Passing on a life's treasures

« L’important c’est d’aller voir, c’est de se mettre au pied du mur. » 

Radioscopie de J. Chancel France Inter 1973.

Today, I have set myself a challenge. The challenge of writing. The challenge of a blank page. I am beginning a story; that of the adventure of Jacques’ life.

It is time to pass on its treasures.

I am delving into the legacy of his songs, his films, his writings, his manuscripts, interviews and letters.
I am re-examining this collection of documents, some of which have been kept safe for over sixty years.

I recall his words, the waymarks of his path through life, and Jacques once more becomes the author, the main character in this story. 
He speaks, replies, writes, explains and sings once again.

To set Jacques in his fragmented everyday life, several of his fellow travellers bear witness to moments spent with him.

A man’s life cannot be reduced to a few lines.  Thank goodness!  Jacques’ spirit soars high above these words and these memories.

His struggle always seemed to be one of freedom for others and for himself.  So we must avoid the temptation to reduce the space given to the life of a man who constantly fought to enlarge it. 

The aim of the artist in him was to write.

The aim of the man was to live.

There is no ready response to Jacques Brel.  Only his own words matter.  I have chosen to pass them on to you by means of this account and the many common threads which Jacques wove with passion into the complex fabric of his life.  A life which we discover just like the pages of a never-ending book.

France Brel