Monday, March 5, 2012

“Beginning” of the Week #4

With the debut of the film John Carter, I chose the opening passage of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ first John Carter novel, A Princess of Mars, for the “beginning” of this week. Burroughs wrote this novel in 1912, so the writing may differ a bit from today’s norms, but I think the first passage delivers an interesting hook even by today’s standards.

I’d be curious to know what you think? In the meantime, if you want to know more about this novel or the John Carter of Mars series, author Ryan Harvey has been posting reviews on the series, starting with A Princess of Mars. The Passive Guy also just posted an article on the topic, which you can read here. But without further ado, here’s the “beginning” that started it all:

I am a very old man; how old I do not know. Possibly I am a hundred, possibly more; but I cannot tell because I have never aged as other men, nor do I remember any childhood. So far as I can recollect I have always been a man, a man of about thirty. I appear today as I did forty years and more ago, and yet I feel that I cannot go on living forever; that some day I shall die the real death from which there is no resurrection. I do not know why I should fear death, I who have died twice and am still alive; but yet I have the same horror of it as you who have never died, and it is because of this terror of death, I believe, that I am so convinced of my mortality.
– Edgar Rice Burroughs, A Princess of Mars

John Carter was superman before Superman!


BJB said...

My vote for the best of the four beginnings you've posted so far. Keep 'em coming!

Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban said...

Pretty good.

I have meant to read these books for a long time. I think now reading them is a priority.

Joseph Finley said...

BJB and Carmen, thanks for the comments! Maybe when I've done enough of these to get folks interested I'll take a poll to see which ones the readers like best.