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Old 01-19-2016   #91
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Re: Great Opening Lines

I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man. —Fyodor Dostoyevsky, "Notes from Underground"

"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H. P. Lovecraft
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Old 05-30-2016   #92
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Re: Great Opening Lines

There was a dull ache, a kind of hollowness, in the general area of his liver - the seat of the intelligence according to the Psychology of Aristotle - a feeling that there was someone inside his chest blowing up a balloon or that his body was that balloon. Stuck here at this desk, it tethered him. It was a swollen gum he must again and again be probing with his tongue or his finger. Yet it wasn't, exactly, the same as being sick. There was no name for it.

- Thomas M. Disch, 334
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Old 05-30-2016   #93
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Re: Great Opening Lines

Incredible the first animal that dreamed of another animal. Monstrous the first vertebrae that succeeded in standing on two feet and thus spread terror among the beasts still normally and happily crawling close to the ground through the slime of creation. Astounding the first telephone call, the first boiling water, the first song, the first loincloth.

Terra Nostra by Fuentes

I knew that someday I was gonna die / And I knew before I died Two things would happen to me / That number one I would regret my entire life / And number two I would want to live my life over again.
Hubert Selby Jr.
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Old 05-30-2016   #94
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Re: Great Opening Lines

"A-hind of hill, ways off to sun-set-down, is sky come like as fire, and walk I up in way of this, all hard of breath, where is grass colding on I's feet and wetting they."

The opening to Alan Moore's Voice of the Fire, written from the perspective of a neolithic cave-boy.
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Old 05-30-2016   #95
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Re: Great Opening Lines

'All we ever get is Lord ####ing Lucan and wingless bloody crows,' smiled Gilman, like this was the best day of our lives:
Friday 13 December 1974.

-David Peace, 1974

Your fall should be like the fall of mountains. But I was before mountains. I was in the beginning, and shall be forever. The first and the last. The world come full circle. I am not the wheel. I am the hand that turns the wheel. I am Time, the Destroyer. I was the wind and the stars before this. Before planets. Before heaven and hell. And when all is done, I will be wind again, to blow this world as dust back into endless space. To me the coming and going of Man is as nothing.
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Old 09-08-2016   #96
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Re: Great Opening Lines

A vision had seized hold of me, like the demented fury of a hound that has sunk its teeth into the leg of a deer carcass and is shaking and tugging at the downed game so frantically that the hunter gives up trying to calm him. It was the vision of a large steamship scaling a hill under its own steam, working its way up a steep slope in the jungle, while above this natural landscape, which shatters the weak and the strong with equal ferocity, soars the voice of Caruso, silencing all the pain and all the voices of the primeval forest and drowning out all birdsong. To be more precise: bird cries, for in this setting, left unfinished and abandoned by God in wrath, the birds do not sing; they shriek in pain, and confused trees tangle with one another like battling Titans, from horizon to horizon, in a steaming creation still being formed. Fog-panting and exhausted they stand in this unreal misery--and I, like a stanza in a poem written in an unknown foreign tongue, am shaken to the core.

-- Werner Herzog, Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo (trans. Krishna Winston)

"Reality is the shadow of the word." -- Bruno Schulz
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Old 09-09-2016   #97
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Re: Great Opening Lines

Where now? Who now? When now?

-- Beckett, The Unnnameable

Finished, it's finished, nearly finished, it must be nearly finished. Grain upon grain, one by one, and one day, suddenly, there's a heap, a little heap, the impossible heap.

-- Beckett, Endgame
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Old 09-10-2016   #98
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Re: Great Opening Lines

Dear friend now in the dusty clockless hours of the town when the streets lie black and steaming in the wake of the watertrucks and now when the drunk and the homeless have washed up in the lee walls in alleys or abandoned lots and cats go forth high shouldered and lean in the grim perimeters about, now in these sootblacked brick or cobbled corridors where lightwire shadows make a gothic harp of cellar doors none shall walk save you.

-- Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
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