Saturday, 8 September 2012

The Art of Finis

Some Notes on Novel-Endings

In literary composition the beginning and the ending are of more moment than the body of the history or tale, and the ending should receive the maximum of attention. "Nothing is ended with honour," says Dr. Johnson, "which does not conclude better than it began." However finely a dramatic story may start, it may still be a failure on accout of its tame ending. That commonplace finish may prove more disastrous than a commonplace opening.
It is interesting in this connection to recall the conclusion of one of the greats, and mark how they say good-bye. In "David Copperfield" Dickens writes, "O Agnes! O my soul! so may thy face be by me when I close my life indeed; so may I, when realities are melting from me like the shadows which I now dismiss, still find thee near me pointing upward!"