Home The Author The Book Reviews FAQs More Stuff The Other Side


RSS Feed 

Friday, December 29, 2006


Great lines

Have you any favourites? For example - what's the most tragic line you can think of from a book, play, poem, film or sundry artwork?

I'd have to go with 'Where's my son Edmund?' - which is from King Lear. Gloucester, having been decieved by his treacherous son Edmund into casting out his virtuous son Edgar, has been handed over to his enemies by Edmund. They tear out Gloucester's eyes, and, blinded, he asks for his son - not yet knowing that it's Edmund who betrayed him. It's just horrible: he thinks he's as low as he can go, but is about to lose the one thing he had to hold on to; it's also a terrible cry of pain, like a child asking for its mother, only to hear ... Well, read the scence. It's heartbreaking.

Funniest lines? I keep changing on that, but my current favourite is from The Mating Season by PG Wodehouse; a drama has been unfolding, with a friend of Bertie's desperately fleeing an irate policeman, almost outdistancing him and then fatheadedly climbing a tree, leaving the officer to stand beneath him waiting for him to either fall or come down. Jeeves, we hope, is going to come up with a clever solution to the problem, the man being all brain and intellect - and then there's a dull thud, and Bertie opens his eyes to see Jeeves pocketing a cosh he's previously acquired through a different plot thread, remarking politely: 'I took the liberty of coshing the officer, sir.' It's the hilarious shock: Jeeves, so proper and cerebral, suddenly whacking someone with an illegal weapon; it also has a lovely Gordian Knot quality to it.

Anyone have other great lines? If so, share!

Well, having dissed Tolkien in the previous thread, I'm now going to take a few of his lines as one of my favourites. From the very end of LOTR, when Frodo is preparing to leave for the Grey Havens.

"But I have been too deeply hurt, Sam. I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: someone has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them."

Always makes me cry :).

Funnily enough, another favourite is also from King Lear. "I shall do such things...I know not yet what they will be, but they shall be the terrors of the earth." (quoted from memory). There's something dreadful about the emptiness of this threat.
I may not have the wording precisely correct, but a line from the end of Cormac McCarthy's latest novel The Road is haunting me weeks after I read it, and will likely stick with me forever: "I can't hold my dead child in my arms. I just can't."

The Road is brilliant, by the way -- but hard on the emotions. Any moderately sensitive reader is likely to need a cuddle afterwards.

Lara Apps
One of my favorite lines is from Christopher Fowler's Rune: "The dinner bill was numerological pornography." What a wonderful image!

Post a Comment

<< Home


July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   April 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   September 2008   October 2008   November 2008   December 2008   January 2009   February 2009   March 2009   April 2009   May 2009   June 2009   July 2009   August 2009   September 2009   October 2009   November 2009   December 2009   January 2010   February 2010   March 2010   April 2010   June 2010   July 2010   August 2010   September 2010   October 2010   November 2010   December 2010   January 2011   February 2011   March 2011   April 2011   May 2011   June 2011   July 2011   August 2011   September 2011   October 2011   November 2011   December 2011   January 2012   February 2012   March 2012   April 2012   May 2012   June 2012   July 2012   August 2012   September 2012   October 2012   November 2012   December 2012   January 2013   February 2013   March 2013   April 2013   May 2013   June 2013   July 2013   August 2013   September 2013   October 2013   March 2014  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?