The Sense of a Baseball Ending
The Good Phight
Frank Kermode's literary critical opus The Sense of an Ending (not to be confused with the recent bestseller by Julian Barnes) focuses on the fatal flaw of the novel as a genre, namely that it never seems to be able to produce a good ending. Kermode comes to many conclusions, and I won't corrupt what is one of the more readable candidates from my own profession in the interest of giving you a really literary historical blow by blow. Suffice it say, though, I think I am in agreement with Kermode when I say that the reason the novel can't seem to end sufficiently is that it is the literary documentation of every day life. Epics concern heroes (though they come close to the novel; saved only by the gods); poems rely upon the tyrant of form; plays gesture toward futurity in their very temporality. But the novel, like everyday life, just ends.
We pursue a narrative looking for satisfaction, and what is satisfying about the end is undercut by its very finitude. Not all ends get tied up. Not all answers are given.
Via Mary Daniels Brown