A Dark and Stormy Night

Category: Cool-Stuff

I was just thinking back to the wonderful 'Bad Literature' parody that Saturday Night Live created years ago. Is there something like that in the online world?

Bad is Good

But of course! The Internet is filled with bad literature, bad writers, and websites where they are celebrated. The most famous site of that genre that comes to mind is the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

For over twenty years, San Jose State University's English Department has sponsored this whimsical literary competition that challenges writers to compose the worst possible opening sentence for a novel. The inspiration for the contest was Edward George Bulwer-Lytton's 1830 novel "Paul Clifford" which began with these often-plagiarized words:

"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

The Envelope Please...

Although his entry was not selected as the winner, Ken Aclin of Shreveport, LA did receive the "Grand Panjandrum's Special Award" for this entry:

India, which hangs like a wet washcloth from the towel rack of Asia, presented itself to Tex as he landed in Delhi (or was it Bombay?), as if it mattered because Tex finally had an idea to make his mark and fortune and that idea was a chain of steak houses to serve the millions and he wondered, as he deplaned down the steep, shiny, steel steps, why no one had thought of it before.

You can find the winner, and a bunch of other humorous entries deemed worthy of special mention, here.

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08 May 2007

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