2. 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 (1813)
5. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. —Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955)
斷斷續續地讀著"小說的五十堂課" (The Art of Fiction, David Lodge). 這句話倒沒被放在談"開始"(Beginning)的那一章, 而是放在第20章, "精緻文體" (Fancy Prose, 亦稱詩化文體)中. 這本書只讀了中文版的第一頁, 但根據David Lodge的說法, Nabokov 在這句話中, "出現了精彩如煙火表演的頭韻法, 敍事者為了慶祝那個他癡迷心愛的名字 (Lolita), 讓L音與T音巧妙地在行文中綻放" : light, life, loins. (後面其實還有: tip, tougue, trip)
我必須說, 沒讀原文小說, 實在很難發現這些. 不過話說回來, 若不是讀了Lodge的書, 就算讀原文我也看不出來.
8. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. —George Orwell, 1984 (1949)
有點耍頼地列在這裡, 因為也是讀中文版. 巧合的是, 也才剛讀到Lodge的剖析.........
9. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. —Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
這個太出名了, 很少人不知道吧? 所以我只讀了第一頁, 仍要把它列出來.
11. The Miss Lonelyhearts of the New York Post-Dispatch (Are you in trouble?—Do-you-need-advice?—Write-to-Miss-Lonelyhearts-and-she-will-help-you) sat at his desk and stared at a piece of white cardboard. —Nathanael West, Miss Lonelyhearts (1933)
Well, 仍然是中文版. 但是至少讀完而且也寫了心得 -- 實在不像我啊!
14. You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, If on a winter's night a traveler. —Italo Calvino, If on a winter's night a traveler (1979; trans. William Weaver)
仍是書店中的首句閱讀. 但實在是太喜歡這句話了. "如果在冬夜, 一個旅人". 對我而言, 書名就是詩了.