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This Is the End

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By: (1892-1933)

Some books have plots that drive relentlessly toward a conclusion. Others, like "This Is The End", just meander. It is the story of a Family halfheartedly searching for a missing relation who does not want to be found, while just off-stage, World War I is raging on the continent. It is a story about ordinary people trying to live ordinary lives in extraordinary times. The things they do are less important than the ways in which they do them: often comic, occasionally tragic, but always touching and true to life. It reminds us that Poetry and Romance can be found anywhere, hidden beneath the surface of the most commonplace things.

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THIS IS THE END

BY STELLA BENSON

1917

This is the end, for the moment, of all my thinking, this is my unfinal conclusion. There is no reason in tangible things, and no system in the ordinary ways of the world. Hands were made to grope, and feet to stumble, and the only things you may count on are the unaccountable things. System is a fairy and a dream, you never find system where or when you expect it. There are no reasons except reasons you and I don't know.

I should not be really surprised if the policeman across the way grew wings, or if the deep sea rose and washed out the chaos of the land. I should not raise my eyebrows if the daily press became the Little Sunbeam of the Home, or if Cabinet Ministers struck for a decrease of wages. I feel no security in facts, precedent seems no protection to me. The wisdom you can find in an Encyclopedia, or in Selfridge's Information Bureau, seems to me just a transitory adaptation to quicksand circumstances.

But if the things which I know in spite of my education were false, if the eyes of the sea forgot their secret, or if the accent of the steep woods became vulgar, if the fairy adventures that happen in my heart fell flat, if the good friends my eyes have never seen failed me, then indeed should I know emptiness, and an astonishment that would kill... Continue reading book >>


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