No happy endings, Jeanette Winterson said on Monday night during her reading at Brookline Booksmith. No happy endings because endings come in three flavors: Revenge; Tragedy; Forgiveness.
Revenge and tragic endings are often entwined, she said, and endings that result in forgiveness lets the reader believe that the story moves forward and beyond the words on the page. You (or some or all of the fictional characters) forgive yourself (themselves). That’s the way an ending of forgiveness works, which could give the reader a sense of happiness.
But no happy endings.
She’s haunted by books, she said, as if she lives in Dracula’s castle. Some texts, she said, you swallow. And these books are like pearls dissolved in glasses of wine. If you drink such pearl-infused wine, you become part pearl. Similarly, consume one of these books, and you become part of that book. Or that book becomes part of you.