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the music of chance, obsessive writing, intertextuality, conversation -- oh yeah, and some "real" life...

02 November 2011

Entry 2 The Sense Of An Ending

When Adrian contacts Tony to tell him he is seeing Tony's former girlfriend, Tony relies with a pithy "everything is jolly fine by me, old bean." He decides to pretend he does not mind.Given his previous actions and comments, the reader does not see much evidence of why he should mind. The characteristics of the unreliable narrator begin to multiply. Later, he writes a "proper" letter where, "As far as I remember, I told him pretty much what I thought of their joint moral scruples" and tells Tony he thinks Veronica had suffered "damage a long way back." Damage is a consistent, recurring issue in The Sense Of An Ending which in our lack of empathy none of us can fully fathom and that reverberates and echoes in major and minor ways throughout the novel. Tony's estrangement from his own emotional life loom large. He thinks he knows what he is all about. Even Margaret's rather innocent catty nickname for Alexandria, "the Fruitcake" takes on a sinister meaning as we read to the end of the story. No one in the novel is innocent or blameless. And, actually, however much Tony tries to make sense, he cannot. And there is no ending or any kind of sense of one. Barnes' novel kept me awake last night thinking through the various scenarios repeatedly,as Tony does.

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