By Irena Choi Stern, Board member, Friends of the Bronxville Public Library
Aug. 12, 2020: Richard Detwiler was declared the winner of a literary contest, sponsored by the Friends of the Bronxville Public Library (FOBPL), by submitting “the best opening line of a well known novel, adjusted to the age of coronavirus.”
Detwiler’s winning entry is: Someone must have been breathing near Josef K., he knew he had done nothing wrong but, one morning, he was infected. -- “The Trial” by Franz Kafka.
Detwiler will receive signed copies of “Pachinko” and “Free Food for Millionaires” by Min Jin Lee, donated by the author to the Friends of the Bronxville Public Library for its March benefit, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus.
“We thank everyone for entering the contest, and we are especially grateful to author Min Jin Lee for her support for our library,” said Dina Grant, president of the FOBPL Board. “We had so many terrific entries, that it wasn’t an easy decision for the Board.”
Other contenders included:
It was the worst of times. That's basically it. -- “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of virus, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of community spread, it was the epoch of containment, it was the season of pandemic, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of masks, it was the winter of despair… -- “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. -- “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens
Papa, where are you going with that mask? -- “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White
Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them social-distancing. -- “The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner
For a long time, I went to bed early, because there was nothing else to do while sheltering in place. — “Swann's Way” by Marcel Proust
Call me COVID-19. — “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville
Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is quarantined. — “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy
We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the coronavirus began to take hold. -- “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” by Hunter S. Thompson
We were somewhere around Bleecker on the edge of the sidewalk when the virus began to take hold. -- “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” by Hunter S. Thompson
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a vaccine. -- “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen
I am seated in a home office, surrounded by no heads and bodies. -- “Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace
Corona, light of my life, fire of my loins. - “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabakov
Pictured: Richard and Barbara Detwiler
Photo courtesy Friends of the Bronxville Library
Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.