Monday, July 13, 2015

The Classics - Opening Lines: Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Timeless_Books.jpg/320px-Timeless_Books.jpgLate in the afternoon of a chilly day in February, two gentlemen were sitting alone over their wine, in a well-furnished dining parlor, in the town of P——, in Kentucky. There were no servants present, and the gentlemen, with chairs closely approaching, seemed to be discussing some subject with great earnestness. (Published 1852) 

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? 

18 comments:

  1. Another wonderful opening lines, I well remember Uncle Tom's Cabin from my school days.
    Well done.
    Yvonne.

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    1. An 'oldie' but 'goodie' as the saying goes. Always appreciate your visits, Yvonne!

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  2. Good literature evokes memories; it ust warms my heart like meeting up with an old friend.

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    1. I like your 'old friend' analogy. Just walking into a library has that effect on me. If only we had more time to read!

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  3. I have never read this book. When I was growing up, it was ridiculed and not sure why. I like the opening sentence

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    1. Hmm.....not sure why. It was about slavery and racism, as I recall, but it's been awhile.

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  4. Hi Sharon,

    Ah yes, Harriet Beecher Stowe. I think the opening lines are rather weakened. Especially the second sentence where the conjunction word "and", I believe, takes away from the overall impact.

    Of course, I have a dog to critique my writing skills, or lack of.

    Thank you, Sharon.

    Gary :)

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    1. ha-ha. Good one, Gary. I see the editor pen was flying and why not edit the classics? I think we have a 'less is more' approach to writing these days. Still, I've never minded the wordier sentences common in the classics.

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  5. I have never read anything by Harriet Beecher Stowe. I love Nathaniel Hawthorne and Mark Twain.

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    1. Nathaniel Hawthorne is a favorite of mine too. There are so many fabulous writers to choose from. It's hard to know where to start. Some days I feel like a kid who's been given a jar of candy. Which piece to I pick first?

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  6. Thanks Merril, 160 or so years ago - that's the value of good writing - it crosses time effortlessly.

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  7. I've always wanted to read Uncle Tom's Cabin. I will one day. :)

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    1. It's not one of my most memorable but I did get a sense of the black south in the old days. Someone said it was criticized by some. I wonder what that was about. It would be interesting to read some of the critiques.

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  8. It totally inspires me to read some Dickens or Shakespeare...or modern wordsmiths like Dean Koontz. Classics have become classics because they appeal to the human experience, and no matter what the writing is like, there's value in seeing the connection.

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  9. Hmm....so true. It explains why you can reread a classic and take away something new. Nice to see you Crystal. Thanks!

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  10. I love the habit of books in that era to never name the town, as if they were keeping the town's dignity intact in some way. Poe used to do it all the time.

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  11. Hmm...I wondered what that was about. Thanks Alex!

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"Stay" is a charming word in a friend's vocabulary
(A.B. Alcott). Stay and visit awhile. Your comments mean a lot to me.

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