Together in Spirit

An online reading group ('TIS a reading group!) to bring together friends, and friends of friends, who aren't able to be in a conventional reading group due to constraints of time or geography.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Epilogue problems

Fascinating post Emily. I found that thinking of Bel Canto as an "emotional " Marquez very helpful and made me more able to deal with my gripes about the novel.

However, being a "bear of very little brain" I was a little confused about your conclusions about the epilogue. If she is indeed going for a romantic-despite-tragic ending then her 'pattern' has taken us to heaven, brought us back to earth with a seismic bump and then tried to re-ascend us. This did not quite work for me. I feel that for this to be the case, either the idyll needs to have some flaws (enter the reality gripes we all had) or the siege had to be more merciful in the end (maybe, as you suggested, saving the teenagers). I don't think she can have both and still give us a "happy ending" that really works. I think you are either left with a realistic but bleak end (and I still posit the suicide of the warbler) or a Marquez love-can-conquer-all. I'm not sure I like either of these alternatives much but I think a feeble something-in-between is even worse.

Or have I misunderstood your point?