"Your imagination is your preview of lifes' coming attractions."
I have read several times that it is very important to start my book or website with an engaging and interesting first line to draw potential readers in. I guess I am not a good writer or blogger because I do not seem to be able to find good, interesting, engaging, captivating lines to interest many readers in my literary labors. Maybe I should record many first lines from books so I can possibly assimilate the ability to write a good first line? Can I find wisdom that way? Will I finally discover the Holy Grail which is my search for spiritual truth? Wambly Bald told Brassaï that the first sentence in a work is the sentence that counts the most and the other sentences "will follow like sheep." This page of my website will show my attempt to assimilate the wisdom of the first line by practicing the writing of previously written first lines:
I am living at the Villa Borghese.
Then there was the bad weather.
The first line of A Movable Feast.
Well that is certainly a unique first line. I would never have thought to begin my writing with a sentence as if we were already in the middle of a conversation. It seems I may be mentally stuck in a very narrow intellectual box.🤔 Ernest Hemingway then went on to describe a wintry scene at Place Contrescarpe which makes me wish I could live in Paris every September. 😄 I am always in Paris during the hot month of August. Hemingway's description makes me consider, very seriously, a trip to Paris in September because that would be a great compromise between hot August and cold December. .
Call ME ISHMAEL. ...This is the first sentence of Moby Dick, or The White Whale. I noticed that the first 2 first lines are both quite short. I decided to record this first line for my third choice because it is very short indeed. If that is what I need for a good first line, I could write Call me Michael at the beginning of my book. I don't know, that does not seem to work so well for me. The result is not so iconic. It does provide a sense of familiarity as does "Call me Ismael" but to copy Herman Melville may be plagiarism. And as a biblical figure, my name illicits a completely different perspective than does "Ishmael" which is a character of isolation whereas Michael is a heroic archangel character which is not my role in life or in my writings.
The first line of this book does not prepare you for the extreme satiracle humor you are about to encounter. The Collage de la Sorbonne judged it to be obsene for much the same reasons that James Joyces' Ulysses was banned. Also, much like in Luthers' writings, there is a good amount of scatology. Rabelais often will disrespect the royal and theological authorities making them out to be no better than a group of clowns.
It will be neither fruitless nor idle to recall for you the primary source and origen of our good giant Pantagruel for I note that all the fine historiographers have done likewise in their chronicles not only those of the Greeks, Arabs, and Ethnics but also the authors of Holy Writ, as Monsignor Saint luke particularly and Saint Matthew.
The first line of The Sun Also Rises: "Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton" is a basic biographical fact. It does not seem to me to be a statement that is meant to lure potential readers to continue reading further. On the other hand, I do not like boxing as a sport. Many people do like boxing and many people LOVE boxing so many people just might be lured by this first line to continue reading the book. Now, the first line along with the second line DO interest me quite a lot. The second line is "Do not think I am very much impressed by that as a boxing title, but it meant a lot to Cohn". Jake Barnes definitely needs true heroism to impress him. Robert Cohn's ability to box actually does take on much significance later in the novel when the major motifs of the story come to a head when the jealousies, insecurities, and competitiveness of the main male characters explode into the chaos of Robert Cohn attacking Michael and Pedro. The fact that Cohn was a middleweight champion becomes very important now because throughout the novel, Robert Cohn is not known for aggression at all; he takes a lot of ribbing and jokes at his expense and many insults with no violent opposition at all. Thus, the first line of the book is a great reminder of what Robert Cohn actually can do to someone. His explosive attack on the other main male characters of the book occurs with the atmosphere of the bull fighting and the violence of the bulls and their deaths.