At the height of her powers in the 1930s, Dorothy Parker was lauded as “the wittiest woman in America”. This was high praise indeed but totally justified as Parker’s bon mots and scathing putdowns were the source of much angst and entertainment in the New York theatre scene where she reigned supreme as a critic to be admired, if not feared.
Though it was her skills as a theatre critic and renowned conversationalist that cemented her place in American popular culture she was also a gifted writer of verse, stories, and even screenplays (she was nominated for an Oscar for her work on A star is born). Parker was also well known for her tumultuous private life that included several failed marriages as well as suicide attempts.
Recently I’ve been rediscovering the delights of the divine Mrs Parker in the form of Dorothy Parker : in her own words which documents Parker’s life, loves and career and is interspersed with some of her finely cut and glittering gems of wit such as –
Boys seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses
Brevity is the soul of lingerie
This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
I shall not see – and don’t I know’em? A critic lovely as a poem.
Paris Hilton’s trademark retort “that’s hot” doesn’t really cut the mustard by comparison, does it? But then very little does.
For more Dorothy Parker check out the following –