Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Do You Desire A Denouement?

denouement |ˌdānoōˈmä n |
the final part of a play, movie, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved.

My friend Michael The Girl recently sent me this link to a blog discussion of the value of the denouement because I am working on a project that begs to end slightly ambiguously. 

Does anybody out there have a lil sumpin' sumpin' to say about books that end without wrapping up all of the loose ends?


  1. It depends on the book. Sometimes I like the way things dovetail at the end and everything is tidy and I don't have to question as much. Other times I like the ambiguity of the final sentence or paragraph and I think books like this seem to stick with me because I am completing the novel (or my version of it) in my head. I tend to re-read more when there is no denouement as if I am doing my own detective work to resolve and piece together an explanation of the work that I can live with.

  2. Well said, Mr. Kimzey, well said. i think if I had been forced to answer this question I would have said that it depends on my mood and worldview at the moment I finish the book. Sometimes I am just better equipped to handle ambiguity than others, like when I am not feeling too much ambiguity in my own life. But I think you are on to something there; the author has to earn it and the characters have to be interesting enough for me to want to keep thinking about after I lay down the novel.