Dorothy Parker Quotes

...as for helping me in the outside world, the Convent taught me only that if you spit on a pencil eraser, it will erase ink.
Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. author and humorist. As quoted in The Late Mrs. Dorothy Parker, ch. 2, by Leslie Frewin (1986). At age six, Parker—though the daughter of a Jewish father—began attending the Blessed Sacrament Convent school in New York City. She was a rebellious student, and when she was thirteen, the nuns asked her parents to withdraw her.
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Maybe it is only I, but conditions are such these days, that if you use studiously correct grammar, people suspect you of homosexual tendencies.
Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. author and humorist. As quoted in The Late Mrs. Dorothy Parker, ch. 11, by Leslie Frewin (1986). Parker was a grammatically fastidious writer of fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews. She said this ca. 1925.
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I have heard it said that it took Messrs. Shipman and Hymer [the playwrights] just three- and-a-half days to write their drama. I should like to know what they were doing during the three days.
Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. author and humorist. As quoted in The Late Mrs. Dorothy Parker, ch. 10, by Leslie Frewin (1986). On a review, written for Vanity Fair magazine, of a bad play.
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I was the toast of two continents: Greenland and Australia.
Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. author and humorist. As quoted in You Might as Well Live, part 1, ch. 6, by John Keats (1970). Parker was recalling her 1920s reputation as a rather silly "smartcracker."
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Out in Hollywood, where the streets are paved with Goldwyn, the word "sophisticate" means, very simply, "obscene." A sophisticated story is a dirty story. Some of that meaning was wafted eastward and got itself mixed up into the present definition. So that a "sophisticate" means: one who dwells in a tower made of a DuPont substitute for ivory and holds a glass of flat champagne in one hand and an album of dirty post cards in the other.
Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. author and humorist. As quoted in You Might as Well Live, part 3, ch. 6, by John Keats (1970). From a speech given in 1939 to the left-wing Congress of American Voters: "Sophisticated Verse and the Hell With It." Samuel Goldwyn (1882-1974) was a movie producer.
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Scratch a lover, and find a foe.
Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. humorous writer. Ballade of a Great Weariness, Enough Rope (1926).
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People Who Do things exceed my endurance; God, for a man that solicits insurance!
Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. author and humorist. "Bohemia," lines 9-10 (c. late 1920s). The poem is a put-down of tedious, self-absorbed "authors ... artists ... sculptors ... singers ... playwrights ... poets ... diarists ... critics". Parker's first husband, Edwin Pond Parker II, sold insurance.
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Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song, A medley of extemporanea; And love is a thing that can never go wrong; And I am Marie of Roumania.
Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. humorous writer. Comment, Enough Rope (1926).
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... if this world were anything near what it should be there would be no more need of a Book Week than there would be a of a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. author and humorist. Constant Reader, column dated February 11, 1928 (1970).
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You don't want a general houseworker, do you? Or a traveling companion, quiet, refined, speaks fluent French entirely in the present tense? Or an assistant billiard-maker? Or a private librarian? Or a lady car-washer? Because if you do, I should appreciate your giving me a trial at the job. Any minute now, I am going to become one of the Great Unemployed. I am about to leave literature flat on its face. I don't want to review books any more. It cuts in too much on my reading.
Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. author, book reviewer, and humorist. Constant Reader, ch. 12 (1970). From a column dated February 4, 1928, in which she reviewed an important but difficult novel by Ford Madox Ford: The Last Post.
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