WARNING: OBTUSENESS AHEAD
I recently finished The Shadow out of Time and was left non-plussed by the ending, an ending which is apparently jaw-dropping. Would anyone care to enlighten me as to exactly what the implications of the final passage are that I'm evidently missing?
To help jog folks' memories, this is the passage in question:
"No eye had seen, no hand had touched that book since the advent of man to this planet. And yet, when I flashed my torch upon it in that frightful abyss, I saw that the queerly pigmented letters on the brittle, aeon-browned cellulose pages were not indeed any nameless hieroglyphs of earth's youth. They were, instead, the letters of our familiar alphabet, spelling out the words of the English language in my own handwriting."
Doesn't this merely affirm that the narrator's memories (of having been in aeons past a 'captive mind' in an alien body) were real rather than the dreams he'd previously rationalised them away as? And if so ... so what? I can't imagine any reader ever having thought otherwise even if the narrator has to plot his own course. What am I missing here?