White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dark and Stormy Night, Boston, Massachusetts, USA


"It was a dark and stormy night...." is the introductory line to an 1830 novel, Paul Clifford, written by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton.  It now serves as the dubious standard for prospective writers to compete in a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels. (Full quote at the bottom of this post)

Along Canal Street. It really was a dark and stormy night in Boston.

Along Congress Street.

Along Union Street.

In the background, the Old Custom House and in the foreground, the Christmas tree at Quincy market.


At Quincy Market.

"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." --Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)

The winning entry of the 2011 contest is:  "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."   Sue Fondrie, Oshkosh, WI.  At only 26 words, it is the shortest of all the First Place winners since 1982.


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