☽ Moon Rose ☯ 's Reviews > The Sense of an Ending

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
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's review
Oct 19, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: kindle, 2012-shelf, fiction
Recommended to ☽ Moon Rose ☯ by: Mala
Read from October 13 to 14, 2012

History...Memories...mere deceptions of Time?...Where then lies the Truth?...

In plain definition, history is a series of events that took place in the irretrievable past, supposedly transcribed in verbatim with impartiality mainly for the edification of human pursuits, accepted as the Truth based on the actuality of Time , as the solidity of its authenticity is judged and interpreted by the current leading majority, moulding it according to the fancy of the many, but in truth, its underlying essence, the true definition of events are lost forever in the eternal glory of Time which lies in the intricacy of its accumulative nature that intermingles people's actions, decisions and thoughts in the ceaseless whirlpool of Time , recording the endless fusions in the form of memories .

This complex intrusion to the unreliability of human memories, its extraction from the past and perceptive interpretation of events to disentangle the truth in one's own history is explicitly laid out in the luxurious texture of Julian Barnes' narrative eloquence in The Sense of an Ending, as the convergence of his artful style to the mystical form of existence blends unto the heights of his philosophical knowledge that appears to penetrate even the ungraspable secrets of Time , as Barnes attempts to draw out the simple facts from the true uncompromising and complicated nature of events in history enveloped in the formless contradictions of memories ...

PART ONE: The Memories of The Mystical Beginning

Barnes uses snapshots of Anthony Webster's memories in the beginning of the novel, as it appears like a random of photos in disorder that do not make sense as a whole in a somewhat domino effect fashion, culminating the piecing together of Tony's shredded memories into a unifying loop in his mind, relieving the intuitive perceptions of his youth, its varying interpretations over Time as he tries to make sense of the past to understand the unexpected events later in his life.

Barnes' execution of the first part of the novel is simply captivating. With only minimal information profusely multiplying in every line, it insinuates a suspenseful air clouded in the dark mysticism of Tony's reminiscence of the past like a cliffhanger ending that already sharply defines the edges of a precipice in an escalating urgency that can keep an audience flipping through the snippets of its memory induced pages.

The explicit inclusion of logical rationalization to draw out the meaning of life is a character of its own in the novel, as this deduction of the mystic through reasoning appears as the bubble that encloses all characters together, apart from the intelligent mind of Tony's friend, Adrian Finn who seems to have injected their thoughts with his gnawing erudition on existence, which appears like a mathematical equation solvable by the ineptitude of the human mind, as it tries to tap a Higher Intelligence, which in truth is incapable of understanding logic.

Perhaps, Adrian's character is Barnes' symbolic gesticulation of man's innermost desire to understand the mysteries beyond his intelligence, a development that instead of going inward to the unknown goes outward to the discovered aspects of life, which somehow is reflective of people submerged in their physicality, lost in their dark immersion to cynicism and self doubt, subjectively approaching life without faith and sternly following the path only according to their sense of reasoning, forgetting the fact that Life is no just a gift, it is a privilege given to us by the Universe to evolve in an orderly fashion despite the presence of its obvious physical chaotic violence.

This basic acceptance of life at face value is the beginning of the unveiling, it uncovers the first layer of the enigma, as this notion objectively approaches the deeper meaning of life, allowing us to see beyond the sensical dimensions of existence, as it slowly penetrates the consciousness to submit humbly to the mystical powers of the Universe.

Tony's self proclaimed ineptitude, his weakness and desire for self preservation are just an unconscious manifestation of this submission, reflecting the self's protective shield against the impurities of life, which somehow provided him the strength needed to go forward despite the accepted mediocrity of his existence.

On the other hand, Veronica Ford's character, the manipulative woman of his past and her family represent the enigma itself, as her life appears veiled, closed out from all the prying eyes. Even her words are covered in the mist of cloudiness, appearing as distant as the far out galaxies in the Universe.

PART TWO: The Unveiling of The Sense of an Ending

This is the coming together of all accumulated memories from the past, distinguishing the  interlayered responsibilities weaving a single event, its varying interpretations over Time that clarifies its truthfulness in history, obtaining the sought after sense of an ending Tony is seeking for from his memory.

In this part, Barnes' narrative takes a huge leap in Time, travelling like a speed of lightning that suddenly glimmers and then fades out, mimicking how the time spent in a lifetime appears to be blasted away from one's mind, disintegrating from one's memory at the dusk of one's life, showing the fleeting and oblivious nature of Time in relation to human existence from which Barnes tries to capture the simple facts from its true complex nature, unveiling The Sense of an Ending from the complications of the great unrest. ☾
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Quotes ☽ Moon Rose ☯ Liked

Julian Barnes
“How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to remind us that our life is not our life, merely the story we have told about our life. Told to others, but—mainly—to ourselves.”
Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending

Reading Progress

15.0% "Human memories are but a by product of collective thoughts perceived from the external outlines of Time, intricately intertwined with the so called interpreted history, as history in itself, is heftily subjugated in the absoluteness of Time. These compound elements that make up Time are what Julian Barnes exploits in the BEGINNING of his book, perhaps as a prologue to capture the meaning and THE SENSE OF AN ENDING..."
90.0% "Enclosed in the mystifying ambiguity of Time is the life history of Tony told through the elaborative flow of his existing memories that intermingle the truth in the recorded reality from his own perception of history, as it is laid out in the elegance of Barnes' scholarly philosophy, defining the fixation of man to discern the complexity of Time."

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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K.D. Absolutely We rated it with the same number of stars.

☽ Moon Rose ☯ Yeah, what I really like about the book is the writing style. It reminds me of old writers long dead and gone who somehow inject into their story their own personal philosophy in life and Barnes is capturing this thought provoking style, in a way that fits with our modern time. He knows how to entertain and at the same time, educate his audience, so that's really a plus for me!

Mala So glad you liked this book,Moon! Now you'll take my recommendations seriously,rite? Pls don't mind but why such dry,lit-jargon- ridden review of such a deeply emotional book? Sorry,but I couldn't enjoy it. Simplify Moon,simplify.
Read Nathan "N.R."Gaddis' review of Moby Dick,& see how simply & lucidly he has reviewed a very complex work of lit. I hope you don't mind my advice.

☽ Moon Rose ☯ Thanks for the recommendation, Mala. I did really enjoy reading it and I highly appreciate your advise but I believe in different styles of writing and with that comes different tastes. If these are the concepts that I got from the book, then this is it and at the same time, I'm not really a writer. I'm just enjoying putting my thoughts in my review. For me though, the book is not an emotional book altogether, there are transcendental elements you can find from it if you read deeper between the lines and that is one of the reasons why I like the book, but I thank you for your honesty.

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