Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ends justify the Means

So, I've been thinking about stories, my own, other peoples, ones that have been told to me, ones that I forget who told me, ones that I've made up and told, ones that I've never told. I think it's time to do some drawings about stories. I've started doing some really official research into the last page of childrens books (read: I go to libraries and look at the last page of kids books). Sure Robert Olen Butler, a good story may need a yearning main character-- but what about the end? Does the storyteller owe an ending with bravado, come-around, and conclusion? The counter argument to the idea of a story ending is that in real life, stories don't ever really end. But if we could just drop the idea that stories have to mimic and follow the limitations of reality for a second, I wonder what the politics and poetics are when the storyteller approaches the writing or telling of their Last Page of Yearning. That being said, and with no conclusion at all, I bid adieu and leave you with this last page from The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, a personal favorite about a pacifist bull in Spain. The End.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i find the idea of the 'last page of yearning' fairly compelling. i've been thinking about endings lately as well, but in relation to biographies (of a subject who's living): how can the end, as such, point to a condition of possibility (with regard to the subject and to the reader) without being sentimental, rather than trying to tidy things up, so to speak or provide some false sense of closure.