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What is your favourite line of literature?

(140 Posts)
SkaterGrrrrl Wed 26-Mar-14 15:30:45

I love the opening line of Rebecca, it gives me the shivers.

Also love this line, which the Literary Book Company have put on mugs, tea towels and so forth:

"'She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain." - Louisa May Alcott.

SkaterGrrrrl Wed 26-Mar-14 15:31:22

Oh and to include children's books, in Just So Stories I love "The great grey-green greasy Limpopo river, all set about with fever trees".

Evocative and just perfect!

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Wed 26-Mar-14 19:34:53

Skater I love the last line of Rebecca even more than the first line - And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea." Perfect.

Maybe not my favourite, but certainly one of the most memorable: Jude's son in Jude the Obscure leaves a note after killing his siblings and himself - "Done becus we are too meny" (I may have got the spelling wrong) So sad.

Can't possibly choose just one, but I'll give you these whilst I think on it:

You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Captain Wentworth in, 'Persuasion.'

“First comes smiles, then lies. Last is gunfire.-Roland Deschain, of Gilead, in King's Dark Tower series.

“And will I tell you that these three lived happily ever after? I will not, for no one ever does. But there was happiness. And they did live.” Ditto.

You have bewitched me, body and soul - an obvious one but too good to ignore!

MrsDavidBowie Wed 26-Mar-14 19:36:51

What larks Pip, what larks
Joe Gargery in Great Expectations.

It is on my dad's gravestone.

Fruityb Wed 26-Mar-14 19:37:54

"As he read I fell in love like you fall asleep; slowly then all at once" from The Fault in Our Stars.

joanofarchitrave Wed 26-Mar-14 19:38:58

'I leave it to be settled, by whomsoever it may concern, whether the tendency of this work be altogether to recommend parental tyranny, or reward filial disobedience.'

IDoAllMyOwnStunts Wed 26-Mar-14 19:39:47

Not sure it's my favourite but definitely one of the saddest is in Charlottes Web ' no one was with her when she died'. Sob

AppleSnow Wed 26-Mar-14 19:45:54

Definitely with you Remus on 'you pierce my soul' from Persuasion - has to be one of the best love letters in literature.

cottonwoolmum Wed 26-Mar-14 19:48:36

Some great ones here - love the Rebecca lines, and gorgeous Captain Wentworth phwoar

Mine's two lines: 'I held him. I held that half of him' from 'Nobody Said Anything' - Raymond Carver's short story about a boy with warring parents. It breaks my heart every time.

Also love: 'In my younger and more vulnerable years...' but mainly because I know that the whole of the Great Gatsby follows and it is the best book ever

'Dance first. Think later. It's the natural order.' Samuel Becket, 'Waiting for Godot.'

SkaterGrrrrl Wed 26-Mar-14 20:55:18

What a fantastic epitaph, MrsDavidBowie.

I haven't read The Fault in the Stars, but I want to now!

Celticlassie Sat 29-Mar-14 07:20:19

"Men and girls came and went like moths, among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars."

And, in fact, most of Gatsby. It's the most wonderful book to read aloud.

MrsDavidBowie Sat 29-Mar-14 13:22:12

I love the Gatsby quote

DrankSangriaInThePark Sat 29-Mar-14 13:25:35

The last paragraph of fine we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

That's not the right order, but it's the order it always comes to me in!

DrankSangriaInThePark Sat 29-Mar-14 13:28:07

"and you will be happy to have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And from time to time you will open your window just for the pleasure of it...And your friends will be astonished to see you laughing while staring at the sky. And you will say to them, yes, stars always make me laugh"

The Little Prince.

myrtleWilson Sat 29-Mar-14 13:32:08

I was going to say that line too drank

myrtleWilson Sat 29-Mar-14 13:32:34

The Gatsby one I meant!

PetiteRaleuse Sat 29-Mar-14 13:32:49

The Little Prince is so full of wisdom it's hard to pick out one quote, but I do like that one.

First and last lines of Rebecca also brilliant. I love the way Daphne du Maurier wrote.

magimedi Sat 29-Mar-14 13:41:12

The preface to Howards End:

"Only connect".

If everyone followed that life would be so much easier.

blueemerald Sat 29-Mar-14 13:45:31

Awake, arise or be forever fallen

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.

Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell.

Heaven is for thee too high
To know what passes there; be lowly wise.
Think only what concerns thee and thy being;
Dream not of other worlds, what creatures there
Live, in what state, condition, or degree,
Contented that thus far hath been revealed.

- Paradise Lost. I'm not religious but it is just the most fabulous text.

AntiDistinctlyMinty Sat 29-Mar-14 13:53:01

The grey rain curtain of this world rolls back and all turns to silver glass. And then you see it. White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise. - J.R.R Tolkien.

NuggetofPurestGreen Sat 29-Mar-14 21:37:48

Remus I love the first line of The Gunslinger too, 'The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed'. Last line great too.

However 'you have bewitched me body and soul' is not in literature, Darcy would never say that! wink

No I know, but he SHOULD have done. smile

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” What he really says. But you have bewitched me is too good to ignore. smile

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