Dorothy Parker


American Poet, Short Story Writer, Critic and Satirist

Author Quotes

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.

You think you're frightening me with your hell, don't you? You think Yyur hell is worse than mine.

You were perfectly fine.

Women and elephants never forget.

Writing is the art of applying the ass to the seat.

Yet, as only New Yorkers know, if you can get through the twilight, you'll live through the night.

You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think.

You can't teach an old dogma new tricks.

If I didn't care for fun and such, I'd probably amount to much. But I shall stay the way I am, because I do not give a damn.

In youth, it was a way I had, to do my best to please. And change, with every passing lad to suit his theories. But now I know the things I know and do the things I do, and if you do not like me so, to hell, my love, with you.

Men: They hail you as their morning star because you are the way you are. If you return the sentiment, they'll try to make you different; and once they have you, safe and sound, they want to change you all around. Your moods and ways they put a curse on; they'd make of you another person. They cannot let you go your gait; they influence and educate. They'd alter all that they admired. They make me sick, they make me tired.

Pictures pass me in long review,-- marching columns of dead events. I was tender, and, often, true; ever a prey to coincidence. Always knew I the consequence; always saw what the end would be. We're as Nature has made us -- hence I loved them until they loved me.

That woman speaks eighteen languages, and can't say 'No' in any of them.

There are times when images blow to fluff, and comparisons stiffen and shrivel.

To me, the raveled sleeve of care is never more painlessly knitted up than in an evening alone in a chair snug yet copious, with a good light and an easily held little volume sloppily printed and bound in inexpensive paper. I do not ask much of it - which is just as well, for that is all I get. It does not matter if I guess the killer, and if I happen to discover, along around page 208, that I have read the work before, I attribute the fact not to the less than arresting powers of the author, but to my own lazy memory. I like best to have one book in my hand, and a stack of others on the floor beside me, so as to know the supply of poppy and mandragora will not run out before the small hours. In all reverence I say Heaven bless the Whodunit, the soothing balm on the wound, the cooling hand on the brow, the opiate of the people.

If I don't drive around the park, I'm pretty sure to make my mark. If I'm in bed each night by ten, I may get back my looks again, if I abstain from fun and such, I'll probably amount to much, but I shall stay the way I am, because I do not give a damn.

It costs me never a stab nor squirm to tread by chance upon a worm. Aha, my little dear, I say, your clan will pay me back one day.

Misfortune, and recited misfortune especially, can be prolonged to the point where it ceases to excite pity and arouses only irritation.

Prince or commoner, tenor or bass, painter or plumber or never-do-well, do me a favor and shut your face - Poets alone should kiss and tell.

That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.

There must be courage; there must be no awe. There must be criticism, for humor, to my mind, is encapsulated in criticism. There must be a disciplined eye and a wild mind...There must be a magnificent disregard of your reader, for if he cannot follow you, there is nothing you can do about it.

Tomorrow's gone-we'll have tonight!

If I had a shiny gun I could have a world of fun speeding bullets through the brains of the folks that cause me pains.

It is that word 'hunny,' my darlings, that marks the first place in The House at Pooh Corner at which Tonstant Weader fwowed up.

Money cannot buy health, but I'd settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair.

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American Poet, Short Story Writer, Critic and Satirist