Saturday, July 21, 2007

Dorothy Parker+

One reason I check out ComicMix twice a day is because you never know what'll turn up there. Here's a fine Martha Thomases piece on Dorothy Parker:

Brilliant Disguise #14

Dorothy Parker was a poet, short story writer and critic for The New Yorker in its heyday. When I was first writing, I wanted to be Dorothy Parker. Well, actually, I wanted to be Nora Ephron, who wrote a column in Esquire at the time, and who said that she had once wanted to be Dorothy Parker.


Mostly, however, she was celebrated for being the only woman at the Algonquin Round Table. In a group that included Robert Benchley, Harold Ross, George S. Kaufman, Harpo Marx, Alexander Woollcott and others, Parker was the only woman considered witty enough to be a regular (although Edna Ferber and Jane Grant, Ross’ wife, sat in occasionally).

It was an attractive fantasy for an unpopular girl in boarding school. I was not a person who got to sit at a table with boys. The only males who listened to me were my teachers, who were paid for it. Naturally, I looked for a way to be sought after, instead of merely tolerated. I spent the next twenty years writing, trying to earn my place at the table. If only I had known that the easiest thing to do was to work for a comic book publisher.

For the rest go here

1 comment:

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

In addition to _The Portable Dorothy Parker_, there's an excellent collection of her _New Yorker_ reviews called _Constant Reader_ (Viking, 1970), which also includes Parker's infamous comment on Milne, "Constant Reader fwowed up."