We can’t always have a happy ending

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We can’t always have a happy ending


Why did Arthur Conan Doyle hatch a plot in which Sherlock Holmes, the best detective he created, was killed? “The Final Problem” (1893) ended with Holmes falling to his death while locked in mortal combat with the criminal mastermind Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls.

Readers who had looked forward to a new novel were livid. Although Doyle said that it was no longer possible for him to go on writing the series because he had to concentrate on writing a historical novel, Holmes fans did not accept it. The criticism never let up and in the end, Doyle had to resurrect Holmes in “The Adventure of the Empty House,” a short story he wrote in 1904.

Although a work and its protagonists are the creation of a writer, the characters sometimes become bigger than the writer can control. J. K. Rowling also suffered threats from readers after she said, shortly before the publication of her seventh novel, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” that two important figures from the series would die in the book.

That reminded me of “Misery,” the film version of Stephen King’s novel of the same name.

Although most readers or filmgoers prefer to watch a happy ending, there is no small number of creative writers who feel it is more tempting to close a story with a tragic ending. Krzysztov Kieslowski, an influential Polish film director, said that in his work there were no happy endings and that love is a source of pain.

There was a controversy about how to end the popular local television drama “Secret Garden,” which finished yesterday. Some people expressed worries over a tragic ending, based on clues given in the drama up to that point. Other viewers who heard this started threatening the writer, saying that if the drama ended with the death of the hero they would never watch anything he wrote again.

“Secret Garden” ended happily. But the ending that the screenwriters really wanted continues to intrigue me.

The case of “The Little Mermaid” is the same. Hans Christian Andersen’s original work, in which the princess disappears like a bubble, leaves a stronger impression than the Walt Disney cartoons.

We live in a world of hard realities, so I can understand the psychology of trying to find comfort from a drama or a movie, but I think the authorship of the writer should be respected no matter what.

*The writer is the content director at JES Entertainment.

By Song Won-seop
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