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Related: ambivalence - open ending - interpretation - ambiguity
Unresolvedness in open endings, grotesque and fantastic literature
Now, the keyword in 'open endings' is unresolvedness, a concept which I have been giving a lot of thought after having encountered it when researching the grotesque and the fantastic:
Todorov holds that fantastic literature involves an unresolved hesitation between a supernatural (or otherwise paranormal or impossible) solution and a psychological (or realistic) one.
Philip Thomson holds that the basic definition of the grotesque: the unresolved clash of incompatibles in work and response.
I have been referring to this unresolvedness, hesitation, ambiguity or ambivalence as limbo (the no man's land before you go to hell, also known as purgatory) and I have been using it in genre theory referring to some genres as limbo genres. The theory being that cultural products are often at their most interesting when they defy classification (see previous post by Spamula entitled miscellaneity) and when you do not quite know what to make of them.
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