Posted by Joan Acocella - The New Yorker
Many of the world’s best novels have bad endings. I don’t mean that they end sadly, or on a back-to-work, all-is-forgiven note (e.g. “War and Peace,” “The Red and the Black,” “A Suitable Boy”), but that the ending is actually inartistic—a betrayal of what came before.
This is true not just of good novels but also of books on which the reputation of Western fiction rests. The first half of “David Copperfield” leaves you gasping. You laugh, you cry, you think you’re going to faint. The scene where David, having been rescued by his Aunt Betsey and fed, given a bath, and put to bed, looks out the window at the moonlight on the Channel, imagining that he might see his dead mother there, with her baby in her arms (she died in childbirth): after I have forgotten most of the events of my life, I will remember that. But in the last chapters of the novel, the now-adult David marries a wise woman and succeeds in life, and from then on you die of boredom. Ditto “Wuthering Heights.” After the scalding passion of Catherine and Heathcliff, who cares about the amorous back-and-forths of their uninteresting children? Yet this occupies half of the book.
Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2012/11/on-great-novels-with-bad-endings.html#ixzz2DXSKvV2r