Monday, March 2, 2015

The Classics - Opening Lines: Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Timeless_Books.jpg/320px-Timeless_Books.jpg"Call me Ishmael. Some years ago--never mind how long precisely--having little or no money in my purse, and nothing in particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world." (Published 1851)



  I love the classics and plan to share some "opening lines" over the coming months. Comment if you like, or read for inspiration. Writing styles were different then, but were they really?
 

9 comments:

  1. After reading a guest post at Tyrean's site with C. Lee McKenzie, I see how opening lines are so important. Lee's advice on opening lines was quite impressive.

    Moby Dick has a great opening line.

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    1. Yes indeed; just read Lee's interview at Tyrean's. Those lines are important!

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  2. I've always loved this opening. Especially the first line. Right away I wonder who it is and have to follow to find out.

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    1. I've read this novel a number of times (partly, because it was required reading in school, but also read it for pleasure). It always draws me back with that opening.

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  3. I have never read this book because it is about killing a whale in my naïve thinking (there is so much more to it I know). This opening to the book does not begin to tell the big events he will go through

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  4. Well, when a book is forced on you (i.e. in class), you do the assignment. Studying this author would have been enough for me not to read it. His personal bio isn't great. But the novel is more than about a man killing a whale. I read it one summer for pleasure and there was no turning back. Reading it, the effect is almost hypnotic. You go to sea and learn so much about geography, sailing, the whaling industry, etc, but the underlying metaphors, the themes, the essays are so worth it. You find yourself thinking about life and the inner workings of man, why we do what we do. The language alone pulls you in. I don't like the idea of killing a whale either, nor do I like the idea of killing any animal, but I do eat meat. I came away with an admiration for the white whale.

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  5. That's one of my favourite opening lines :)

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  6. Thanks, Lynda. Stop back sometime :)

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