Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Classics Club June Meme

As member of the Classics Club, I am more of a quiet member.  But each month they ask a question to prompt a blog post--sounds perfect right? Sometimes I don't have an answer for the question but this month I do.  The question is:
What is your favorite opening sentence from a classic novel (and why)? 
So I want to share two lines that I want to share with you today.  The first is from a well-known favorite of mine: A Tale of Two Cities.  I can't talk about first line without doing this one.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."
This is ALL one sentence! That is one of the reasons why I love this opening line.  I love the repetition of the lines.  I also love how it really describes life...especially the hard times. The hard times are the best for us and the worst for us.  They are times for us to be stupid, but also learn a lot.  Any faith that you have is tested, and any things that you think aren't there might change.  We are led by light through this hard time but also feel like we are at the darkest time in our lives. We try to go through the experience with hope but inside we have a lot of despair.  I could keep going, but I think you get the idea.  I love being able to relate to a story right away like that.

My second favorite line is a lot shorter and about a book I haven't talked about yet--Rebecca.  That line:
"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again"
It sets up the WHOLE book which has so many twists and turns.  You never know what is going to happen the first time you read it.  But as you look back over the book that line is loaded with SO much foreshadow. You don't know what they really mean until the end.

What is it about a first line of a book for you?

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4 comments:

Brona Joy said...

These two are 2 and 3 on my best opening lines ever.
No 1 goes to P&P ..."it is a truth universally acknowledged..."
Just that little bit makes me want to read the whole thing again :-)

Lynn said...

These are both great choices. I think Rebecca has got such a great opening line that you really can't forget it. The Charles Dicken's opener gives you a great insight into his writing. He did love long sentences. It's a really stirring way to start the story isn't it?
Lynn :D

Jason C. said...

I really dig that opening line from Rebecca--makes me want to go seek out that book immediately. Good stuff.

My choice was from "A Clockwork Orange" :P

Melisa said...

I like them both. I haven't read Rebecca though, but it's on my shelf. Here's my favorite opening line: http://surgabukuku.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/my-favorite-opening-line-the-classics-clubs-june-meme/