One of my few disappointments in the publication of Courting Her is the absence of The End at the end. It was in the final draft I sent. I mostly expected it to get edited out, but I was hopeful that, when I finally got the courage to open my copy, I’d find it there, at the end. I understand why it got cut. It’s essentially redundant to end a book and then type The End, but I think it has a certain charm.
I checked a few books on my bookshelf, mostly at random, and found very few that ended with The End. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway ended with The End. I thought of all the books on my shelf, David Copperfield by Charles Dickens would end with The End, but it didn’t. I was most disappointed to find that Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll did not end with The End. That seems like exactly the kind of book that should. Moby Dick didn’t end with The End, it ended with Finis.
I guess I get it. If I were hearing Beethoven’s seventh symphony and as the final notes had faded and were only still being savored in my mind, I would be annoyed if the conductor turned around and yelled, “The end!”
It can detract from the end of the book’s final line, which is where the end really is. Maybe there is an element of nostalgia for The End. I don’t have any children’s books on hand, but I would bet a larger portion of those end with The End. Even if it’s not printed, I’m sure many times my mom or my dad or a teacher finished reading a book to me and snapped it shut, smiling and calling out, “The End!” Maybe it’s about missing that.