Opening Lines: Riff No.6

by caroline on November 1, 2011

OPENING LINES: Riff No.6, October 2011
“…ruined by literature.”

“Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature.”
Anita Brookner, The Debut, 1981

I promised myself I would never search the internet for an Opening Line.

And now I’ve done it.

For days I’d immersed myself in the befuddlement of editing one novel while writing another. Before I realized what was happening, my characters had begun sneaking around in each other’s narratives. They gave each other new names, conspired to move commas, insert semi-colons, switch lovers.

So perhaps you can imagine how I might have been feeling as I stood in front of the bookcase, their incessant chatter filling my mind while I pulled out volume after volume, hunting for the  book with the perfect opening line for my October blog.  “They’re all dead now”,  they shouted in unison over my shoulder, immediately recognizing the opening line to Fall on Your Knees. It’ll be a riot, they insisted as I escaped back upstairs to Google ‘best first lines’.  After all, Halloween’s just around the corner.

And that’s when I met Dr. Weiss, who, like myself, knew that her life had been ruined by literature.





One comment

I loved your confession and rich conversation between your own characters and the other one with your bookcase. And then you challenged me to remember the impact Anita Brookner had on my own past. Hotel du Lac perhaps? I must return to a porch. Thank you. A ghost or two reside there I’d like to find for next months opening line.

by Gail on 12/14/2011 at 3:11 am. #