ATD Question #28 ~ The Ending

by John Fante

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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ATD Question #28 ~ The Ending

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:48 am

We talked a bit about this when we compared the movie and the book. Any other thoughts?

“It was no use. How could I search for her? Why should I search for her? What could I bring her but a return to the brutal wilderness that had broken her? I walked back in the dawn, sadly in the dawn. The hills had her now. Let these hills hide her! Let her go back to the loneliness of the intimate hills. Let her live with stones and sky, with the wind blowing her hair to the end. Let her go that way.

The sun was high when I got back to the clearing. Already it was hot. In the doorway of his hut stood Sammy. ‘Find her?’ he asked.

I didn’t answer him. I was tired. He watched me a moment, and then he disappeared into the shack. I heard the door being bolted. Far out across the Mojave there arose the shimmer of heat. I made my way up the path to the Ford. In the seat was a copy of my book, my first book. I found a pencil, opened the book to the fly leaf, and wrote:

To Camilla, with love, Arturo

I carried the book a hundred yards into the desolation, toward the southeast. With all my might I threw it far out in the direction she had gone. Then I got into the car, started the engine, and drove back to Los Angeles.”
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:05 am

I think Parlez answered it perfectly in Question #26 about comparing the book and the movie! (Refer back. :grin:) When I first read it, I was :-? , what kind of ending is that!? But it's dust to dust, ask the dust. Suits Fante's purpose.
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Unread postby Liz » Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:53 pm

I would agree, Betty Sue. I loved his writing at the end. It was really a perfect ending. And for me, the ending is the most important part of the story. :grin: I'll recap Parlez's analysis here:

Parlez wrote:I really liked the ending of the book! The gesture of Arturo throwing his book into the desert outside Sammy's place struck me as being very rich and meaningful, and seemed to sum up the whole episode in such a great, metaphorical way. IMO there really was no love relationship between Camilla and Arturo. The love relationship was between Arturo and his book. For him to offer the finished product, symbolizing all his passion and pride, to the dust seemed to be a recognition on his part of the people who had informed his story and who were the ones who actually made it come to life. Now they were gone, unattainable and disappeared, resided only out there in the atmosphere. At the same time, the gesture was one of futility. It was as though Arturo realized that, while the physical book was a manifestation of his 'success', it was really meaningless in the long run; it would ultimately turn to dust. As would pride and passion. Ergo, throwing the book into the desert represented, IMO, a precious offering and a letting-go.


Any comments on this or any other ideas?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Bix » Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:25 pm

Like you and Parlez, Liz, I really thought this was a perfect ending for the book. The thing that especially gave me hope for Arturo's future was the fact that he was finally able to get over himself and write, simply, "To Camilla, with love, Arturo." That really got to me. All his bloviating and sending her poems and telegrams and going on and on about Arturo Bandini the great, great author is gone at the end and, I like to think, he finally realizes what was important and acts on that. I liked how you put it, Parlez, that it was "a precious offering and a letting go."
Live! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! ~Auntie Mame

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:01 pm

Bix that is a good observation! In fact so good it deserves it's own question. LOL How about Sunday? ;-)
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby nebraska » Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:34 pm

Ok, I will take a shot at this, although I feel like I am standing on quicksand.

I thought the ending was really depressing. Camilla wandered off into the desert to die because she was despondent over a man (Sammy) who didn't even give a c*&^P if she lived or died........What was the point of that? And Arturo, for all his flaws, at least cared about her a little bit........although certainly not to the extent that one would call this a real love story......maybe. But I did feel at least that Arturo was respecting her wishes in the end. Beyond the logistics of trying to find her in that forlorn scenery, maybe he let her go because he knew that was what she wanted.

Last week in Omaha, Nebraska a very sick young man killed himself in a mall after shooting 8 other innocent people to death, wounding others, devastating whole families and countless lives..... This week, a body that was found in a field near Lincoln, Nebraska was identified as a young man who had been missing and the death was ruled a suicide. The man whose body was found in the field -- well, I am afraid I cannot remember his name :banghead:, but sadly I can tell you a lot of details about the man who took all those innocent people with him at the mall........ surely that man who chose to leave this world alone in a corn field did so with honor in comparison to the murderer. And it makes me think of Camilla, sick and sad and desolate, wandering off to her end without fanfare and without causing pain to others. There was honor in that, and there was some sort of honor in Arturo respecting her wish and writing a final love note to her and letting her go.

I guess the romantic in me would have liked to see Camilla and Arturo settle their differences and live happily ever after........

:-/

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Unread postby Bix » Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:08 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote: Bix that is a good observation! In fact so good it deserves it's own question. LOL How about Sunday?

Oops! :blush: Sorry, DITHOT & Liz!

nebraska wrote: ... surely that man who chose to leave this world alone in a corn field did so with honor in comparison to the murderer. And it makes me think of Camilla, sick and sad and desolate, wandering off to her end without fanfare and without causing pain to others. There was honor in that, and there was some sort of honor in Arturo respecting her wish and writing a final love note to her and letting her go.

I guess the romantic in me would have liked to see Camilla and Arturo settle their differences and live happily ever after........

:-/

That's a very beautiful way to think about it, nebraska. And I always secretly want the happily ever after ending, too. :blush:
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Unread postby Liz » Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:48 pm

Bix wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote: Bix that is a good observation! In fact so good it deserves it's own question. LOL How about Sunday?

Oops! :blush: Sorry, DITHOT & Liz!

nebraska wrote: ... surely that man who chose to leave this world alone in a corn field did so with honor in comparison to the murderer. And it makes me think of Camilla, sick and sad and desolate, wandering off to her end without fanfare and without causing pain to others. There was honor in that, and there was some sort of honor in Arturo respecting her wish and writing a final love note to her and letting her go.

I guess the romantic in me would have liked to see Camilla and Arturo settle their differences and live happily ever after........

:-/

That's a very beautiful way to think about it, nebraska. And I always secretly want the happily ever after ending, too. :blush:


Me too! :-/ But I think this ending was appropriate.

And no worries, Bix. :chill:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby gemini » Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:04 pm

I really have a rough time thinking anything positive about this ending. Yes, Arturo, did finally realize that everything comes to an end (dust to dust) but what a crappy way to learn. He should have figured it out before that. He is a bit slow on the uptake.

I think Camilla being mentally unstable eliminates any good reason to let her do as she wishes. By now Arturo and Sammy should realize she has a problem but both of them give up and let her life end. I think love is not even necessary for wanting to save someone from themselves if they are suicidal. They are both pretty poor examples of humanity.

Arturo does look for her but then accepts her death as her wish. Dedicating his book might be a big thing for him but her life is worth more than his book dedication and jumping in his car to head home.

Sorry to go against the flow here but I just didn't see anything but depressing in the end. Come to think of it, the rest of the story was not really up lifting. I want the happy ending Nebraska mentioned.
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Unread postby Parlez » Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:36 am

Maybe we should face the fact that Johnny doesn't like books with happy endings! We should make a list of the books we've read here that have had a classical 'happy ending' ~ or that could be considered up-lifting for that matter! :eyebrow:

In this case, IMO, the book ended the way it needed to end, based on the disfunction of the characters and the realism the author was trying to capture.
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Unread postby nebraska » Fri Dec 14, 2007 7:40 am

Parlez wrote:Maybe we should face the fact that Johnny doesn't like books with happy endings! We should make a list of the books we've read here that have had a classical 'happy ending' ~ or that could be considered up-lifting for that matter! :eyebrow:
.


That is an interesting observation, Parlez....

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Unread postby Liz » Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:24 am

nebraska wrote:
Parlez wrote:Maybe we should face the fact that Johnny doesn't like books with happy endings! We should make a list of the books we've read here that have had a classical 'happy ending' ~ or that could be considered up-lifting for that matter! :eyebrow:
.


That is an interesting observation, Parlez....


And, thinking back on them, I would agree, generally speaking, that the endings are not classical happy endings. However, most of them are appropriate endings for the books. I think, though, that there were a few uplifting ones.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Parlez » Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:29 am

Liz wrote:
nebraska wrote:
Parlez wrote:Maybe we should face the fact that Johnny doesn't like books with happy endings! We should make a list of the books we've read here that have had a classical 'happy ending' ~ or that could be considered up-lifting for that matter! :eyebrow:
.


That is an interesting observation, Parlez....


And, thinking back on them, I would agree, generally speaking, that the endings are not classical happy endings. However, most of them are appropriate endings for the books. I think, though, that there were a few uplifting ones.

Right you are Liz ~ :cool:
I personally found A Long Way Down to be most uplifting, in it's own unique way! :heart2:
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:14 pm

Parlez wrote:
Liz wrote:
nebraska wrote:
Parlez wrote:Maybe we should face the fact that Johnny doesn't like books with happy endings! We should make a list of the books we've read here that have had a classical 'happy ending' ~ or that could be considered up-lifting for that matter! :eyebrow:
.


That is an interesting observation, Parlez....


And, thinking back on them, I would agree, generally speaking, that the endings are not classical happy endings. However, most of them are appropriate endings for the books. I think, though, that there were a few uplifting ones.

Right you are Liz ~ :cool:
I personally found A Long Way Down to be most uplifting, in it's own unique way! :heart2:


:biglaugh:

I thought Shantaram was uplifting, in spots.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby suec » Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:10 am

I agre with the point that the ending was perfect for this book. But I also agree that the ending is depressing. It is vevertheless very appropriate in my view.
I do wonder about th dog, though. Are we getting a question about it - or about the dogs, I should say, as he seems to have quite a thing about them?
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