Thursday, September 24, 2009

"It was a dark and stormy night..."

An international literary parody contest, the competition honors the memory (if not the reputation) of Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873). The goal of the contest is childishly simple: entrants are challenged to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels. Although best known for "The Last Days of Pompeii" (1834), which has been made into a movie three times, originating the expression "the pen is mightier than the sword," and phrases like "the great unwashed" and "the almighty dollar," Bulwer-Lytton opened his novel Paul Clifford (1830) with the immortal words that the "Peanuts" beagle Snoopy plagiarized for years, "It was a dark and stormy night."

See all the hysterical winners of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest 2009 Results here.
My favorite -
Winner: Science Fiction

The golden, starry wonders of the dark universe unfurled before the brave interstellar vessel "Argus" like a black flag of victory with a whole bunch of holes in it as the mysterious mission buoyantly commenced that would one day resolve critical questions about space, time, and the appropriate ratio of nuts to chips in a perfect chocolate chip cookie.

Robert Friedman Skillman, NJ


hamilcar barca said...

Bulwer-Lytton Awards are kewl! i like then a lot more than the annual Darwin Awards.

Lula O said...

I'd forgotten about those. I don't know. Those Darwin's are funny, in a sick way, as I often groaned inwardly while reading the entries. I guess only pretend people or things are injured or killed with the B-L Awards, and they use phrases like - "Davey Jones be damned," or "acrimonious vipers." Those phrases just aren't used enough in regular speech.