Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
See many of the entries at http://www2.sjsu.edu/depts/english/2005.htm
A 43-year-old quantitative analyst for Microsoft Great Plains is the
winner of the 23rd running of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. A
resident of Fargo, North Dakota, McKay is currently visiting China,
perhaps to escape notoriety for his dubious literary achievement.
His entry, [In this post I have put it below] extolling a subject that
has engaged poets for millennia, may have been inspired by Roxie Hart
of the musical "Chicago." Complaining of her husband's ineptitude in
the boudoir, Roxie laments, "Amos was . . . zero. I mean, he made love
to me like he was fixing a carburetor or something."
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."
THE 2005 WINNER IS:
Dan McKay of Fargo, ND who wrote:
As he stared at her ample bosom, he daydreamed of the dual Stromberg
carburetors in his vintage Triumph Spitfire, highly functional yet
pleasingly formed, perched prominently on top of the intake manifold,
aching for experienced hands, the small knurled caps of the oil
dampeners begging to be inspected and adjusted as described in chapter
seven of the shop manual.