the sense of an ending

"In those days, we imagined ourselves as being kept in some kind of holding pen, waiting to be released into our lives. And when that moment came, our lives--and time itself--would speed up. How were we to know that our lives had in any case begun, that some advantage had already been gained, some damage already inflicted? Also, that our release would only be into a larger holding pen, whose boundaries would be at first undiscernible."

I finished Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending at the end of last week. What a poignant elegy to youth and regret, and the fault lines that run cracks through memories. I am lingering, still, over Barnes' elegant treatment of personal/public history and memory, the idea of memory as this unsteady thing. That as we age a memory of an event or series of events grows hazy and hole-pocked and that further complicating matters is our understanding of the events at the time and how our understanding--be it right or nearly right or all together wrong--colors the memory itself.  Excellent read...

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