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Three Moments Of Love

Desire, love and politics--from the masculine perspective. Leonard Cohen, who is remembered as the remarkable literary persona of the 1960s whose two novels were to sell a million copies each, and as the poet who was named the winner of the Governor General’s Award (although he declined to accept the honor), is also recognized for the songs he has recorded over a period of more than twenty years from the first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen, to Famous Blue Raincoat (recorded by Jennifer Warnes). Bruce Cockburn’s recording career spans twenty-eight years and twenty-three albums, the latest being the Juno Award winner (2000), Breakfast In New Orleans, Dinner In Timbuktu. His lyric writing, woven together with a thread of integrity and intelligence, is exceptional. His songs are political, mystical, religious: many the result of his travels and activism. Cockburn is also honorary chair of Friends of the Earth. These two artists, so different in style and temperament, are brought together in one work in order to compare and examine the way in which they approach the question of love and desire--in their art and in their life. Nonnekes contends that, despite widely different routes, both of these artists arrive at a similar place in their desire: the love provided by communion with the feminine other. From a psychoanalytic perspective, especially Lacan and Kristeva, as well as one informed by an encounter with the critical theory of Benjamin, Nonnekes proposes two subjects, one called I, from Cohen’s work, and one called S, from Cockburn’s work, and follows the journeys of each of these subjects as they yearn for love. From Cohen’s 1966 novel, Beautiful Losers, through to his 1992 album, The Future, and from Cockburn’s 1970 album, Bruce Cockburn, through to his 1997 album, Charity of Night, Nonnekes inquires into the fate of love for the masculine subject in a world where the dreams of desire encounter both ruin and promise.

Essential reading. - Stephen Scobie, winner of the Governor General’s Award

A fascinating tale, constructed from lyrical voices with passions as troubling as they are transforming. - Lambert Zuidervaart, Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory and the Semblance of Subjectivity

Paul Nonnekes, Ph.D., teaches Cultural Studies in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Red Deer College, Alberta.

192 pages, photographs, bibliography, index

192 pages | 5 1/4 x 8 1/4

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