Elizabethan London

Elizabethan London
Tyburn was an infamous execution spot west of London, used since medieval times. The Tyburn "tree" - a unique, multi-person gallows - erected in 1571 became a popular public spectacle, drawing crowds of thousands.Tyburn Tree blog is less blood-thirsty but hopefully topical, interesting and informative, if slightly bent to my personal topics of interest - books, writing, history, technology, with a smattering of politics and dash of pop culture, science and the downright strange. So "take a ride to Tyburn" and see what happens...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

“It was a dark and stormy night...

It is time again for reams of deathless prose to fall trippingly and winningly (agitatingly even...) onto the page. It is time to read, nay, to declaim with unadulterated joy, the best and most articulate expression of literature that the world, dare I say it, has ever beheld.

In short, the results for the 2012 Bulwer Lytton Competition are in.

Edward George Bulwer-Lytton was the author of Paul Clifford (1830), a book widely remembered and oft-cited for it's florid opening passage:

“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.”

To honour writers of purple prose everywhere, San Jose University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest since 1982. Thousands of entries are submitted each year, the best of which are selected as finalists and winners for a variety of categories. Earning a nod from the Bulwer-Lytton judges requires a substantial dive into a deep, deep well of sublime, ear-bleeding prose...

Here is the 2012 Grand Prize Winner:

"As he told her that he loved her she gazed into his eyes, wondering, as she noted the infestation of eyelash mites, the tiny deodicids burrowing into his follicles to eat the greasy sebum therein, each female laying up to 25 eggs in a single follicle, causing inflammation, whether the eyes are truly the windows of the soul; and, if so, his soul needed regrouting." - Cathy Bryant, Manchester, England

You can find the many category winners and finalists listed on the Bulwer-Lytton site, it is well worth a look.

My personal favorite - the Crime Fiction winner:

"She slinked through my door wearing a dress that looked like it had been painted on … not with good paint, like Behr or Sherwin-Williams, but with that watered-down stuff that bubbles up right away if you don’t prime the surface before you slap it on, and – just like that cheap paint – the dress needed two more coats to cover her." - Sue Fondrie, Appleton, WI

and the Dishonorable Mention winner (I just can't resist):

"Inspector Murphy stood up when he saw me, then looked down at the lifeless body, crumpled like a forlorn Snicker’s candy wrapper, and after a knowing glance at Detective Wilson pointed to the darkening crimson pool spreading from the stiff’s shattered noggin, and said, “You settle it, Gibson; does that puddle look more like a duck or a cow?” - Carl Stich, Mariemont, Ohio


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