There is one final point, the point that separates a true multivolume work from a short story, a novel, or a series. The ending of the final volume should leave the reader with the feeling that he has gone through the defining circumstances of Main Character's life. The leading character in a series can wander off into another book and a new adventure better even than this one. Main Character cannot, at the end of your multivolume work. (Or at least, it should seem so.) His life may continue, and in most cases it will. He may or may not live happily ever after. But the problems he will face in the future will not be as important to him or to us, nor the summers as golden.
If Thecla had symbolized love of which I felt myself undeserving, as I know now that she did, then did her symbolic force disappear when I locked the door of her cell behind me? That would be like saying that the writing of this book, over which I have labored for so many watches, will vanish in a blur of vermillion when I close it for the last time and dispatch it to the eternal library maintained by the old Ultan. The great question then, that I pondered as I watched the floating island with longing eyes and chafed at my bonds and cursed the hetman in my heart, is that of determining what these symbols mean in and of themselves. We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
Just as the room of the Inquisitor in Dr. Talos's play, with its high judicial bench, lurked somewhere at the lowest level of the House Absolute, so we have each of us in the dustiest cellars of our minds a counter at which we strive to repay the debts of the past with the debased currency of the present.
Whatever we may say, all of us suffer from disturbed sleep at times.Some in truth hardly sleep, though some who sleep copiously swear that they do not.Some are disquieted by incessant dreams, and a fortunate few are visited often by dreams of delightful character.Some will say that they were at one time troubled in sleeping but have 'recovered' from it, as though awareness were a disease, as perhaps it is.
The brown book I carry says there is nothing stranger than to explore a city wholly different from all those one knows, since to do so is to explore a second and unsuspected self. I have found a thing stranger: to explore such a city only after one has lived in it for some time without learning anything of it.