All About Lulu discussion

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thoughts on the ending

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message 1: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan | 21 comments Mod
. . . there's been a lot of debate about the P.S. at the end of lulu . . . it agrees with most people (myself included), but some people can't stand it . . . i have my reasons for it, but i'd love to hear what you think . . .


message 2: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Swann (christopherswann) | 2 comments Hi, JE. I'm mixed on the ending, but I think it fits with the rest of the novel. You play with the reader's expectations with the opening sentence--referencing the whole David Copperfield crap and the opening of "Catcher in the Rye"--but you don't do it in an annoying way. As a reader I don't feel like you're yanking my chain, just taking me down a slightly different path. It was a refreshing way to begin a novel that both acknowledged its literary predecessors and staked its own ground, so to speak.

Given that, the ending, which is a bit up in the air, isn't startling or off-base. We come full circle with the "no pain, no gain" comment. Did you have it in mind to engage the reader in some speculation about the ending--deliberately keeping the ending unclear so the reader could fill in the blank? Or did you feel the ending is clear and it's just some of us who aren't clear? I agree that most people like conclusions that tie things up...maybe not too neatly, but still wrap the narrative up. (Think of Christmas presents--some are beautifully wrapped and presented, some are sloppily shoved into gift bags, etc.) I guess I wonder what your intentions were (which means I guess I'm throwing the question back at you). I find that writing endings to stories is difficult, so I'm curious to hear your thoughts.


message 3: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan | 21 comments Mod
Chris wrote: "Hi, JE. I'm mixed on the ending, but I think it fits with the rest of the novel. You play with the reader's expectations with the opening sentence--referencing the whole David Copperfield crap an..."

. . . i like endings that FEEL resolved because the story has hit upon some truth, not endings that necessarily resolve every facet of the story . . . i guess i want my characters to live on, so in the case of lulu, i wanted to hint at some possibilities without revealing too much . . . it has been noted that the penultimate ending of lulu happens in the bedroom before the p.s., and this is true in terms of resolving the roles of lulu and will in relation to one another, but what next, you know? how will they deal with these new roles? what will it be like with future lovers? . . . i want the reader to wonder these things . . . if my ending is like a cul-de-sac, i'm not sure that they will . . . i began the novel from a reflective point of view for the same reason, so it felt natural to return to that pov, rather than end in the immediate environment of the bedroom . . .


message 4: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Swann (christopherswann) | 2 comments Thanks--I like what you say about wanting your characters to live on, and having your readers wonder what happens next. I remember some people liking how the penultimate chapter ended, and arguing for that to be the "real" ending, but life doesn't really "end" like that. I also suppose that your ending allows your characters to linger in your readers' minds for a while, pondering what if. Some books I finish and hardly think about again, or I never wonder what happened next. (With "The Great Gatsby," for instance, I don't really wonder much about what happens next for Nick.) With "Lulu," I do wonder, and instead of being frustrating it does feel natural.


message 5: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan | 21 comments Mod
. . . well, that's good! . . . i wanted an ending that had that lingering atmosphere, rather than an ending that stopped you cold in your tracks . . . take away speculation and you take a way a lot from what is a collaborative relationship between reader and writer . . .


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