NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)
Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Class Notes: Introduction To Narrative
Chapter 5: Closure
"With regard to expectations, then, there appear to be two imperfectly balanced needs: on the one hand to see them fulfilled, on the other to see them violated." The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative, p. 59.
That statement is so true! We don't want our read to be too predictable, but we have a certain set of "rules" in our heads and if the narrative doesn't follow those rules, we can get a little uncomfortable. For instance, I read a book a few years ago in which the heroine of the story is murdered by the serial killer in the end. That was weird. On the other hand, some of the best books are unforgettable precisely because they violated our rules.
When we're engaged in a narrative, be it in the form of a book, movie, or something else, what drives us to continue to pay attention are expectations and questions. We want expectations resolved in one form or another, and we want questions answered. In short, we want closure. But what if the narrative doesn't provide that closure? What if the end is ambiguous? What if questions are still lingering? Does that bother you? Or do you enjoy spending time pondering the unknown?