In On Late Style, Edward Said explores the last works of writers and musicians, including Thomas Mann, Constantine P. Cavafy, and Samuel Beckett. Constantine Cavafy's work often spoke of exile and loneliness and these are conditions that Mr. Said attributes to late style itself in that it is a sort of exile used for expressing oneself prior to death. As Said asks, "Does one grow wiser with age and are there unique qualities of perception and form that artists acquire as a result of age in the late phase of their career?" The answer to both parts of that question is likely affirmative. Numerous people hurry and produce a greater quantity of works nearer a deadline that farther from it. In school (or at work), do you ever find yourself producing what you need to get done right at the last minute (although it may require an all-nighter, or other more strenuous activity)?
The finality of death would be ever before a writer, taunting. But, there won't ever be a chance for the work to sit and percolate, and the writer won't be able to re-write or edit. Those final words, last lines... If you were nearing the end of your life, what would you chose to write about? What is so essential about the meaning of your life? And, what would you want others to know, understand, or see about the world?