Daily Prompt at Daily Post @ WordPress.com
January 5, 2013 Leave a comment
Today’s Daily prompt is: Take the first sentence from your favourite book and make it the first sentence of your post.
I have difficulty, like others, selecting “your favourite book,” since there are several of them in a variety of genres. However, as for the novel, I’d say my favourite book is The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Mikhail Dostoyevsky.
The first line introduces one of the family members in the Karamazov family history: “Alexey Fyodorovich Karamozov was the third son of Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, a landowner of our district, who became notorious in his own day (and is still remembered among us) because of his tragic and mysterious death, which occurred exactly thirteen years ago and which I shall relate in its proper place.”
I find this opening sentence intriguing for at least three reasons. The names Fyodorovich and Fyodor may perhaps be autobiographical. The reference to “his tragic and mysterious death” may also be autobiographical in that Dostoyevsky’s dad was murdered in 1838, a year after his mother had died. The sentence also, I think, is paradigmatic of Dostoyevsky’s wonderful gift of storytelling.
The novel, for this blogger, is the best I’ve ever read in that Dostoyevsky writes about—with inspiration, depth and authenticity—nearly everything under the sun: life and death, the innocence of children in the face of evil and abuse, the problem of evil, the gift of grace and the strength of faith, the sanctity and dignity of life, parent, child and family relationships, the church and the world, belief and atheism, truth and lies, love and hatred, power and its abuse, Christ’s veiled and revealed presence in the world of Dostoyevsky’s nineteenth century Russia.