Dorothy Parker


American Poet, Short Story Writer, Critic and Satirist

Author Quotes

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.

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.

I won't telephone him. I'll never telephone him again as long as I live. He'll rot in hell, before I'll call him up. You don't have to give me strength, God; I have it myself. If he wanted me, he could get me. He knows where I am. He knows I'm waiting here. He's so sure of me, so sure. I wonder why they hate you, as soon as they are sure of you.

I'm never going to accomplish anything; that's perfectly clear to me. I'm never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don't do anything. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don't even do that anymore.

London is satisfied, Paris is resigned, but New York is always hopeful. Always it believes that something good is about to come off, and it must hurry to meet it.

Oh, seek, my love, your newer way; I'll not be left in sorrow. So long as I have yesterday, go take your damned tomorrow!

Symptom Recital: I do not like my state of mind; I'm bitter, querulous, unkind. I hate my legs, I hate my hands, I do not yearn for lovelier lands. I dread the dawn's recurrent light; I hate to go to bed at night. I snoot at simple, earnest folk. I cannot take the gentlest joke. I find no peace in paint or type. My world is but a lot of tripe. I'm disillusioned, empty-breasted. For what I think, I'd be arrested. I am not sick, I am not well. My quondam dreams are shot to hell. My soul is crushed, my spirit sore; I do not like me any more. I cavil, quarrel, grumble, grouse. I ponder on the narrow house. I shudder at the thought of men... I'm due to fall in love again.

The Swiss are a neat and an industrious people, none of whom is under seventy-five years of age.

This wasn't just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.

I'd like to have money. And I'd like to be a good writer. These two can come together, and I hope they will, but if that's too adorable, I'd rather have money.

I'm not a writer with a drinking problem; I'm a drinker with a writing problem.

Love is like mercury in hand. Keep it open and you will remain in PLAMA, make a fist and you will flow through your fingers.

Once, when I was young and true. Someone left me sad - broke my brittle heart in two; and that is very bad. Love is for unlucky folk, love is but a curse. Once there was a heart I broke; and that, I think, is worse.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.

The Trifler: Death's the lover that I'd be taking; wild and fickle and fierce is he. Small's his care if my heart be breaking- gay young Death would have none of me. Hear them clack of my haste to greet him! No one other my mouth had kissed. I had dressed me in silk to meet him- false young Death would not hold the tryst. Slow's the blood that was quick and stormy, smooth and cold is the bridal bed; I must wait till he whistles for me- proud young Death would not turn his head. I must wait till my breast is wilted. I must wait till my back is bowed, I must rock in the corner, jilted- death went galloping down the road. Gone's my heart with a trifling rover. Fine he was in the game he played- kissed, and promised, and threw me over, and rode away with a prettier maid.

Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

I'm of the glamorous ladies at whose beckoning history shook. But you are a man, and see only my pan, so I stay at home with a book.

Love is like quicksilver in the hand. Leave the fingers open and it stays. Clutch it and it darts away.

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American Poet, Short Story Writer, Critic and Satirist