One Way

Salman_Rushdie

We were seated at the feet of the Great Writer who at 37 already had three novels published, the latest of which had just won the Booker Prize as it was then known.

“I will tell you a secret,” he said. “one which is not really a secret. It has been known for millennia but it has been largely overlooked and forgotten. Aristotle first taught it in his ‘Poetics.’. It is the principle of Endings. “

We leant forward. I had my notebook ready. “The ending,” he said, “is written in the beginning. There should be only one way a story can end. The challenge for any writer is to surprise the audience with the inevitability of everything that happens. There is no such thing as alternative endings. I repeat, there is only one way a story can end.”

 

do you agree with that? Is there only one way to end a story?

can you think of a story — fairy tale, parable, short story, film — that could have ended in a way different to how it did?

have you read Salman Rushdie’s Booker prize winning novel, ‘Midnight’s Children’?

Elephant

 

 

elefante-in-corsa-pink

 

It looked like it would stomp any minute

trumpeting in terror from being woken

after all these years.

What had we done?

What if it went berserk?

Trampled on our good intentions?

Pooped all over the room?

[Have you ever seen elephant poo?]

Or, worse, collapsed on one of us like a slab

Of cement?