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Sense of an Ending

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message 1: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy   (doky) | 17 comments Wonderful book - we would really like to join the discussion but regret we will be out of town. Great quote on P. 65 "History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation."

Our human need for narrative to organize our experiences is so strong that it can lead to comfortable, but false, narratives. The emotional fit makes them seem real to us and we ascribe them in memory as fact, when they are not. One of the dangers of media is its need to create a marketable narrative instead of performing the hard task of exploring the reality.

End of ramble - thanks, Travis, for choosing this excellent book.


message 2: by Anne (new)

Anne | 85 comments I won't be there either, unfortunately. There were many things I liked and certain observations made me laugh but other things annoyed me.

My first (marked) laugh was on p43:
"If you'll excuse a brief history lesson: most people didn't experience "the sixties" until the seventies. Which meant, logically, that most people in the sixties were still experiencing the fifties--or, in my case, bits of both decades side by side. Which made things rather confusing.

Like Dorothy's quote, history doesn't take its general shape in the moment. It acquires it from a later vantage point. A good chunk of this book examines this...phenomena? Observation? Fact?

But I also just wanted people to TALK TO EACH OTHER AND EXPLAIN THINGS. Mostly Veronica to Tony. The whole "read my mind and understand my anger" only takes one so far. But Tony also played games so... With the insurance company, it was funny. After awhile with Veronica, it was obtuse and selfish.

Good, quick read though...and what a twist!


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm disappointed that so many people will be out of town. If I remember correctly, last June was underattended as well. I guess that's just the bad month for it.

I did get in the orders for our next cycle of books. A lot of international fiction, some non-fiction, some really solid choices. I tried to stagger them in a way that made sense and paid particular attention to interspersing some shorter titles.

I'll have the list available on Thursday and will post it for people who are unable to attend.


message 4: by Lucy (new)

Lucy (lucy47) | 146 comments I too loved the quote about the imperfections of memory combining with the inadequacies of documentation to produce the certainty we call history! And to Anne's point about "the Sixties" really starting mid-decade for many (certainly for me, who remained a '50's product so thoroughly that my sister -- only 14 mos. younger -- has completely different memories -- of participating in civil rights actions, loving the psychedelic music, getting into pot, trying free love, etc. We truly do fashion our internal life stories independent of what may've actually occurred.
I loved Barnes' writing -- his wry observances throughout made the book worthwhile, even though I loathed Veronica. I think Tony's "playing games" in his email onslaught were just his only means of getting her to respond. She was a f**ked-up piece of work, and in my opinion the cause of everything that followed her breakup with Tony in college. But I hated the twisty ending, and will need the group to explain much of it to me.


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