Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A noose of light, a goose of love

I was disappointed on the whole by this year's Bulwer-Lytton winners. One that made me cackle:

As the dark and mysterious stranger approached, Angela bit her lip anxiously, hoping with every nerve, cell, and fiber of her being that this would be the one man who would understand—who would take her away from all this—and who would not just squeeze her boob and make a loud honking noise, as all the others had.
Ali Kawashima
Greensboro, NC

This one gets a pass because it's filed under "Purple Prose" (ironically it only belongs under Vile Puns to the extent that it is filed under P.P.):
As his small boat scudded before a brisk breeze under a sapphire sky dappled with cerulean clouds with indigo bases, through cobalt seas that deepened to navy nearer the boat and faded to azure at the horizon, Ian was at a loss as to why he felt blue. 
Mike Pedersen
North Berwick, ME
And I assume the echo of Fitzgerald here was unintentional, but it still amused me:
The laser-blue eyes of the lone horseman tracked the slowly lengthening lariat of a Laredo dawn as it snaked its way through Dead Man’s Pass into the valley below and snared the still sleeping town’s tiny church steeple in a noose of light with the oh-so-familiar glow of a Dodge City virgin’s last maiden blush.
Graham Thomas
St. Albans, Hertfordshire, U.K.


James said...

Agree that they were generally weak this year, but I actually liked the winner quite a bit:

"Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories."

The trick, I think, is to include enough merit that the atrocity can be felt. So many of the entries are too obviously trying to be bad, undermining their campiness. My reaction is basically, "Oh, I see what you did there." But this, while wretched, is sort of close to good. Its problems are undeniable, but they do not seem to be the point.

Zed said...

You're right, I don't know why I didn't like it on the first pass -- perhaps it struck me as not particularly funny? But it is well above average.