One dictionary defines denouement as "a final part in which everything is made clear and no questions or surprises remain." By that definition, it is exactly the wrong word to describe this chapter. This chapter will make nothing clear; it will raise many questions; and it may even contain a surprise or two. But I say we call it the denouement anyway because the words sounds so sophisticated and French.
So I think there is one rule every host and hostess ought to keep with the comb and nail file and bicarbonate and aromatic spirits on a handy shelf, Which is don't spoil the denouement by telling the guests everything is terrible, but let them have the thrill of finding it out for themselves.
Sometimes I feel that I am destined always to be offstage whenever the main action occurs. That God has made me the victim of some cosmic practical joke, by assigning me little more than a walk-on part in my own life. Or sometimes I feel that my role is simply to be a spectator to other people's stories, and always to wander away at the most important moment, drifiting into the kitchen to make a cup of tea just as the denouement unfolds.
A young professor I watched in action at one of our large eastern colleges used to stand with his back to the class and mumble explanations of blackboard problems. He was "let out" at the end of two years because students refused to attend his classes. He was given an evasive reason for his dismissal and he left with justifiable bitterness toward the administration. If someone had told him the truth he could have avoided this denouement. Sometimes professors go on for years without any conception of remediable faults which irritate their listeners.
Mary Barnett Gilson
Here was the astounding fact: the race did go forward; the race did achieve; and in every way the race grew better. Progress through irrational and astounding blunders, whose outrageousness bedwarfed the wildest cliches of romance, was what Kennaston found everywhere. All this, then, also was foreplanned, just as all happenings at Storisende had been, in his puny romance; and the puppets, here to, moved as they thought of their own volition, but really in order to serve a denouement in which many of them had not any personal part or interest....
James Branch Cabell
The human drama is reaching its denouement. The great unveiling is approaching, a time when the power structures of the world begin to crumble and people of the heart sing out a new truth. Many voices are joining the chorus, many feet are walking the path, many minds are dreaming possibilities for a magnificent future. For beneath the crises that are looming at every level of civilization, the global heart is awakening, beating out the rhythm of a new and glorious dance, calling us to a better way of living.
A major boom in real stock prices in the U.S. after 'Black Tuesday' brought them halfway back to 1929 levels by 1930. This was followed by a second crash, another boom from 1932 to 1937, and a third crash. Speculative bubbles do not end like a short story, novel, or play. There is no final denouement that brings all the strands of a narrative into an impressive final conclusion. In the real world, we never know when the story is over.
Robert J. Shiller
Workshop Hermeticism, fiction for which the highest praise involves the words 'competent, ' 'finished, ' 'problem-free, ' fiction over which Writing-Program pre- and proscriptions loom with the enclosing force of horizons: no character without Freudian trauma in accessible past, without near-diagnostic physical description; no image undissolved into regulation Updikean metaphor; no overture without a dramatized scene to 'show' what's 'told'; no denouement prior to an epiphany whose approach can be charted by and Freitag on any Macintosh.
David Foster Wallace
After reading Edgar Allan Poe. Something the critics have not noticed: a new literary world pointing to the literature of the 20th Century. Scientific miracles, fables on the pattern A+ B, a clear-sighted, sickly literature. No more poetry but analytic fantasy. Something monomaniacal. Things playing a more important part than people; love giving away to deductions and other forms of ideas, style, subject and interest. The basis of the novel transferred from the heart to the head, from the passion to the idea, from the drama to the denouement.
Jules de Goncourt
Holmes laughed. "Watson insists that I am the dramatist in real life, " said he. "Some touch of the artist wells up within me, and calls insistently for a well-staged performance. Surely our profession, Mr. Mac, would be a drab and sordid one if we did not sometimes set the scene so as to glorify our results. The blunt accusation, the brutal tap upon the shoulder - what can one make of such a denouement? But the quick inference, the subtle trap, the clever forecast of coming events, the triumphant vindication of bold theories - are these not the pride and the justification of our life's work? At the present moment you thrill with the glamour of the situation and the anticipation of the hunt. Where would be that thrill if I had been as definite as a timetable?
Arthur Conan Doyle