"It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me."
-Earthly Powers, Anthony Burgess
The incipit is the first line of a text. This is the first line of Earthly Powers, not my favourite but maybe the best novel of Anthony Burgess. It is certainly a great book. And what an starting sentence. The teenager I was, who had only read A Clockwork Orange from Burgess, was shocked when I first read this line, in the public library of Chicoutimi. With The Picture of Dorian Gray, the novel of Burgess destroyed and buried any feelings of homophobia I had then. In any case, it's a great read. And since I am short of great unknown lines and intend to blog a bit more about Burgess and literature, I thought I would blog the incipit of Earthly Powers here tonight.