54 great opening lines: 41

While old Kronitz’s youngest son Waltie was being born without qualified assistance, the old man paced the veranda that ran around all four sides of his large, bungalow-style house, annoyed with his wife for her bad judgement after all her experience, and refusing to admit that he should have sent for the community’s wise woman sooner, even at the risk of having to pay her for a whole day while she did nothing but talk.

The Irling, E.O. Schlunke


Quite a long opener of a two-sentence paragraph in a tale composed of many two-long-sentence paragraphs.  Old Kronitz dreads the irling, a mysterious twinkling light appearing on the south side of his farm during Waltie’s birth and which had appeared to his ancestors in the forests and swamps of Czestochowa in Poland.  Years later a drama develops when a fat Bavarian who considers himself an educated man arrives in Australia and buys the neighbouring property.  I was surprised by such a story about a Pole and a German, published in 1955.  It’s not hard to see where the author’s sympathies lay.

One thought on “54 great opening lines: 41

  1. Pingback: 54 great opening lines: 43 | Sounds like wish

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