The end is nigh

(Note to self: what exactly does “nigh” mean? Ah. Still, don’t see myself using it in a sentence any time in the nigh future.)

Philip Hensher writes in The Telegraph about the importance of endings:
“First lines are great fun. But they aren’t really as important to a novel as the last lines. From a terrible first line, a novel may recover; the last line is what it leaves a reader with…
…The predominant mode, really, for 100 years, has been the straightforward Ambiguous Ending. When The Ambassadors ends, ” ‘Then there we are!’ said Strether,” what on Earth does that mean? Readers have been arguing over that for 100 years. The apparently plain statement that could mean the reverse of what it seems to say, like the end of Animal Farm or of Nineteen Eighty-Four, or any number of things, like most of Henry James’s last novels, has spread and spread, often to the open irritation of literal-minded readers.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s