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Dorothy Parker


A poet, short-story writer, theater critic
and screenwriter, Dorothy Parker is best remembered for her wit.
Below are a few choice examples:

"It's a small apartment, I've barely enough room to lay my hat and a few friends." On learning that Calvin Coolidge was dead she remarked, "How could they tell?" "Are you Dorothy Parker?" a guest at a party inquired. "Yes, do you mind?" "You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think." In a book review: "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown aside with great force." In 1925, Harold Ross was struggling to keep The New Yorker magazine alive with a tiny, inexperienced staff and an office with one typewriter. Running into Dorothy, Ross said, "I thought you were coming into the office to write a piece last week. What happened?" Dorothy replied, "Somebody was using the pencil." "I can't write five words but that I change seven." "Brevity is the soul of lingerie." "I like to have a martini, Two at the very most. After three I'm under the table, After four I'm under my host!" In the street once Dorothy approached a taxi. "I'm engaged," the cabbie said. "Then be happy," she told him. Wasn't the Yale prom wonderful? "If all the girls in attendance were laid end to end," she said, "I wouldn't be at all surprised." "Look at him, a rhinestone in the rough." "Salary is no object: I want only enough to keep body and soul apart." "You know, that woman speaks 18 languages, and she can't say "no" in any of them." "His body has gone to his head." In a 1933 review of the play "The Lake" starring Katherine Hepburn:"Miss Hepburn runs the gamut of emotions from A to B" "Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses." Of the play "The House Beautiful": "The House Beautiful is The Play Lousy." Young man to Dorothy Parker: "I can't bear fools." Dorothy Parker to young man: "Funny, your mother could." In a New Yorker review of A.A. Milne's "House at Pooh Corner": "Tonstant weader fwowed up." Another book review: "He is beyond question a writer of power; and his power lies in his ability to make sex so thoroughly, graphically and aggressively unattractive that one is fairly shaken to ponder how little one has been missing." For her own epitaph:"Excuse my dust."


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