ATD Question #28 ~ The Ending

by John Fante

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:34 am

suec, that would have been a good question but we didn't think of it. :eyebrow: Feel free to share your ideas! :cool:

I agree the ending was depressing but, as you said gemini, it fit with the book which I felt was depressing as well.

Uplifting endings, they are few and far between? Hmmm... how about Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates, Good Omens or WEGG?
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Unread postby suec » Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:48 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:suec, that would have been a good question but we didn't think of it. :eyebrow: Feel free to share your ideas! :cool:


Well, I don't know that I have any, really, that stand up. I was puzzled by Camilla talking the dog with her. Actually, I can see why she might want it with her at such a time, and what it might show about her mental state. But then, compare it with the dog in Bandini, and the short story Arturo has written with the dog in the title. And then I read that Fante wrote a novella called 'My Dog Stupid', and I wondered what it was all about... why these various dogs. I suppose animals generally are a theme in the two books. Perhaps Fante is using them to explore the idea of responsibility, and what they show about the characters at different points. They kind of chart Arturo's progress, for example. And the dog is man's best friend. They do provide companionship, which is more than can be said for the humans in the book. But that is as far as I have got at the moment. :perplexed: I think I'd like a theory that I'm happy with!
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Unread postby Liz » Sat Dec 15, 2007 4:41 pm

How about God is a dog, from Bandini? She took the dog because she was going to God.
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 » Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:25 am

Oh yes, i forgot that one. Good point. But it doesn't explain the title with the little dog laughed. On the other hand... maybe it could.
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Unread postby Liz » Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:12 pm

suec wrote:Oh yes, i forgot that one. Good point. But it doesn't explain the title with the little dog laughed. On the other hand... maybe it could.


:-O :lol: The Human Comedy.
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 » Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:18 pm

Aye! If the dog represents God and God represents unconditional love then there would naturally have to be laughter on their part at all the shenanigans going on in the Human Comedy!
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Unread postby gemini » Sun Dec 16, 2007 6:10 pm

I wasn't going to get into this but while I was on jury duty this week, my oldest dog got sick and I had to put him down on Friday. That may very well sway my view on Camilla taking the dog with her. As I said before I think it was a true sign that she was psychotic.

That brings to mind another question we didn't discuss about the difference between the film and the book. In the film TB caused Camilla's death and in the book we are led to believe she is unstable.
Its a pretty big difference.


Oh and another thought- Didn't Arturo say the book " The little dog laughed" was not about a dog?
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Unread postby nebraska » Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:29 pm

gemini wrote:I wasn't going to get into this but while I was on jury duty this week, my oldest dog got sick and I had to put him down on Friday. That may very well sway my view on Camilla taking the dog with her. As I said before I think it was a true sign that she was psychotic.

That brings to mind another question we didn't discuss about the difference between the film and the book. In the film TB caused Camilla's death and in the book we are led to believe she is unstable.
Its a pretty big difference.


Oh and another thought- Didn't Arturo say the book " The little dog laughed" was not about a dog?


Genimi, I am so sorry to hear of your dog's passing. Over the last few days my stepgranddaughter's dog developed an autoimmune anemia and died inspite of two blood transfusions, medication,etc. Although I work in the veterinary clinic, and I was shown tubes of Jersey's diseased blood on both occassions and I understand a lot of the technical stuff, it is a trauma because of the human pain involved. Not to mention the $$$$ You have my sympathy, especially since my own emotions are still painful.

I had not thought so much of all this dog reference until Sue C pointed it out. I do think we have to believe that God has a sense of humor, or else we would not be here in the condition we are. But I had not connected all of this to the title of Arturo's story. I sure wish we knew more about it.

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Unread postby Liz » Sun Dec 16, 2007 9:22 pm

gemini wrote:I wasn't going to get into this but while I was on jury duty this week, my oldest dog got sick and I had to put him down on Friday. That may very well sway my view on Camilla taking the dog with her. As I said before I think it was a true sign that she was psychotic.

That brings to mind another question we didn't discuss about the difference between the film and the book. In the film TB caused Camilla's death and in the book we are led to believe she is unstable.
Its a pretty big difference.


Oh and another thought- Didn't Arturo say the book " The little dog laughed" was not about a dog?

Gemini, I’m so sorry about the loss of your poor doggie. It is hard to lose a member of your family. Very hard. :tear:

When she first started coughing, I knew something was going to be different. It totally changed the ending of the story. Plus, I don’t think that we knew that she was unable to read in the book. That would have explained a lot.

And you are right, he made a point of saying that The Little Dog Laughed was not about a dog.
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 » Sun Dec 16, 2007 9:29 pm

I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your dog, Gemini, and your stepgranddaughter's too, nebraska. My dear old cat died Thanksgiving weekend, at the ripe old age of 21. I knew I was on borrowed time with her, but it's still a blow to lose such an old friend. I do think animals offer a special kind of love and companionship. I think that's why Camilla took the dog with her into the desert. I didn't think she was psychotic so much as extremely lonely.
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Unread postby nebraska » Sun Dec 16, 2007 9:51 pm

Liz wrote:
Plus, I don’t think that we knew that she was unable to read in the book. That would have explained a lot.


Oh, oh! Back up, Liz! I may have missed something VERY important here! This bit of information would make a big difference in several points in the story.........like when Arturo sent her the poem.

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Unread postby Bix » Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:06 pm

It just occured to me that we never discussed the title "The Little Dog Laughed" and there might be younger people who don't know the nursery rhyme that says:
Hey, diddle diddle,
the cat and the fiddle,
the cow jumped over the moon;
the little dog laughed
to see such fun (although I remember it as "to see such a thing")
And the dish ran away with the spoon.
This adds absolutely nothing to the discussion, but it might clear up where the heck that phrase came from - although not why he used it!
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:08 pm

My sympathies to all of you that have suffered the loss of your wonderful, beloved pets recently. I lost my dog a year and a half ago and it still hurts. The love she brought to my life will always outweigh the pain of losing her though. :angel:

I was going to bring up the point that the short story The Little Dog Laughed was not about a dog and the fact that we don't know what the story was about has been bugging me. I keep hearing the nursery rhyme in my head..."The little dog laughed to see such a sport and the dish ran away with the spoon". I have no idea if that is connected in any way. Maybe the absurdity of life? :eyebrow:

I thought the point that Camilla couldn't read was important too and I don't think we knew that in the book? I think she was extremely depressed and lonely. Psychotic? I'm not sure.
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 Parlez » Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:23 pm

Oh boy, I don't know if we want to get into an in-depth analysis of that nursery rhyme, do we? Do we?? :eyebrow:
Arturo spent a lot of his time fantasizing about some pretty impossible scenarios. In that regard, his inner life was a bit like a fairy tale or a nonsensical nursery rhyme ~ soothing, colorful, and not grounded in reality. There's a link between the book's title, the use of that particular nursery rhyme, and Arturo's mental state, IMO.
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Unread postby fansmom » Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:30 pm

Parlez wrote:Oh boy, I don't know if we want to get into an in-depth analysis of that nursery rhyme, do we? Do we?? :eyebrow:
:lol: What, do you think we might overanalyze it? Us? :angel:


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