Monday, November 13, 2006

Dark and stormy nights

"She wasn't really my type, a hard-looking but untalented reporter from the local cat box liner, but the first second that the third-rate representative of the fourth estate cracked open a new fifth of old Scotch, my sixth sense said seventh heaven was as close as an eighth note from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, so, nervous as a tenth grader drowning in eleventh-hour cramming for a physics exam, I swept her into my longing arms, and, humming 'The Twelfth of Never,' I got lucky on Friday the thirteenth."
— Wm. W. "Buddy" Ocheltree, Port Townsend, Washington

This novel opening won the Bulwer-Lytton for the worst conceivable start to a story. I recently finished reading Anna Karenina (or Anna Karenin as it is translated as in my edition), which opens with the line:

"All happy families are alike but an unhappy family is unhappy after its own fashion."

The second part of this statement is certainly borne out in the book, but I doubt that Tolstoy ever gave much thought to happy families. The quote that serves as a epigrammatic prelude to the novel perhaps gives a better indication of the novel's content:

Vengeance is mine,
And I will repay.


Blogger quietlybreathing said...

I heard a woman on the radio last night talking about vengeance, sandwiched in between "Something Understood" and Libby Purvis talking about the return of burlesque. I am, its clear, down with the kids.

The woman's Dad was shot in the head by a terrorist (but lived). So the woman made friends with th terrorist and his family over a year - to the extent that one of the daughters was thinking of naming her daughter after her.

Then she revealed herself as the daughter of the man who the son had shot. He said she had revealed "the human face" of his victim, and seemed remorseful having previously been proud and said it was all a matter of war.

Quite amazing. I wonder how cross and bitter the woman felt all that time - talking about the coming baby, but thinking all the time "ha, I'll show you". I think she must have been q strong but a little twisted.

9:19 AM  

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