Day #11643: Goodreads

The End of the StoryThe End of the Story by Lydia Davis

This novel is more about the narrator’s process of organising thought than about the actual plot – which is very simple, lacking in drama and barely worth mentioning in this review. This makes The End Of The Story difficult to write about.

Whilst telling the story, Lydia Davis – as author, narrator, protaganist (the lines blur) – is also considering and discussing the best way to tell the story, telling us how difficult the story was to write and also about other pieces she is working on at the same time. The narrative is broken down in to parts and every motive, every memory, every piece of reason is questioned and examined. The protaganist does ill-advised things and then critiques her decisions, the narrator wonders whether she is remembering things correctly.

It is sometimes difficult, exhausting, boring, brilliant…

We start at the end of the story, loop back to the beginning, wander around the plot’s timeline and then finish at the end… hence ‘The End Of The Story’. But the title has a double meaning in that by the end of the novel, the story Lydia Davis is telling has been so completely deconstructed it does not seem it would be possible to put it back together again.

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When We Reached The Part Of The Road That Had Flooded After The River Had Broken Its Banks

We just stopped and looked.  We would have to go round a different way.  It was cold and dark and we had been walking for-  There was a moment when we would have given up if we could have given up, if one of us had been on their own, they might have just walked into the water and sat down, or just turned and gone something else… but what was so tiring-making about it was that there was no other option, and there wasn’t really an option to just give up, and there was nowhere to just sit down for a few minutes.  Whatever had to be done, had to be done straight away, and there was no alternative to things being done.

Two Poems

First Poem

Heavy rain woke me in the night
and I lay there, panicking about your birthday
until I remembered you had passed away
and this year you wouldn’t need presents
or a cake

Second Poem

A bag of prawn crackers

tumbles slowly

down the escalator

in a tube station,

in London