Dewey‘s theme for Weekly Geeks #21 is sort of a combination group project / scavenger hunt / contest:
1. Look over the list of first lines. How many can you identify immediately? Post these in your blog, with the answer (the book title and author). If you’re not 100% positive of your answer, please Google the line to be sure. Otherwise, your wrong answer will be spread around to other bloggers. Step 1 is the most basic step in the project.
2. If you like, list a few or more first lines without answers and ask your readers if they can identify any of them. It’s fine to list all of them for your readers to look at, if you’re so inclined.
3. If you want to, you can also go around visiting other Weekly Geeks and commenting with the answers to any lines that stumped them. The more WGs you visit, the more will visit you!
4. If you want to take part in a contest to see who can get all 100 lines identified, visit the Weekly Geeks who sign Mr Linky (at Dewey’s Weekly Geeks post linked above), take their identified lines from their blogs and post them in your own post. Your own list will grow this way. Please don’t forget to link to any Weekly Geeks whose identified lines you take!
5. If you eventually have all 100 lines identified in your blog post, please email me at dewpie at gmail dot com. Don’t email me if you get all 100 by looking at the blog of someone else who got all 100, though, because obviously that person beat you to it.
6. There is a prize! If no one gets all 100 answers, the prize goes to the blogger who gets the most. If multiple bloggers get all 100, the winner is the first person who emails me a link to a post with all 100 correct answers.
7. I’ll offer the winner a choice of a few of the prizes I was setting aside for the read-a-thon and he or she will get to choose one. These choice won’t be anything donated by other bloggers, though, because those bloggers intended those prizes for the read-a-thon.
I started by reviewing the list to identify the first lines I knew right off the bat, and those answers are in black bold font. Next, I checked out a few of the other Weekly Geeks participants in my Google Reader feeds to see if they might be able to help me out, and quite a few were – those responses are linked to the blogs where I found them, with my thanks!
*But before I share those, I’ll list the first lines – in blue – that I was unable to identify even with help. If you know any of them – please observe Dewey’s rules above and do NOT Google them except to confirm that your response is correct! – please leave a comment with the line number (or quote the whole thing if you want), book title, and author. I will edit this post to include your response and a link to you!
36. —Money . . . in a voice that rustled.
42. Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature.
46. Ages ago, Alex, Allen and Alva arrived at Antibes, and Alva allowing all, allowing anyone, against Alex’s admonition, against Allen’s angry assertion: another African amusement . . . anyhow, as all argued, an awesome African army assembled and arduously advanced against an African anthill, assiduously annihilating ant after ant, and afterward, Alex astonishingly accuses Albert as also accepting Africa’s antipodal ant annexation.
49. It was the day my grandmother exploded.
57. In the beginning, sometimes I left messages in the street.
60. What if this young woman, who writes such bad poems, in competition with her husband, whose poems are equally bad, should stretch her remarkably long and well-made legs out before you, so that her skirt slips up to the tops of her stockings?
70. Francis Marion Tarwater’s uncle had been dead for only half a day when the boy got too drunk to finish digging his grave and a Negro named Buford Munson, who had come to get a jug filled, had to finish it and drag the body from the breakfast table where it was still sitting and bury it in a decent and Christian way, with the sign of its Saviour at the head of the grave and enough dirt on top to keep the dogs from digging it up.
73. Hiram Clegg, together with his wife Emma and four friends of the faith from Randolph Junction, were summoned by the Spirit and Mrs. Clara Collins, widow of the beloved Nazarene preacher Ely Collins, to West Condon on the weekend of the eighteenth and nineteenth of April, there to await the End of the World.
76. “Take my camel, dear,” said my Aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass.
80. Justice?—You get justice in the next world, in this world you have the law.
84. In the last years of the Seventeenth Century there was to be found among the fops and fools of the London coffee-houses one rangy, gangling flitch called Ebenezer Cooke, more ambitious than talented, and yet more talented than prudent, who, like his friends-in-folly, all of whom were supposed to be educating at Oxford or Cambridge, had found the sound of Mother English more fun to game with than her sense to labor over, and so rather than applying himself to the pains of scholarship, had learned the knack of versifying, and ground out quires of couplets after the fashion of the day, afroth with Joves and Jupiters, aclang with jarring rhymes, and string-taut with similes stretched to the snapping-point.
86. It was just noon that Sunday morning when the sheriff reached the jail with Lucas Beauchamp though the whole town (the whole county too for that matter) had known since the night before that Lucas had killed a white man.
91. I will tell you in a few words who I am: lover of the hummingbird that darts to the flower beyond the rotted sill where my feet are propped; lover of bright needlepoint and the bright stitching fingers of humorless old ladies bent to their sweet and infamous designs; lover of parasols made from the same puffy stuff as a young girl’s underdrawers; still lover of that small naval boat which somehow survived the distressing years of my life between her decks or in her pilothouse; and also lover of poor dear black Sonny, my mess boy, fellow victim and confidant, and of my wife and child. But most of all, lover of my harmless and sanguine self.
93. Psychics can see the color of time it’s blue.
95. Once upon a time two or three weeks ago, a rather stubborn and determined middle-aged man decided to record for posterity, exactly as it happened, word by word and step by step, the story of another man for indeed what is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal, a somewhat paranoiac fellow unmarried, unattached, and quite irresponsible, who had decided to lock himself in a room a furnished room with a private bath, cooking facilities, a bed, a table, and at least one chair, in New York City, for a year 365 days to be precise, to write the story of another person—a shy young man about of 19 years old—who, after the war the Second World War, had come to America the land of opportunities from France under the sponsorship of his uncle—a journalist, fluent in five languages—who himself had come to America from Europe Poland it seems, though this was not clearly established sometime during the war after a series of rather gruesome adventures, and who, at the end of the war, wrote to the father his cousin by marriage of the young man whom he considered as a nephew, curious to know if he the father and his family had survived the German occupation, and indeed was deeply saddened to learn, in a letter from the young man—a long and touching letter written in English, not by the young man, however, who did not know a damn word of English, but by a good friend of his who had studied English in school—that his parents both his father and mother and his two sisters one older and the other younger than he had been deported they were Jewish to a German concentration camp Auschwitz probably and never returned, no doubt having been exterminated deliberately X * X * X * X, and that, therefore, the young man who was now an orphan, a displaced person, who, during the war, had managed to escape deportation by working very hard on a farm in Southern France, would be happy and grateful to be given the opportunity to come to America that great country he had heard so much about and yet knew so little about to start a new life, possibly go to school, learn a trade, and become a good, loyal citizen.
Here’s the rest of the first-lines list, with the answers, for your reading enjoyment:
Join in on the “unknowns”, or share a favorite first line, in the comments!