Monday, August 3, 2015

The Classics - Opening Lines: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Timeless_Books.jpg/320px-Timeless_Books.jpgWELL, PRINCE, Genoa and Lucca are now no more than private estates of the Bonaparte family. No, I warn you, that if you do not tell me we are at war, if you again allow yourself to palliate all the infamies and atrocities of this Antichrist (upon my word, I believe he is), I don't know you in future, you are no longer my friend, no longer my faithful slave, as you say. There, how do you do, how do you do? I see I'm scaring you, sit down and talk to me.  (Published 1869)



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?

12 comments:

  1. Brilliant! You can't top the classics for great prose and intriguing starts!

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    1. His vocabulary is impressive. Brilliant is the word!

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  2. Wow, what an amazing beginning. I still haven't read this book but it's been on my physical to-read shelf for a long time now.

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    1. I hope you get a chance, but it's a long one!

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  3. One day I want to read this book but it took everything out of me when I read Anna Karenina. Great novel but my gosh some of the characters you wanted to slap.

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    1. Ha-ha. Never read that one....but remember the movie being good.

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  4. This must be one of THE classics, wonderful.
    Yvonne.

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  5. Absolutely. It took all summer to read!

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  6. I have heard it said that the problem with Russia is that it is completely populated by characters from Russian novels. No, it's a great culture that has been poorly governed for most of its existence. I've read a number of Tolstoy's short stories, but none of his novels. I have read more of Dostoevsky.

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  7. I've never heard that comparison to Tolstoy's characters or Russian politics....but come to think of it. Ha-ha. How funny. Boy, you've read a lot of Tolstoy. I was thrilled just to get through his very heavy novel. It's pretty intense reading!

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  8. I read it when I was about fifteen and got lost in all the names. :-) But when I read this opening line, I can't help giggling at the memory of a Peanuts cartoon where Snoopy has decided to read War And Peace at one word a day!

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    1. Ha-ha. Charles Schultz has made me laugh a lot over the years. Thanks Sue!

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