The winner of the 26th annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for the worst opening line of an imaginary novel was announced last week (the winner wrote something about passion in a New York City taxi).
However, in a letter to the editor in yesterday’s Globe and Mail, Chris O’Connor, mayor of Lytton, B.C. (Bulwer-Lytton’s namesake), announced the town will host a debate on the merits of Bulwer-Lytton’s prose.
For years, Professor Scott Rice has been making sport of Lord Edward George Bulwer Lytton, with his Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.
Lord Lytton was both a statesman and an author. As colonial secretary, he helped create the Crown Colony of British Columbia in 1858.
Prof. Rice has accepted our challenge to debate Lord Lytton’s writing prowess in our village this Labour Day weekend, with the Hon. Henry Cobbald-Lytton, his great-great-great-grandson.
The Guardian covered this story as well, publishing the entire ridiculed first sentence of Bulwer-Lytton’s novel, Paul Clifford, showing there’s more to “It was a dark and stormy night” than Rice suggests.
The debate will take place on Aug 30 and, as O’Connor says, “It won’t be a ‘dark and stormy night’; the debate is at 3:00 p.m.”