To End It All is a new, experimental prose work by writer, poet and artist Paul Buck. The text is composed of the final sentences of a varied selection of books by authors whose names begin with the same letter of the alphabet.
It began as an investigation into the endings of books, and the openings these endings offered for new beginnings. As a growing collection of final sentences were typed and tabulated, patterns and revelations emerged. Individual sentences took on their own meanings as they were recontextualised and opened to new interpretation. Compiled, and then alphabetised, the catalogue became a work in its own right, a series of juxtaposed yet interconnected sentences, isolated but continuous, endings and beginnings.
The reader of To End It All is a detective, working to identify the chosen letter, the source, the original context. With sentences drawn from the shelves of an eclectic and often obscure library, detection soon becomes secondary to the pleasure of reading the self-contained extracts, and pondering the narratives they have ended and the future stories they might elicit. The book concludes with three extended texts, as examples of where each ending could begin to lead, as well as an implied invitation for the reader to respond to the provocation.
The book's design, by Traven T. Croves, extends the disorientating interplay between endings and beginnings.
On all levels, To End It All plays games with our expectations, encouraging liberation from formal constraints.
Published by Test Centre, 32 pgs, 12.5 × 19 cm, Softcover, 2015,