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.
16. If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. —J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
英文版沒讀過, 書市裡好幾個版本 -- 沒能摸到書的關係, 遲遲不想下手......
37. Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. —Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (1925)
Again, 書局翻讀首頁而已. 太多人提到了, 何況要和"時時刻刻"比對.
38. All this happened, more or less. —Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)
書(中文版)才購入, 熱辣辣地首頁及第一句當然讀了. 可是, 呃......引句只有這樣, 算破題的好嗎?
50. I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974. —Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex (2002)
呃, 這個就真的臉紅了. 毫無疑問我一定讀過首句 (幾乎是翻讀的不自覺動作), 可是我竟然沒什麼印象 -- 書倒底買多久了啊?
54. A story has no beginning or end; arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead. —Graham Greene, The End of the Affair (1951)
這個也不算真正讀到, 而是討論到格雷安格林的文, 都會提到的. (好像是在毛尖的文章中讀到) 因為對改編的電影沒信心, 所以也沒看. (其實, 幹嘛沒信心呢? 反正小說也沒還沒讀!)
58. Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.
—George Eliot, Middlemarch (1872)
64. In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. —F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)
中文版, 當然啦, 怎麼可以不提超級金童呢.
65. You better not never tell nobody but God. —Alice Walker, The Color Purple (1982)
書局翻讀 -- 為了電影.
67. It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York. —Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar (1963)
我想, 我應該在page one讀了首頁的. 再一次地, 為了電影. (可是不是為了007, )
97. He—for there could be no doubt of his sex, though the fashion of the time did something to disguise it—was in the act of slicing at the head of a Moor which swung from the rafters. —Virginia Woolf, Orlando (1928)
吳爾芙的小說都還沒買 -- 為什麼她的小說裝幀, 就是讓人却步呢?
98. High, high above the North Pole, on the first day of 1969, two professors of English Literature approached each other at a combined velocity of 1200 miles per hour. —David Lodge, Changing Places (1975)
不算偷跑吧, 記得David Lodge在自己書中也引用的.