The artificiality of endings…

From today’s thesis readings… It all comes back to writing stories.
"’Relations [meaning the interconnectedness of events and people] stop nowhere, and the exquisite problem of the artist is eternally to draw, by a geometry of his own, the circle in which they all shall happily appear to do so.’ Human experience is a continuum, but the artist, even one writing fiction, must artifically separate his material from all that is continuous with it or would be were the story true. He has to give tidy endings to experiences which have no endings at all in real life. Looked at in this fashion, there is something dreadfully arbitrary about lovers walking off through the sunset to live happily ever after. In human affairs, marriage is not a terminus at all; treating it as such is merely a literary technique, one involving considerable (if pleasing) falsification of experience. […] There ought to be other ways of relating literature to the continuum…"

Frank Kermode cited, and Kathryn Hume, in Hume’s ‘Beginnings and Endings in the Icelandic Family Sagas’


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