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Discussion in 'Books' started by Ombak, Oct 23, 2005.
I can't resist any longer.
The Towers of Trebizond, Rose MacAulay. A truly funny book.
Love that book. Meursault is an amazing character.
Huffy Henry hid the day . . .
And to prove that not all academic history drains its subjects of drama...
"The Frenchmen who travelled into the pays d'en haut, as they called the lands beyond Huronia, thought they were discovering new worlds. They were, however, doing something more interesting. They were becoming cocreators of a world in the making. The world that existed before they arrived was no more. It had been shattered. Only fragments remained. Like a knife scoring a pane of glass, warfare apparantly far more brutal than any known previously among these peoples had etched the first fine dangerous lines across the region in the 1640s. Broad cracks had appeared, as epidemics of diseases unknown before in these lands carried off tens of thousands of people. And then, between 1649 and the mid-1660s, Iriquois attacks had fallen like hammer blows across the length and breadth of the lands bordering the Great Lakes."
Richard White, The Middle Ground
It's my favorite too.
Another favorite of mine,
A little long . . .
How to be Good
Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury.
I'm a bit late to the party, but couldn't resist adding this:
"A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving
My other favorite opening has already been added -- the first sentence from "100 Years of Solitude".
I need no great effort of memory to recall, in every detail, the rainy autumn
evening when I stood with my father in one of the more frequented streets
of Moscow, and felt that I was gradually being overcome by a strange illness.
I had no pain at all, but my legs were giving way under me, the words stuck
in my throat, my head slipped weakly on one side... It seemed as though, in a moment, I must fall down and lose consciousness.
From the greatest short stories writer ever.
"There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."
"In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit".
"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed..."
Let's bring this thead back, shall we:
"As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me."
George Orwell, England Your England. He started the essay during a German bombing raid in 1941. He feared that England would be utterly defeated, the only way he could imagine England being destroyed. So he wanted to leave a record of what England was like.
Can't believe nobody stuck up for:
I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.
Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board.
A screaming comes across the sky.
"When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets," Papa would say, "she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing."
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
Francis Marion Tarwater's uncle had been dead for only half a day when the boy got too drunk to finish digging his grave and a Negro named Buford Munson, who had come to get a jug filled, had to finish it and drag the body from the breakfast table where it was still sitting and bury it in a decent and Christian way, with the sign of its Savior at the head of the grave and enough dirt on top to keep the dogs from digging it up.
Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.
All this happened, more or less.
We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall.
confederacy of dunces by john kennedy toole. the greatest suicide note ever written. the first 20 pages or so are quote worthy, but i'll stick with the firsy two paragraphs
The prologue to Cormac McCarthy's "Suttree" is f-ing brilliant.
huh... i teach "The One's that Walk Away from Omelas" to my seniors by Ursula... I have never read this one... *puts on list*
I love Musil. I just reread this, actually.
Here's an oldie but a goodie for those who read theory:
It's the rest of Moby Dick I can't stand.
I'm a big fan of the opening line to Voyage of the Dawn Treader too.
The opening page of James Ellroy's American Tabloid.
I know there's a lot of people who hate James Elroy but I really really like him, basically because the man can properly write.
My fave opening passage is Charles Dicken's David Copperfield which I've read at least 10 times and as a consequence know by heart: Chapter 1, I am born. Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages will tell.
Now they don't write such wonderfully classic opening paragraphs anymore if you ask me. That's the whole book in one sentence, brilliant.
Every time I teach Moby-Dick, the students all hate it at the beginning. By the end, only half of them still hate it. Sometimes even fewer. I love that book so much I can't even stand it.