Great article today by Jhumpa Lahiri in the NYT, on those sentences in literature that make us stop in our tracks. The one above (Joyce) is perfect– I see it in Jack every time he’s out in the yard with his pals.
“In fiction, plenty do the job of conveying information, rousing suspense, painting characters, enabling them to speak. But only certain sentences breathe and shift about, like live matter in soil. The first sentence of a book is a handshake, perhaps an embrace. Style and personality are irrelevant. They can be formal or casual. They can be tall or short or fat or thin. They can obey the rules or break them. But they need to contain a charge. A live current, which shocks and illuminates.”