Friday, June 5, 2009

Guest Blogger: Kharzai - Last words out the door....

The last lines of a book can and do leave lasting impressions, even without reading the rest of the book they can have an intersting impact. For instance, look at these:

"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." –F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)

"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known." –Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

"P.S. Sorry I forgot to give you the mayonnaise."–Richard Brautigan, Trout Fishing in America (1967)

or of course,

"No glot…C’lom Fliday" –William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch (1959)

I've no idea what that actually means, but I's some powerful last line.

And of course a good last line can be a great cliff-hanger-ony tool as well.

But just as powerful are last images or thoughts left behind at the end of a story, yet potentially not spoken in the words of the ending. I cannot remember the actual last lines, but Douglas Adams books (Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, The Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul) always left me with a sense of "wha...huh?"

Such a sensation made me want to read more of his stuff because the ending, being for the most part rather absurd, always drove me towards the next just for closure.

Likewise with serious series novels. I remember as a child reading Louis L'Amour's Sackett series and absolutely needing to carry on to the next, just because there was a next.

When it is time for a story to end, the ending if it truly is the ending and not the beginning of the next episode, should conclude. Whether happy or sad, bright or mobid, the ending must indeed be the end. And upon reaching the end, if it's all well done and the closure is right, we can feel pretty good about it all, and satisfied with the impressions left behind.

And so in ending this entry I will go so far as to say, in all finality:

Life... is like a grapefruit. It's orange and squishy, and has a few pips in it, and some folks have half a one for breakfast. Douglas Adams

Kharzai Ghiassi
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