Holly's Reviews > The End of the Story

The End of the Story by Lydia Davis
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May 25, 2012

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The unnamed narrator writes a novel based upon an extinct love affair; "The End of the Story" is her meditation on the process, an investigation into the beginning, middle and end. This is an exploration of first person narratives, memory, and the unreliable narrator.

The paradox: a fictional character writes a fictionalized account of her personal experiences (protagonist = Lydia Davis?), experiences that are not loosely based on her memories of her own life. These memories, however, we come to see as fiction themselves (so this quasi memoir = fiction?). This begs the question: What are we reading? Are we reading the novel the protagonist wrote? Are we simply experiencing first person

1. The reader and Lydia Davis's "The End of the Story" -> fact
2. The protagonist and whomever she's thinking to, speaking to (the reader? the great deep void?) -> fact (if she's Lydia Davis) or fiction (if she's not)
3. The protagonist's female alter ego and the protagonist's memory based male character in the unread (?), unavailable book-w/in-a-book -> fiction/memory
4. "The End of the Story" is the protagonist's book - a self contained book w/in a book from cover to cover ... sort of
5. "The End of the Story" is Lydia Davis's story about writng "The End of the Story"


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