Why even great novels can have disappointing endings

James Wood in The Guardian:

What is the “natural” ending of a work of art? How to close something whose premise, whose founding conceit, is that, like life, it doesn’t end? The Russian formalist critic Viktor Schlovsky praised Chekhov for his “negative endings”, by which he meant, in part, the way his stories frustrate our sense of tidy form by refusing to end: “And then it began to rain.”

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