"It is in the compelling zest for high adventure and victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys." –Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Inspired by announcing the winners of Red Room's Scandalously Short Story Contest last week, and with the usual caveat to the author of The Little Prince that woman finds her supreme joys in these things, too, Red Room asked its members to blog about a time when they won.
I had a funny shock when I read a sentence in Adam Gopnik's short analysis of the Nobel Prize for Literature in a recent issue of The New Yorker. He wrote, "The real reason literary prizes are so prized, however, is that prize-giving is intrinsic to the purposes of poetry."
"What?!" I thought. "Don't we create art to illuminate, elevate, or entertain?" He explained, of course, that as long as we've written or performed, "literature has been about competition and the possibility of recognition." That need to be recognized, to stand out from a crowd, is universal. Member Thierry F. Kaufmann exemplified this spirit nicely in his short-short post, "This Time I Won": Not only does he equate winning with having his writing published, but it's happening to him now.
A few blog entries stood out this time around:
A personal tragedy made returning to a demanding career after eight years the right move for member Madeline Sharples. She recounts just how right it was in "Woman of Achievement."
A beautifully told, autobiographical tale of a track race at school, member Philip R. Newman's post (his first on Red Room) is best described simply by repeating its title: "A Race I Won and Lost."
The winning of a book as a prize in school wasn't what made member Stephen Philip Pain feel like a winner—it was what was in the book that did it. Find out how in "The Time I Won."
These bloggers will receive books by Red Room authors. Sports are especially in the air right now, with the baseball playoffs in full swing and professional and college football seasons just getting good. Two of prolific sports author Steven Travers recent books have just been released in paperback: One Night, Two Teams: Alabama and USC and the Game that Changed a Nation, about desegregation in college football, and The USC Trojans: College Football's All-Time Greatest Dynasty. Elusive victory in golf has
led to rage and humor; luckily, Chris Rodell chooses the latter in his two funny, informative books, Golf is a Funny Game (co-written with Allan Zullo) and Hole in One! The Complete Book of Fact, Legend, and Lore on Golf's Luckiest Shot. He's also agreed to send a copy of his "Amazing But True Golf Facts" 2011 page-a-day calendar to each of our featured bloggers.
You can see all the "time I won" entries here. I hope you'll find a few favorites and leave a comment on each one letting the writer know you enjoyed it. All of Red Room's past blog topics are here...please feel free to leave suggestions in the comments for future topics. We welcome your ideas!
–Huntington W. Sharp, Senior Editor, Red Room