indigozeal (indigozeal) wrote,

Writer's Block: The start of something wonderful

What is your favorite opening line of a book, and why?

Maman died today, which I've seen chosen in a few entries so far, but which bears special significance to me for a unique reason. The translation of The Stranger I read used "Mother," and when I first saw the "Maman" translation, I was faintly contemptuous; it looked wrong. It wasn't wrong, of course - "Maman" is manifestly the right selection for what it says about the character. Upon reflection, the incident was my introduction into the delicacies of word choice in translation.

The line itself, though, is enough. It should be evocative, emotional - wet, as the Japanese say. Instead, it just hangs there, empty.
Tags: writer's block

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