Cohen is the world, and he crosses it with his own sensitivity. It carries the concepts and all-comers, evokes memories of the island of Hydra as Kanye West sings the men s urtout women, placing an observer participating joyfully.

This is what must be remembered from this book: joy, flame. While his reading may seem trite, only reminding the void left Cohen, it is rather enjoyable. It is a call to freedom, a declaration of independence, and above all a marvel of writing. We find in Cohen's texts the joy of the one who was his idol, Federico García Lorca.

When reading, you think of Dr. pitfalls of poems of the latter, Gypsy Ballads and Poet in New York , this poetics of duende that sublime expression. As the pages unfold, and this is where the book becomes sublime, we also discover a field commander Cohen who capitulates to death with this elegance that belongs only to him.
The words come together and the hour approaches, the pages turn faster and faster, his head is high under the hat he loved to wear on the end, and his heart huge. The look he puts on himself, on others, is very sweet. Ready, because he has no choice, Cohen signs with us, throughout The Flame , the famous Treaty that concludes the last song of his magnificent last album. We miss him every day.
Thanks to Marie

Re: THE FLAME - Reviews

Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:52 pm
by jarkko ... paign=Main

Leonard Cohen Found His Inner Picasso In His Final Work
by Yevgeniya Traps, October 19, 2018

So little to say / So urgent / to say it, is the whole of one poem by the late Leonard Cohen. The poem is called “My Career.” Like so much of Cohen’s work, the poem reifies a certain kind of humbleness — before the divine, the beautiful, the mystical. But the modesty may be a put-on, for in another poem, called “Kanye West Is Not Picasso,” the speaker asserts, with a fair amount of facetiousness, to be sure, that, while Kanye is no Picasso, “I am Picasso.” (In later lines, the speaker also claims, “I am the Kanye West of Kanye West,” and “I am the Kanye West Kanye West thinks he is / When he shoves your ass off the stage / I am the real Kanye West.”)
“My Career” also puts front-and-center — indeed, it’s all front-and-center, only front-and-center — the mortal necessities Cohen heeded throughout his long and prolific career, the sense that time is ever, always, running out, that what little remains must be given shape and significance.

Mortality and its attendant urgencies are especially present in “The Flame,” the collection of poems, notebook jottings, lyrics and dashed-off but meticulous drawings that is Cohen’s last, as he knew it would be. “I am trying to finish / My shabby career / With a little truth / In the now and here,” he writes in “If I Took a Pill.” Of course Cohen’s career was far from shabby. In a New Yorker magazine profile, published not long before the artist’s death, on November 7, 2016 (the day, it has been noted in meaningful tones, before the election of Donald Trump to the presidency), David Remnick documented the respect Cohen commanded among fellow musicians; even Bob Dylan — cryptic, grudging Bob Dylan — spoke plainly about his admiration.

Cohen was a rare thing: the musician’s musician whose work resonated with civilians, an artist who spoke simply, clearly, who said no more than what needed to be said, but who also said no less. His work was a mirror held up to the self, but one that reflected more than the self. He could be a little cheesy, a little passé, but that only added to his considerable charm. He could be repetitive, but that was only because the things he was interested in, the things he wanted to describe, were worth returning to again and again. And again.

Cohen was 82 when he died, which is not, in the grand scheme of things, a tragedy. And yet how bereft one feels in browsing through “The Flame.” Sincerity is not a quality I generally set a lot of store by — at least not aesthetically — but Cohen wears his well. He is doing what he can, he is doing what he must, he is doing what he cannot not do. In his foreword to the collection, Cohen’s son Adam Cohen notes that his father, “before he was anything else, was a poet. He regarded this vocation… as his ‘mandate from G-d to enter the dark.” (The reverence suggested by that hyphen, Adam Cohen writes, points to the artist’s “reluctance to write out the divine name even in English… an old Jewish custom and… evidence of the fidelity he mixed with his freedom.”)

Writing, more than “religion, teachers, women, drugs, the road, fame, money,” offered a chance at salvation, a succor, a way to see beyond. This from a man who could be devout (his paternal grandfather, Lyor Cohen, was the founding president of the Canadian Jewish Congress); who spent years living with monks; who knew many a woman and took many a drug; who toured incessantly; who knew worldwide admiration, earned (and lost and earned again) a fortune.

Onstage and offstage, Cohen’s words resonated — go on resonating — and if they saved him, they saved others, too. “There’s a crack in everything,” insists the chorus of “Anthem.” “That’s how the light gets in.” “Blackening pages,” Cohen called the act of writing. But the way he did it, he could have called it “lightening pages,” too. Yes, it is trite to say that a song, a poem, saved someone. But couldn’t it?

On Cohen’s last album, “You Want It Darker,” the titular song expresses a willingness to “kill the flame.” But “The Flame” suggests that he wasn’t, even at the end — especially at the end — so willing. The poems get longer; they digress, spiral out, spill across. Cohen returns to his themes, re-engages obsessions that never got old, reworks his arguments: The flame destroys but also illuminates, and perhaps one is not possible without the other. There’s a crack in everything. It lets the light in. “Hineni / I’m ready, my Lord,” Cohen intones during the refrain and the conclusion of “You Want It Darker.” Here I am, Cohen says, and there he was, ready to grapple with what had come and what would.

Re: THE FLAME - Reviews

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:41 am
by jarkko
From Marie:
Here is an Australian article about both The Flame and Half the Perfect World, a book about Hydra at the time Leonard was there. ... him-105392

The Conversation
Friday essay: a fresh perspective on Leonard Cohen and the island that inspired him

Thread about the Hydra book: ... =3&t=38157

Re: THE FLAME - Reviews

Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:12 am
by jarkko
From Marie:
Here's a translated review from Jüdische Allgemeine. They recommend that the reader buy more than one copy. :-) ... w/id/33058

Jüdische Allgemeine

Das alte Gesetz

Kurz vor seinem Tod beendete der Sänger die Arbeit an seinem letzten Buch. Jetzt erscheint es auf Deutsch
Aktualisiert am 26.10.2018, 15:38 – von Maria Ossowsk

Sie lesen hier eine Buchrezension, lieber Leser und liebe Leserin, und die beginnt mit Verboten. Gehorchen Sie einfach!

1.) Lassen Sie die Finger von dem Buch, wenn Ihnen das Judentum, Sinnfragen zum Leben und zum Tod sowie Widersprüche bei diesen Themen egal sind. Cohens Lyrik rührt an die Grundfragen der Existenz. Und Cohen argumentierte gern und kenntnisreich mit den alten Schriften.

2.) Stellen Sie Die Flamme von Leonard Cohen nie in den Bücherschrank ins Regal »Popliteratur«. Eher zu Heine, Rilke, Goethe. Oder zu den Shakespeare-Sonetten. Schon bei Hesse wäre ich vorsichtig.

3.) Lesen Sie Cohens Gedichte und Notizen nie im Zug. Sie vergessen sonst Ihr Ziel.

4.) Lesen Sie das Werk nie online oder als E-Book. Seine Schönheit braucht Papier.

5.) Kaufen Sie niemals nur ein Exemplar. Lassen Sie den Buchhändler gleich drei weitere für Ihre wichtigsten Lebensmenschen in Geschenkpapier wickeln.

GEDICHTE Leonard Cohen war Jude, Dichter, Liebender, Suchender, Zeichner, Musiker. Und zwar in genau dieser Reihenfolge; seine Rollen waren aber ineinander verwoben und ergänzten einander. »Mein Vater war mehr noch als alles andere ein Dichter«, so formuliert es Adam Cohen in dem sehr persönlichen Vorwort des Buches. »Das verstand er als seine Mission G-ttes. Der Gedankenstrich ist eine alte jüdische Tradition und ein weiterer Beleg für seinen festen Glauben, den er mit seiner eigenen Freiheit kombiniert hat.«

Cohen selbst wählte für das Buch, körperlich schon stark geschwächt, 63 Gedichte aus, an denen er oft über Jahrzehnte gearbeitet hatte und die er erst zum Schluss seines Lebens veröffentlichen wollte. Sie bilden den ersten Teil des Buches. Im zweiten lesen wir die Gedichte aus seinen letzten vier Alben. Der dritte Teil ist seinen Notizen gewidmet, die oft Ideen für sein poetisches Werk oder Songs enthalten. Alles ist auf Englisch zu lesen und von hervorragenden Lyrikerinnen und Lyrikern, Autorinnen und Autoren kongenial ins Deutsche übertragen.

Cohen hat immer geschrieben, zu jeder Zeit, zu jeder Gelegenheit. Wenn sein Sohn ihn um Geld für Süßigkeiten bat, antwortete Leonard dem Jungen, er solle seine Jackentaschen nach Scheinen oder Kleingeld durchstöbern. Adam fand dort unweigerlich und immer Notizbücher. Als er später bei seinem Vater ein Feuerzeug oder Streichhölzer suchte, kramte Adam in Schubläden voller Notizbücher oder Kladden. Und als der Sohn den Vater einmal fragte, ob er Tequila habe, »schickte er mich zum Kühlschrank, wo ich ein eingefrorenes, verirrtes Notizbuch fand«.

SPIRITUELL Das Schreiben, die Schrift, schuf nach alter jüdischer Tradition das Fundament seines Lebens, sagte Cohen einmal in einem Interview. Ob Notizen, Gedichte oder Gedanken, immer wieder ziehen sich jüdische Themen durch Cohens Geisteswelt. Trotz spiritueller Hinwendung zum Zen-Buddhismus und Grenzerfahrungen mit Drogen bildete das jüdische Erbe die Basis seiner Kunst.

In seinem Notizbuch »9-17« heißt es: »Was die alten Gesetze bedeuten / warum sie unterscheiden / was rein und was unrein ist / Male im Fleisch / Hat man Euch gegeben / damit ihr wissen könnt / wann ihr euch einander nähern dürft / Ich schreibe das auf der Grenze / wer darauf beharrt, dass der Vollmond neu / und der Neumond voll sein muss / Ich spreche nicht von Sünde / nur von Bereitsein und / Gastfreundschaft & der Weisheit / der Mäßigung«.

Die Weisheit der Mäßigung, die Gültigkeit der alten Gesetze, die Bescheidenheit vor Gott, all dies findet sich in Cohens Werk. So wie auch das Gegenteil: »Geboren im Herzen der Bibel & ich kenn die fromme Neigung ...«, notiert er und dreht sofort mit Heine’scher Selbstironie die eigene Gläubigkeit um: »Ich könnte Engeln Papierflügel andrehen. Ich bin ein verfluchter Hurensohn.«

SCHÖNHEIT Cohens Notizen ließen sich kaum ordnen, in vielen kleinen, unscheinbaren Heften hat er über Jahre abwechselnd seine Gedanken festgehalten. Und er hat viel gezeichnet. Diese Selbstbildnisse im Alter ergänzen seine Schriften. Die scharfen Züge und Falten zeigen Vergänglichkeit, Schönheit und Melancholie.

Cohen hat einmal selbst erzählt, er sei schlagartig erwachsen geworden, als die Schoa in sein Bewusstsein drang. Eine Art Hut umgibt bei einem Porträt von 2004 seinen kahlen Kopf. »Seas of blood« steht darauf. Unter dem Kinn der Kragen: »oceans of regret«. Nicht grausam genug, so lesen wir in der Mitte, nicht einmal ansatzweise, sei die Welt mit diesem Bild umschrieben.

Die Metapher der Flammen durchzieht Leonard Cohens gesamtes Werk, sie gibt seinem Nachlass auch den Titel. »Wort der Wörter / Und Mittel aller Mittel / Geheiligt werde Dein Name / Dein Name sei gepriesen / Er steht auf meinen Herzen / In brennenden Buchstaben.«

ESSENZ Buchstaben brennen, Flammen verzehren. Neues entsteht. Cohens Nachlass ist die Essenz eines Lebens für die Kunst, für das Judentum, für Gott. Mit einer Erstauflage von 20.000 Exemplaren zeigt der Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch, welche Bedeutung er diesem Kleinod der Buchkunst zumisst.

Die Online-Frage eines Lesers in der Amazon-Kommentarspalte beweist, was Cohen-Fans ohnehin und schon immer umgetrieben hat: »Wieso hat dieser Dichter eigentlich nie den Literaturnobelpreis erhalten?«

Leonard Cohen: » Die Flamme – The Flame«. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Köln 2018, 352 S., 30 €

The old law

Shortly before his death, the singer finished the work on his last book. Now it appears in German
Updated on 26.10.2018, 15:38 - by Maria Ossowski

Here you read a book review, dear reader, and it begins with prohibitions. Just obey!

1.) Stay away from the book if you do not care about Judaism, meaning questions about life and death and contradictions in these topics. Cohen's poetry touches on the basic questions of existence. And Cohen liked to argue well and knowledgeably with the ancient scriptures.

2.) Never put the flame by Leonard Cohen in the bookcase on the shelf »Popliteratur«. Rather to Heine, Rilke, Goethe. Or the Shakespeare sonnets. Already at Hesse I would be careful.

3.) Never read Cohen's poetry and notes on the train. Otherwise you forget your goal.

4.) Never read the book online or as an e-book. His beauty needs paper.

5.) Never buy only one copy. Have the bookseller wrap three more for your most important people in wrapping paper.

POEMS Leonard Cohen was a Jew, poet, lover, seeker, draftsman, musician. And in exactly this order; his roles were interwoven and complemented each other. "My father was a poet even more than anything else," is what Adam Cohen says in the very personal foreword to the book. "He understood that as his mission to Gd. The indent is an old Jewish tradition and further proof of his firm belief, which he combined with his own freedom. «

Cohen himself selected 63 poems for the book, which had already been severely weakened, which he had often worked on for decades and which he did not want to publish until the end of his life. They form the first part of the book. In the second one we read the poems from his last four albums. The third part is dedicated to his notes, which often contain ideas for his poetic work or songs. Everything can be read in English and congenially translated into German by outstanding lyricists and authors.

Cohen has always written, at any time, at any occasion. When his son asked him for sweets money, Leonard told the boy to rummage through his pockets for bills or coins. Adam inevitably found there notebooks. Later, when he was looking for a lighter or a match with his father, Adam rummaged in drawers full of notebooks or notebooks. And when the son once asked his father if he had tequila, "he sent me to the fridge, where I found a frozen, lost notebook."

SPIRITUALLY Writing, the script, created the foundation of his life according to ancient Jewish tradition, Cohen once said in an interview. Whether notes, poems or thoughts, Jewish themes are repeatedly drawn through Cohen's spiritual world. Despite spiritual devotion to Zen Buddhism and borderline experiences with drugs, the Jewish heritage was the basis of his art.

In his notebook "9-17" it says: "What the old laws mean / why they make a difference / what is pure and what is impure / Meat in the flesh / Was given to you / So you can know / When you approach each other / I write this on the border / who insists that the full moon must be new / and the new moon must be full / I do not speak of sin / only of readiness and / hospitality & wisdom / moderation «.

The wisdom of moderation, the validity of the old laws, the modesty of God, all of this can be found in Cohen's work. Just like the opposite: "Born in the heart of the Bible & I know the pious inclination ...", he notes and immediately turns his own piety with Heine's self-irony: "I could turn paper wings to angels. I'm a fucking son of a bitch. "

BEAUTY Cohen notes could be arranged hardly in many small, inconspicuous stapling he has held for years turns his thoughts. And he has drawn a lot. These self-portraits in old age supplement his writings. The sharp features and wrinkles show transience, beauty and melancholy.

Cohen himself once said that he had grown up abruptly when the Shoah entered his consciousness. A kind of hat surrounds his bald head in a 2004 portrait. "Seas of blood" is written on it. Under the chin of the collar: "oceans of regret". Not cruel enough, we read in the middle, not even remotely, is the world circumscribed with this image.

The metaphor of the flames permeates Leonard Cohen's entire work, she also gives his estate the title. "Word of the words / And means of all means / Hallowed be your name / Thy name be praised / He stands on my heart / In burning letters."

ESSENCE Burning letters, eating flames. New arises. Cohen's estate is the essence of a life for art, for Judaism, for God. With a first edition of 20,000 copies, the publisher Kiepenheuer & Witsch shows the importance it attaches to this gem of book art.

The online question from a reader in the Amazon commentary column proves what Cohen fans have been upset about anyway: "Why did not this poet ever receive the Nobel Prize for Literature?"

Leonard Cohen: "The Flame - The Flame." Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 2018, 352 p., 30 €

Re: THE FLAME - Reviews

Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:32 am
by jarkko
Wonderful review of The Flame in UK's The Observer. ... try-lyrics
The Observer
Kate Kellaway
30 Oct 2018

The Flame by Leonard Cohen review – the last word in love and despair
The songwriter and poet’s final writings are full of youthful spark, beauty and romance
(Link from Marie)

Re: THE FLAME - Reviews

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:02 am
by jarkko ... -notebooks

The Paris Review: Selections from Leonard Cohen’s Notebooks

Re: THE FLAME - Reviews

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:36 am
by jarkko ... _liSa3Ey2E

The Walrus
Leonard Cohen’s Afterlife
A posthumous collection, finished days before his death, reveals the artist at his most intimate

The Walrus. November 14, 2018
Leonard Cohen’s Afterlife
A posthumous collection, finished days before his death, reveals the artist at his most intimate

Re: THE FLAME - Reviews

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:58 am
by jarkko ... d-zen.html

The Millions
Leonard Cohen and Zen
Soken Graf, November 12, 2018

Re: THE FLAME - Reviews

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:41 pm
by jarkko
‘For those of us who feel the absence of Leonard Cohen more markedly every day since his death on November 7, 2016 . . . The Flame is a gift.’ ... med-hanif/

Jane Graham
October 15, 2018
The Flame, Leonard Cohen
For those of us who feel the absence of Leonard Cohen more markedly every day since his death on November 7, 2016 (the day after Donald Trump won the presidential election), The Flame is a gift. It is a collection of Cohen’s last poems, illustrations, unfinished drafts, the revelatory acceptance speech he gave when he won Spain’s Prince of Asturias Award for Literature in 2011, and his very last text, sent less than 24 hours before he died. In terms of quality, these poems and lyrics are as startling and stirring, as clever, funny and sorrowful as we came to expect from a poet/singer/songwriter who watched over the cultural landscape of the last half century like a one man Mount Rushmore (one with added chutzpah and a truckload of good jokes). ‘I’ve grown old in a hundred ways. But my heart is young and still it plays’ he writes. This treasure trove is testament to that. Amen.

Re: THE FLAME - Reviews

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:06 pm
by jarkko ... the-flame/
The Wee Review, Scotland

Leonard Cohen – The Flame
Posthumous anthology from one of the world’s greatest lyricists

Re: THE FLAME - Reviews

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:15 am
by jarkko

Re: THE FLAME - Reviews

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:32 am
by jarkko ... kLK3rWuZIU

Art Fuse

Poetry Review: Leonard Cohen’s “The Flame” — The Errant Canadian Comes Home
NOVEMBER 20, 2018
Leonard Cohen reinforces this dedication to lyricism with striking humility in his final book.
By Robert Israel

Re: THE FLAME - Reviews

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:34 am
by jarkko
According to Christof Graf, December's Rolling Stone (its German edition) gave The Flame lots of attention plus 4 out of 4 stars.