Words do carry strength

Writer's Fight Club challenges people to quote favorite authors.

Thomas Southall

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If Chuck Palanuik’s novel “Fight Club” taught me anything, then I shouldn’t have written this article much less mention it.

Few things are more terrifying than breaking a rule of “Fight Club” and evoking the rage of a bloody, shirtless, anarchist Brad Pitt. However, this is the Writer’s Fight Club, an event happening on Thursday, Nov. 12 at Raynor Library from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., so there will be no fists. Even though I was kind of looking forward to that.

I can’t help imagining two hipsters, smacking their rival with a MacBook in a swift uppercut or a beanie wearing vegan dual wielding copies of Robert Frost Anthologies, nimbly playing with them in their hands like a pair of stiletto knives.

Two enter the ring, only one leaves. Well, the loser can leave too, whenever they want (they’re not prisoners) they’ll just leave with their dignity slightly bruised.

The idea for the event came from the minds of event coordinators Lisa Bonvissuto and Kieran Moriarty, two seniors in the College of Arts & Science. They wanted to do something for National Novel Writing Month, which sets up the challenge for participants to write a novel within the month of November.

Unlike “Fight Club,” rules are less violent, but just as interesting. With the same concept as March Madness, two contestants go head to head. Taking turns, they have two minutes to cite a notable quote from an author. After the emcee asks the audience to applaud for either contender, the one with the most applause is declared the winner. The quotes are chosen from anything the authors have said, whether its through their novels, interviews or letters. The trick is to try not to cram all the words in at once for your two minutes. Pro Tip: Bonvissuto said the audience responds best to shorter memorable quotes, so you don’t risk losing their interest.

Last year’s winner was John Curran, a Renaissance Literature and Shakespeare professor, with some quotes from the works of Shakespeare. Leah Flack, an assistant English professor also participated with readings from James Joyce. This year more professors plan to appear such as assistant English professors Gerry Canavan, quoting Kurt Vonnegut (rumored to be in a full Vonnegut costume), and Brittany Pladek quoting Henry Wadsworth.

But don’t let the competition intimidate you; Writer’s Fight Club is open to anyone interested in reading from his or her favorite authors or for just spectating. Last year many students duked it out armed with the words from Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Gillian Flynn and Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

 

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