Tuesday, January 1, 2013

First Lines Second Thoughts — Changing Places



First Lines Second Thoughts is a look at the first lines of well known literary works.
On second thought, do these opening words stand alone as poetry? On New Year's Day we revisit Changing Places. Written by David Lodge. Published in 1975.


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

Best known for his descriptions of post-war England and academia, David Lodge's Changing Places is the cornerstone of his "campus trilogy." Changing Places also depicts a literary parlor game — Humiliation — where guests 'fess up to a classic book that they have not read.