Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Great First Lines - Lolita

"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta"
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

This is one of the few books with a really great opening that I know of. A surprisingly large number of authors (even great ones) think they can engage people with bucolic vistas or boring descriptions of their heroes. Nabokov's masterly first lines which describe Humbert's demented, erotic obsession with young Dolores belong to a class of their own. More to come. Please, give suggestions if you have anything to equal this!

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