Despite my brother's intense dislike of the song I used for my prior blog title, I will risk using another song reference.
The wonderful thing about endings is that they can lead to beginnings.
This morning, I arose and looked out the window--nothing so very unusual in that, but the sight that greeted my eyes was. Herewith:
So, you might be saying--a very pretty sunrise, so what? Oh, my. We have had days on end of grey overcast skies, then drizzly days, or foggy evenings. And no sun--no sun at all (it seems) for days. Then this morning, I looked out our front window to see this lovely dawn.
As you might guess, my literary brain kicked into gear and I immediately began thinking:
"Now when the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared. . ." (Book II, The Odyssey by Homer)
This is one of the most famous opening lines in a literary work.
Isn't that a perfect description--the child of morning, rosy-fingered dawn.
Well, that got me to thinking about other famous openings. Can you identify the source before I give you the answer?
Call me Ishmael.
(Moby Dick by Herman Melville)
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. . .
(A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens)
Extra points if you can continue the opening!
Arms, and the man I sing. . .
(The Aeneid by Virgil)
All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
(Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy)
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
(Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)
If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like. . .
(Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger)
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents. . .
(Paul Clifford by Bulwer-Lytton)
The above opening line is frequently regarded as one of the worst examples of over-blown fiction, and has given rise to an annual tongue-in-cheek contest, appropriately called The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction contest, in which people compete to out-do that prose!
As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.
(Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka)
Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road
(Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce)
Mother died today, or perhaps it was yesterday.
(The Stranger by Albert Camus)
The boy with fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way towards the lagoon.
(Lord of the Flies by William Golding)
I was not sorry when my brother died.
(Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga)
And, given the season we are entering, the last entry. . .
Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.
(A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens)
Of course, there are many many more wonderful opening lines to novels. Do you have a favorite?