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Old 11-08-2011   #21
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Re: Great Opening Lines

I noticed the surgeon the first time I went to that seedy cafe on the edge of the town.

-- Géza Csáth, "The Surgeon" (trans. J. Kessler and C. Rogers)
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Old 11-08-2011   #22
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Re: Great Opening Lines

Two white-jacketed orderlies were prepping a short, blonde corpse. The big, marble-topped dissecting table could have taken a fellow twice his size. Just a couple of days ago this flaccid cadaver, stocky and short as a boy, was still known as Trepov. Known everywhere simply as Trepov.

The two men worked cheerfully and quickly. They sponged the flesh over again, letting the bloodied water run down the drain cut in the table top. Then they seized the corpse by its shoulders, heaved it to a sitting posture, and sponged off the fat, white back. One took a comb out and ran it through the blonde hair. But he parted it on the wrong side, not as the dead man had done when among the living.

---- Géza Csáth, "Trepov on the Dissecting Table" (trans. J. Kessler and C. Rogers)
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Old 11-11-2011   #23
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Re: Great Opening Lines

The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness. Although the two are identical twins, man, as a rule, views the prenatal abyss with more calm than the one he is heading for (at some forty-five hundred heartbeats an hour).

-- Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory
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Old 11-11-2011   #24
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Re: Great Opening Lines

With apologies in advance for my appalling egocentricity, here are what I regard are my own best opening lines:

The yoghurt of the crop...

(I daren't refer to them as the 'cream'; that would be overstepping the dairy line.)

Thanks!

"Nothing can be known, not even this." - Carneades
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Old 11-11-2011   #25
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Re: Great Opening Lines

"The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel"

-William Gibson, "Neuromancer".

Anyway, people die...
-Current 93


I am simply an accident. Why take it all so seriously?
-Emil Cioran
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Old 11-11-2011   #26
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Re: Great Opening Lines

"Later, as he sat on his balcony eating the dog, Dr. Robert Laing reflected on the unusual events that had taken place within this huge apartment building during the previous three months"

-J. G. Ballard., "High Rise"

Anyway, people die...
-Current 93


I am simply an accident. Why take it all so seriously?
-Emil Cioran
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Old 11-11-2011   #27
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Re: Great Opening Lines

A procession of the damned.

By the damned, I mean the excluded.

We shall have a procession of data that Science has excluded.

Battalions of the accursed, captained by pallid data that I have exhumed, will march. You’ll read them—or they’ll march. Some of them livid and some of them fiery and some of them rotten.

Some of them are corpses, skeletons, mummies, twitching, tottering, animated by companions that have been damned alive. There are giants that will walk by, though sound asleep. There are things that are theorems and things that are rags: they’ll go by like Euclid arm in arm with the spirit of anarchy.

-- Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned (1919)
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Old 11-11-2011   #28
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Re: Great Opening Lines

A naked man in a city street--the track of a horse in volcanic mud--the mystery of reindeer's ears--a huge, black form, like a whale, in the sky, and it drips red drops as if attacked by celestial swordfishes--an appalling cherub appears in the sea--

Confusions.

Showers of frogs and blizzards of snails--gushes of periwinkles down from the sky--

The preposterous, the grotesque, the incredible--and why, if I am going to tell of hundreds of these, is the quite ordinary so regarded?

An unclothed man shocks a crowd--moments later, if nobody is generous with an overcoat, somebody is collecting handkerchiefs to knot around him.

A naked fact startles a meeting of a scientific society--and what ever it has for loins is soon diapered with conventional explanations.

Chaos and muck and filth--the indeterminable and the unrecordable and the unknowable--and all men are liars--and yet--

-- Charles Fort, Lo! (1931)
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Old 11-12-2011   #29
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Re: Great Opening Lines

The first time I laid eyes on Terry Lennox he was drunk in a Roll-Royce Silver Wraith outside the terrace of The Dancers.

--Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye

Flash fiction story of mine: Pseudopod Pseudopod Bonus Flash: The Discussion Of Mimes

Flash fiction story of mine: Guardian Devils

Flash fiction story of mine
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Old 11-14-2011   #30
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Re: Great Opening Lines

A good many years ago, when a young man, a student in Paris, I knew the great Carot, and witnessed by his side many of those cases of mind-malady, in the analysis of which he was such a master. I remember one little maid of the Marais who, until the age of nine, did not differ from her playmates; but one night, lying abed she whispered into her mother’s ear: “Mama, can you not hear the sound of the world?” It appears that her geography had just taught her that our globe reels with an enormous velocity on an orbit about the sun; and this sound of the world of hers was merely a murmur in the ear, heard in the silence of night. Within six months she was as mad as a March-hare.

-- M. P. Shiel, “The House of Sounds” (1896 / rev. 1911)
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