3
   

Favorite literary opening lines

 
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 07:02 am
Fantastic, all!

This is the first line of Contact:

Carl Sagan wrote:
When they pulled her out, she was not crying at all.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 07:20 am
Quote:
There were at least three kinds of cops in Harvard Yard: a scattering of
Cambridge cops, gray-haired mostly, with faces out of County Mayo; portly
old men in brown uniforms and no sidearms who guarded the gates; and
squadrons of Harvard University police who wore tailored blue uniforms and
expensive black gun belts, and looked like graduates of the Los Angeles
Police Academy. It was Harvard Commencement, and if the WASPSs began
to run amok, Harvard was ready.

Valediction
~Robert B. Parker

I loved Parker's "Spenser" detective novels.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 07:44 am
I am now librarian of the San Francisco Call.
Jack Black, You Can't Win

These stories were transcribed into English from a book called the Shaseki-shu (Collection of Stone and Sand), written late in the thirteenth century by the Japanese Zen teacher Muju (the "non-dweller"), and from anecdotes of Zen monks taken from various books published in Japan around the turn of the present* century.
* He means the 20th century
Zen Flesh Zen Bones, compiled by Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 08:23 am
THE DAY HAD GONE BY JUST AS DAYS GO BY. Hesse Steppenwolf
0 Replies
 
George
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 09:05 am
Quote:
Marley was dead, to begin with.

A Christmas Carol
~Charles Dickens
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  4  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 09:16 am
"Where is Papa going with that axe?"

Charlotte's Web
George
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 09:19 am
@jespah,
Good one!
0 Replies
 
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 12:52 pm
Opening lines of The Leopard, by Giuseppe di Lampedusa

May, 1860

Nunc et in hora mortis nostrae, Amen.
The daily recital of the Rosary was over. For half an hour the steady voice of the Prince had recalled the Glorious and the Sorrowful Mysteries; for half an hour other voices had interwoven a lilting hum from which, now and again, would chime some unlikely word: love, virginity, death; during that hum the whole aspect of the rococo drawing room seemed to change; even the parrots spreading iridescent wings over the silken walls appeared abashed; even the Magdalen between the two windows looked a penitent and not just a handsome blonde lost in some dubious daydream, as she usually was.
0 Replies
 
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 01:11 pm
First line of Florentine Histories by Nicholo Machiavelli:

The peoples who live in northern parts beyond the Rhine and the Danube rivers, having been born in a productive and healthful region, often increase to such a multitude that it becomes necessary for a part of them to abandon their fathers' lands and to seek new countries to inhabit.


Sort of dry, but telling where we are going..
I've not read further (on the saver shelf) but plan to, one of these days. I got that far at first glance when I bought it, this one not from Goodwill.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 01:15 pm
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas H S Thompson

We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive…” And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about a hundred miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: “Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?”
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 01:19 pm
@izzythepush,
Makes me want to read it again..
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 01:33 pm
@George,
Oh, that goes on my list.

I think I have read him, but not much and probably a long time ago. I've a both parents' County Mayo background from long ago. Finally got rid of my off and on pudginess, but do have grey hair and also family history in Boston/Southie/Watertown. When I took my mother, now long ago, back to Boston after my father died, a fateful trip as that was when I caught on about her mental decline, I did get us to just look at Harvard from afar, a semi sweet memory.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 01:43 pm
@ossobucotemp,
Hard to find a favourite bit, it's all so relentlessly funny.
0 Replies
 
notaclue16
 
  3  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 02:16 pm
@jespah,
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.

J.R.R. Tolkien
1937
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 02:25 pm
@notaclue16,
Of course!

From Jane Eyre:
Charlotte Bronte wrote:
There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further out-door exercise was now out of the question.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  4  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 03:49 pm
A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green. The water is warm too, for it has slipped twinkling over the yellow sands in the sunlight before reaching the narrow pool.
John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 05:15 pm
The Coming Of The Ship
ALMUSTAFA, the chosen and the beloved, who was a dawn unto his own day, had waited twelve years in the city of Orphalese for his ship that was to return and bear him back to the isle of his birth.
And in the twelfth year, on the seventh day of Ielool, the month of reaping, he climbed the hill without the city walls and looked seaward; and he beheld his ship coming with the mist.
Then the gates of his heart were flung open, and his joy flew far over the sea. And he closed his eyes and prayed in the silences of his soul.

But as he descended the hill, a sadness came upon him, and he thought in his heart:
How shall I go in peace and without sorrow? Nay, not without a wound in the spirit shall I leave this city.

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 06:29 pm
Pardon me, if I overdo it, but I love a thread like this.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

TREATS OF THE PLACE WHERE OLIVER TWIST WAS BORN
AND OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES ATTENDING HIS BIRTH

Among other public buildings in a certain town, which for many reasons it will be prudent to refrain from mentioning, and to which I will assign no fictitious name, there is one anciently common to most towns, great or small: to wit, a workhouse; and in this workhouse was born; on a day and date which I need not trouble myself to repeat, inasmuch as it can be of no possible consequence to the reader, in this stage of the business at all events; the item of mortality whose name is prefixed to the head of this chapter.

For a long time after it was ushered into this world of sorrow and trouble, by the parish surgeon, it remained a matter of considerable doubt whether the child would survive to bear any name at all
Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 06:31 pm
Arthur C. Clarke wrote:
Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living. Since the dawn of time, roughly a hundred billion human beings have walked the planet Earth.

From 2001: A Space Odyssey
0 Replies
 
George
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 08:02 pm
Quote:
Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam
Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur.

Commentarii de bello Gallico
~Gaius Julius Caesar

(You knew I was going to.)
 

Related Topics

The best opening lines in literature - Discussion by Robert Gentel
The "N" Word and Classic Literature - Discussion by tsarstepan
Question re. Ethan Frome - Question by jbphilouza
Famous Author - Question by sophocles
Dialect of Bob, Son of Battle - Question by Maggie Tong
What is a good book to read next? - Question by nickadocker
J D Salinger - Discussion by edgarblythe
 
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/16/2019 at 02:21:05