Amanda and the Purple Quill

Posted by on Dec 8, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

On this day in 1860 Amanda McKittrick Ros—commonly regarded as the worst writer ever to lay pen to paper—was born, and the literary world would never be the same.

Her first novel, Irene Iddesleigh, was published in 1897 by a vanity press and features an indecipherable, Harlequin plot. But it’s her convoluted, adjective-laden sentences filled unnecessary metaphors that have made her of literary humorists contemporary and present. Irene Iddesleigh opens:

“Sympathise with me, indeed! Ah, no! Cast your sympathy on the chill waves of troubled waters; fling it on the oases of futurity; dash it against the rock of gossip; or, better still, allow it to remain within the false and faithless bosom of buried scorn.”

As legend goes, Tolkien and Lewis’s university crew, the Inklings, would play a pub game where one member of the group would read from her poetry and whoever laughed first had to buy a round of pints for the table.

So in tribute to the Bard of Bad Writing, post some of your purplest prose below, and let it be a vivid violet verse rich in adverbs, a veritable feast of the flowery for those piercing orbs of our cyberspace patrons. Oh! give us something that will leave readers touched by the hot hand of bewilderment.

Mark-Anthony Lewis

Mark-Anthony Lewis enjoys reading stories as much as telling them. He also likes Awful Awfuls and pumpkin whoopee pies. You might like his blog. Check it out.

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