But never mind. The viewing stands are going up on St. Charles Avenue, there are pirates in the streets, and debutantes are dressing up as bridges. It's Carnival time! I don't give a good goddamn if some people think the money would be better spent elsewhere or if it sends "the wrong message" to the rest of the country; we as a city need this Carnival more than we need anything in the world except levees, and it is going to be a great one, maybe the best ever.
The literate bloggers' topic of the day seems to be American Book Review's Best 100 First Lines from Novels. I agree with some of these (A Tale of Two Cities has probably my favorite opening sentence ever) and suspect that some of the others owe a great deal to the power of the subsequent second through nth lines -- for instance, though Catch-22 is one of my all-time favorite novels, I could not have told you right off that its first line was, "It was love at first sight," and I don't find anything inherently powerful about the line; its humor and depth come from its context. Then again, I think Harold Bloom's an idiot and don't believe anyone who wrote a first novel as dreadful as Dale Peck's Martin and John is remotely qualified to write silly self-proclaimed "hatchet job" reviews of other novels*, so what the hell do I know about literature?
*No, Peck hasn't hatcheted one of mine that I know of -- I doubt I'm important enough to make a blip on his radar screen -- but if he did, I'd be in good company, and there's precious little sting in being called a bad writer by a bad writer.