A Tale Of Time City -- DWJ endings

Ven ven at vvcrane.junglelink.co.uk
Wed Aug 23 14:09:08 EDT 2000


I agree that some of DWJs endings seem a little inadequate but I 
wonder if that is actually a fault......... Samuel R. Delany once 
wrote "endings, to be useful, must be inconclusive".  I've been 
mulling this over ever since I first read it and I think it works on two 
levels. Firstly an inconclusive ending leaves things open for the 
characters to carry on afterwards ("carry on" is perhaps a little 
unfortunate after Lizzie's confession ;-)). Its the opposite of "They 
lived happily ever after". Secondly its the kind of ending that doesn't 
dot all the is, cross all the ts and then tie everything up in ribbon for 
you. Therefore it lends itself to the kind of rereading and 
reinterpretation and the teasing out of meaning that we indulge in 
on this list (ie the Luke and Astrid discussion). I greatly admire 
tight  and complex plotting but I've concluded that I've never read a 
really good book without some inconsistency. This goes for the 
classics too, bits of plot and character are always bulging out 
somewhere. I'm reminded that someone called "Vanity Fair" a 
"great baggy monster" and so it is. I guess that, ultimately, books 
in which everything fits are just Mills and Boon or Boys Own Action 
Stories.

While I'm on the subject of the classics I was very struck by the 
narrative craft of War and Peace, how he moves it on from scene to 
scene. I felt sure it must be an influence on DWJ. It really doesn't 
deserve its reputation as a scary big book to fall asleep over on 
holiday, its a page turner. 
                                           Ven.

You are trapped in that bright moment where you learned your doom.
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