"Even dead gods reign" (Christa Wolf in Medea)
Thinking of great beginnings (e.g. Kafka's 'The Castle'), I remembered Christa Wolf's Medea:
"Even dead gods reign. Even the hapless fear for their happiness. The language of dreams. The language of the past. Help me up, up out of this shaft, away from this clanging in my head, why do I hear the clash of weapons, does that mean they're fighting, who's fighting, Mother, my Colchians, am I hearing their war games in our inner courtyard, or where I am, because the clashing keeps getting louder. Thirsty. I must wake up. I must open my eyes. The pitcher next to the bed. Cool water doesn't just quench my thirst, it stills the noise in my brain too. But I know about that. You sat there next to me, Mother, and if I turned my head like this I could see out the window, as I can here, where I am?"
Margaret Atwood said about this book: "The question it asks the reader, through many voices and in many different ways, is: What would you be willing to believe, to accept, to conceal, to do, to save your own skin, or simply to stay close to power? Who would you be willing to sacrifice?"