Tag Archives: Mark Twain

Different opinions

It is the difference of opinion that makes horse races…

Mark Twain

Majority and thoughts

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect

Mark Twain


Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect

Mark Twain

Some great incipits

In 2007, American book review editors published their own listing of 100 incipts (http://americanbookreview.org/), i came through Information Please databases (http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0934311.html).

Here are my favorites from the list:

  • It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” (Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice)
  • “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía, was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to, discover ice.” ( Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years Of Solitude)
  • ” Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” (Lev Tolstoy, Anna Karenina)
  • You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer ; but that ain’t no matter. (Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
  • The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.” (Samuel Beckett, Murphy)
  • “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.” (Charles Dickens, David Copperfield)
  • “Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing.” (Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote)
  • “It was like so, but wasn’t.” (Richard Powers, Galatea 2.2)
  • “All this happened, more or less.” (Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five)
  • I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story” (Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome)
  • He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.” (Ernest Hemingway, The old man and the sea)
  • “A story has no beginning or end; arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.” (Graham Greene, The end of the affair)
  • “To be born again,” sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, “first you have to die.” (Salman Rushdie, The Satanic verses)

And my personal best:

“The man that had only 10 minutes to live, was laughing” (Frederick Forsyth, The fist of god)


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