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Thread: the greatest closing lines in literature

  1. #1
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Thumbs up the greatest closing lines in literature

    my first proposal is taken from
    The Fall- Albert Camus.

    but of course you are not a policeman: that would be too easy.. what? Ah. I suspected as much. you see. so practice that strange affection I felt for you had sense to it. You practice in Paris the noble profession of lawyer! I sensed that we were of the same species. Are we not all alike. constantly talking and to no one. for ever up against the same questions although we know the answers in advance? then tell me please what happened to you one night on the quays of the Seine and how you managed to never risk your life. You yourself utter the words that for years have never ceased echoing through my nights and that I shall at last say through your mouth: 'O young woman, throw yourself into the water again so that I may a second time have the chance of saving both of us!* A second time eh, what a risky suggestion! Just suppose cher maître that we should be taken literally?
    we'd have to go through with it. Brr......! the water's so cold! but let's not worry! it's too late now. It's always be too late. Fortunately!





    N.P
    please do leave a reference with the quote to those of us are unsure.
    Last edited by cacian; 04-29-2014 at 06:35 AM.
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

  2. #2
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath, and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.

    I'll leave you to guess.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  3. #3
    Surely thine hour has come, thy great wind blows, Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose?

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    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    There are of course so many great closing lines but these always get to me:

    “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morning— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  5. #5
    The one that jumps out in my mind:

    "Marlow ceased, and sat apart, indistinct and silent, in the pose of a meditating Buddha. Nobody moved for a time. "We have lost the first of the ebb," said the Director, suddenly. I raised my head. The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky—seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness."

    Heart of Darkness, Conrad

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    The man in black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed. -Stephen King's Dark Tower VII.

    Not only was it the first line of the epic and a recurrent theme, the fact that it wrapped up the series in such a numbing, crushing way made up for the missteps King took along the latter half of the story. Great ending. Just not the one a lot of people wanted.

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    Or one of my favorites:

    The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which. -Animal Farm. George Orwell.

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    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emil Miller View Post
    There are of course so many great closing lines but these always get to me:

    “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morning— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
    I have always wondered what the green light was.
    could there be a link with the northern light?
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

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    Registered User Poetaster's Avatar
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    'And so they buried Hector, tamer of horses.'
    'So - this is where we stand. Win all, lose all,
    we have come to this: the crisis of our lives'

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poetaster View Post
    'And so they buried Hector, tamer of horses.'
    Good call! I completely forgot that is how the Iliad ends. To me, Hector was really the great character that came out of Homer's epic poem, and this just adds to that. I know that Achilles is the great Greek hero, but the Trojans' story is so much more interesting, noble, and full of pathos in the Iliad than the squabbling of Achilles and Agamemnon.

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    'You've been feeling tired,' said the stranger, 'but I can do something about that. I've come to ask whether you'd care to join my Owsla. We shall be glad to have you and you'll enjoy it. If you're ready, we might go along now.'

    They went past the young sentry, who paid the visitor no attention. The sun was shining and in spite of the cold there were a few bucks and does at silflay, keeping out of the wind as they nibbled the shoots of spring grass. It seemed to Hazel that he would not be needing his body any more, so he left it lying on the edge of the ditch, but stopped for a moment to watch his rabbits and to try to get used to the extraordinary feeling that strength and speed were flowing inexhaustibly out of him into their sleek young bodies and healthy senses.

    'You needn't worry about them,' said his companion. 'They'll be alright - and thousands like them. If you'll come along, I'll show you what I mean.'

    He reached the top of the bank in a single, powerful leap. Hazel followed; and together they slipped away, running easily down through the wood, where the first primroses were beginning to bloom.


    Watership Down, Richard Adams
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    But mostly, I wanted to tell about the cat. I had kept my promise; I had found him. It took weeks of after-work roaming through those Spanish Harlem streets, and there were many false alarms - flashes of tiger-striped fur that, upon inspection, were not him. But one day, one cold sunshiny Sunday winter afternoon, it was. Flanked by potted plants and framed by clean lace curtains, he was seated in the window of a warm-looking room: I wondered what his name was, for I was certain he had one now, certain he'd arrived somewhere he belonged. African hut or whatever, I hope Holly has too.

    Breakfast at Tiffany's - Truman Capote
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cacian View Post
    I have always wondered what the green light was.
    could there be a link with the northern light?
    Why not read the book? It's less than 150 pages.
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  14. #14
    "And when he came back to, he was flat on his back on the beach in the freezing sand, and it was raining out of a low sky, and the tide was way out."

    Infinte Jest - David Foster Wallace

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    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emil Miller View Post
    Why not read the book? It's less than 150 pages.
    I have.
    my question is this:
    is the green light effect in reference to the Northern lights?
    the writer uses the green light out of a point of reference it does not come from nowhere.
    that was the meaning of my question.
    to get the full picture of the book one must reflect on point of references the writer uses such as the green light used here.
    this is very similar to the northern lights/aurora is:
    an aurora is a natural light display in the sky (from the Latin word aurora, "sunrise" or the Roman goddess of dawn),
    these lights occur mainly between
    the beginning of September and extending until the middle of April.)
    to me that solving one question out of the great Gatsby.
    the other would be to understand the meaning of Gatsby.
    this came up:
    ''the book's Jay Gatsby gussied up his name from Gatz, whose meaning is given variously as left-handed, cat, God, and person from Gat. As a first name, it's got a lot of energy and that great pedigree.''

    it also came up under
    masculine and German for warrior.

    there is also a slight reference to the word gas which the germans used to eliminate jews.
    Last edited by cacian; 04-29-2014 at 04:00 PM.
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

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