Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Dorothy Parker

American Poet, Short Story Writer, Critic and Satirist

"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity."

"A hangover is the wrath of grapes."

"A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika."

"Accursed from their birth they be who seek to find monogamy, pursuing it from bed to bed— I think they would be better dead."

"All I need is room enough to lay a hat and a few friends."

"All I have to be thankful for in this world is that I was sitting down when my garter busted."

"And there was that poor sucker Flaubert rolling around on his floor for three days looking for the right word."

"And if my heart be scarred and burned, the safer, I, for all I learned."

"Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone."

"Be you wise and never sad, you will get your lovely lad. Never serious be, nor true, and your wish will come to you-- and if that makes you happy, kid, you'll be the first it ever did."

"Authors and actors and artists and such - Never know nothing, and never know much."

"Because your eyes are slant and slow, because your hair is sweet to touch, my heart is high again; but oh, I doubt if this will get me much."

"Ah, clear they see and true they say that one shall weep, and one shall stray."

"And let her loves, when she is dead write this above her bones, no more she lives to give us bread who asked her only stones."

"Bewildered is the fox who lives to find that grapes beyond reach can be really sour."

"Brevity is the soul of lingerie."

"But I don't give up; I forget why not."

"Daily dawns another day; I must up, to make my way. Though I dress and drink and eat, move my fingers and my feet, learn a little, here and there, weep and laugh and sweat and swear,hear a song, or watch a stage, leave some words upon a page, claim a foe, or hail a friend- bed awaits me at the end."

"Constant use had not worn ragged the fabric of their friendship."

"Don't look at me in that tone of voice."

"But I give you my word, in the entire book there is nothing that cannot be said aloud in mixed company. And there is, also, nothing that makes you a bit the wiser. I wonder--oh, what will you think of me--if those two statements do not verge upon the synonymous."

"By the time you swear you're his, shivering and sighing. And he vows his passion is, infinite, undying. Lady make note of this -- One of you is lying."

"Ducking for apples -- change one letter and it's the story of my life."

"Every year, back comes Spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants."

"Drink and dance and laugh and lie, love, the reeling midnight through, for tomorrow we shall die! (But, alas, we never do.)"

"Excuse my dust."

"Emily Post's Etiquette is out again, this time in a new and an enlarged edition, and so the question of what to do with my evenings has been all fixed up for me."

"For a few minutes, everything is so cute that the mind reels.... And then, believe it or not, things get worse. So I shot myself."

"Four be the things I am wiser to know: Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe. Four be the things I'd been better without: Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt. Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, content, and sufficient champagne. Three be the things I shall have till I die: Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye."

"Friends come and go but I wouldn't have thought you'd be one of them."

"For years I have been crouching in corners hissing small and ladylike anathema of Theodore Dreiser."

"Four be the things I'd have been better without: love, curiosity, freckles and doubt."

"God, the bitter misery that reading works into this world! Everybody knows that - everbody who IS everybody. All the best minds have been off reading for years. Look at the swing La Rouchefoucauld took at it. He said that if nobody had ever learned to read, very few people would be in love. Good for you, La Rouchefoucauld; nice going, boy. I wish I’d never learned to read."

"God's acre was her garden-spot, she said; She sat there often, of the Summer days, little and slim and sweet, among the dead, her hair a fable in the leveled rays."

"Gertrude Stein did us the most harm when she said, 'You're all a lost generation.' That got around to certain people and we all said, 'Whee! We're lost."

"Hence, goes on the professor, definitions of happiness are interesting. I suppose the best thing to do with that is to let is pass. Me, I never saw a definition of happiness that could detain me after train-time, but that may be a matter of lack of opportunity, of inattention, or of congenital rough luck. If definitions of happiness can keep Professor Phelps on his toes, that is little short of dandy. We might just as well get on along to the next statement, which goes like this: One of the best (we are still on definitions of happiness) was given in my Senior year at college by Professor Timothy Dwight: 'The happiest person is the person who thinks the most interesting thoughts.' Promptly one starts recalling such Happiness Boys as Nietzche, Socrates, de Maupassant, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, William Blake, and Poe."

"Her big heart did not, as is so sadly often the case, inhabit a big bosom."

"Her mind lives tidily, apart from cold and noise and pain. And bolts the door against her heart, out wailing in the rain."

"He'll be cross if he sees I have been crying. They don't like you to cry. He doesn't cry. I wish to God I could make him cry. I wish I could make him cry and tread the floor and feel his heart heavy and big and festering in him. I wish I could hurt him like hell. He doesn't wish that about me. I don't think he even knows how he makes me feel. I wish he could know, without my telling him. They don't like you to tell them they've made you cry. They don't like you to tell them you're unhappy because of them. If you do, they think you're possessive and exacting. And then they hate you. They hate you whenever you say anything you really think. You always have to keep playing little games. Oh, I thought we didn't have to; I thought this was so big I could say whatever I meant. I guess you can't, ever. I guess there isn't ever anything big enough for that."

"His books are exciting and powerful and — if I may filch the word from the booksy ones — pulsing."

"Heterosexuality is not normal, it's just common."

"His voice was as intimate as the rustle of sheets."

"Hold your pen and spare your voice."

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

"I can’t write five words but that I change seven."

"I cannot be just for books that deal with the woman as woman ... My idea is that everyone, both men and women, we sayons, we must be regarded as human beings."

"I don't know much about being a millionaire, but I'll bet I'd be darling at it."

"I don't care what is written about me so long as it isn't true."

"I find her anecdotes more efficacious than sheep-counting, rain on a tin roof, or alanol tablets.... you will find me and Morpheus, off in a corner, necking."

"I don't know, she said. We used to squabble a lot when we were going together and then engaged and everything, but I thought everything would be so different as soon as you were married. And now I feel so sort of strange and everything. I feel so sort of alone."