Monday, May 21, 2012
Rec. #237: Dorothy Parker --- What Fresh Hell Is This?
What: Some people go through a Sylvia Plath phase or a Jack Kerouac phase. I went through a Dorothy Parker phase and, frankly, it's ongoing. Parker was the brittle soul of the Algonquin Round Table in 1920s New York, and this biography by Marion Meade fully explores every damaged relationship, every jaded poem, every stripped-bare story, every failed suicide attempt, and every biting quip.
Some of Parker's famous biting quips:
"Wasn't the Yale prom wonderful? If all the girls in attendance were laid end to end, I wouldn't be at all surprised."
"This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force."
"That woman speaks eighteen languages, and can't say No in any of them."
"Heterosexuality is not normal, it's just common."
"I don't care what is written about me so long as it isn't true."
You might not like it if: You get weighed down by the tales of depression and alcoholism, and the bright flashes of dry genius aren't enough to lift you back up.
How to get it: Buyable, borrowable, Kindle-able.
Connections to previous Wreckage: I recommended The Portable Dorothy Parker for Personal Wreck #3. Also, Fran Lebowitz, with such works as Metropolitan Life (Rec. #188), is often compared to Dorothy Parker.