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Dorothy Parker

(22 August 1893 - 7 June 1967 / Long Branch / New Jersey)

Quotations

  • ''Hollywood money isn't money. It's congealed snow, melts in your hand, and there you are.''
    Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. humorous writer. Interview in Writers at Work, First Series, ed. Malcolm Cowley (1958).
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  • ''Gratitude—the meanest and most snivelling attribute in the world.''
    Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. humorous writer. Interview in Writers at Work, First Series, ed. Malcolm Cowley (1958).
  • ''All those writers who write about their childhood! Gentle God, if I wrote about mine you wouldn't sit in the same room with me.''
    Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. humorous writer. Interview in Writers at Work, First Series, ed. Malcolm Cowley (1958).
  • ''I can't talk about Hollywood. It was a horror to me when I was there and it's a horror to look back on. I can't imagine how I did it. When I got away from it I couldn't even refer to the place by name. "Out there," I called it.''
    Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. humorous writer. Interview in Writers at Work, First Series, ed. Malcolm Cowley (1958).
  • ''Those who have mastered etiquette, who are entirely, impeccably right, would seem to arrive at a point of exquisite dullness.''
    Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. humorous writer. repr. in The Portable Dorothy Parker, pt. 2 (1944, revised 1973). "Mrs. Post Enlarges on Etiquette," The New Yorker (December 31, 1927).
  • ''Enjoyed it! One more drink and I'd have been under the host.''
    Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. humorous writer. Quoted in The Algonquin Wits, ed. Robert E. Drennan (1968). On being asked whether she had enjoyed a party.
  • ''This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.''
    Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. humor writer. Quoted in The Algonquin Wits, ed. Robert E. Drennan (1968). Book review.
  • ''Good work, Mary. We all knew you had it in you.''
    Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. humorous writer. Quoted in While Rome Burns, "Our Mrs. Parker," Alexander Woollcott (1934). Telegram to a friend who had just become a mother after a prolonged pregnancy.
  • ''Excuse my dust.''
    Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. humorous writer. Quoted in While Rome Burns, "Our Mrs. Parker," Alexander Woollcott (1934). Suggested epitaph.
  • ''And there was that wholesale libel on a Yale prom. If all the girls attending it were laid end to end, Mrs. Parker said, she wouldn't be at all surprised.''
    Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. humorous writer. Quoted in While Rome Burns, "Our Mrs. Parker," Alexander Woollcott (1934).

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Dilemma

If I were mild, and I were sweet,
And laid my heart before your feet,
And took my dearest thoughts to you,
And hailed your easy lies as true;
Were I to murmur "Yes," and then
"How true, my dear," and "Yes," again,
And wear my eyes discreetly down,
And tremble whitely at your frown,
And keep my words unquestioning

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