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A veritable McGuffey's Reader of Scarlet Letters

Your Humble Blogger was thinking that there should really be something on this Tohu Bohu today, but was utterly without ideas for a post, when—la!—I discover the winners of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for 2009. I don’t know if these are newly announced, but I hadn’t seen them yet this year.

As with most years, I am mostly disappointed in how obviously facetious the entries are. There are a few chosen for dissemination that are simply set-ups for terrible puns (open-toad sandals, how green was my valet) or similar jokes; there are several who have as their joke the winding simile or other dependent-clause pileup. My preference is for those entries that seem, somehow, like they could really be serious, the effort of an actual writer writing an actual book, only so fundamentally misguided to be, well, worthy of an award.

The serrated butter knife tossed capriciously onto the 38th Street sidewalk amid the detritus of Salem cigarette butts and a Mentos box was devoid of zero trans fat margarine, but glinted invitingly in the sunlight nonetheless, poised for the opportunity to be repurposed to cut up a Snuggie, and Vladimir took it.

That would be the entry of Amy E. Gross, and I think it’s my favorite of the ones on that award page. I can imagine writing that, myself. And not noticing.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


i would give an award to _the caryatids_.

Only if they give me an award first. I mean, fair's fair.


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