Thursday, 22 November 2012

When I close a book ...

I read this little quote the other day: "Stories never really end". I agree wholeheartedly. If a story is written well, you get attached to the characters, you get to know them, you get to feel with them, fear for them, love them, hate them, they are almost like real people to you. Well, they are almost like real people to me.
So, when the book ends, when there are no more pages on which my friends live, it is more an "Au Revoir" or an "Auf Wiedersehen" than a "Good-bye". First of all, I can go back and re-read the book. But in the meantime, I can think about them the same way I think about friends who just go on a long holiday. Or who move away. I can imagine what happens to them in the meantime, if they are still alive at the end of the book, that is.

Every novel has a story that starts long before the first page of the book, sometimes we are lucky and get told a big part of their history, sometimes just a little , but we always can imagine our heroes and heroines as little children. Have they been naughty or nice? Have they been rich or poor? In any case, as we can imagine their lives before the book, we can also remember their lives after the book. We can try to imagine whether that happy end really is a happy end. Or how the open end works out.

That is one of the main reasons I don't really like sequels that have been written by another person. I don't want to read what another person thinks what happened to my friends, I want to imagine it myself. If the author didn't write a sequel, she or he must have had a reason for it. And if the author died before finishing the novel, I don't want to know what someone else thinks should have happened, I will have to rely on my own imagination. Which is the best in any case.

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