Chamblee54

What Did Dorothy Parker Say? Part Two

Posted in The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on July 28, 2013

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The other day there was a post here on the dotty subject of Dorothy Parker quotes. The departed dipsomaniac would seem to be a quote magnet.

One quote, that appears to be genuine, is about another quote magnet, Oscar Wilde. “A Pig’s-Eye View of Literature: Oscar Wilde If with the literate I am Impelled to try an epigram, I never seek to take the credit; We all assume that Oscar said it.” (First printed in Life, (2 June 1927) p. 13 When you can give a source for a quote, the chances of it’s legitimacy go up tremendously.)

The original plan for this post was to do a wikiquotes search of the quotes in this post. This concept very quickly turned out to be too much work. The first paragraph of the original post has a clue.

PG first heard of Dorothy Parker in tenth grade. His friend, Bob Gibson, cut the poem Resume out of the literature text book, and carried it in his wallet. Mrs. Parker had been dead for two years at the time, with the ashes resting in her attorney’s filing cabinet. … there was another comment : Re “The Cardinal’s Mistress” by Benito Mussolini, Dorothy Parker wrote one of my favorite bon mots: “This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”

In the post the other day, it was discovered that the poem about W.R. Hearst was written by someone else. Which brings us to “The Cardinal”s Mistress”. Yes, that was written by Hitler’s BFF, Benito Mussolini. When he wasn’t making the trains run on time, he wrote a sappy novel. And the comment by Miss Parker is great. But did she really say it?

A blogspot facility called Heavens to Mergatroyd has the text from a New Yorker review of TCM. It is a delightful read. However, the landmark quote is not there. The spell check suggestion for mergatroyd is derogatory.

Wikiquotes calls the comment “misattributed”. “Quoted in The Algonquin Wits (1968) edited by Robert E. Drennan, and Try and Stop Me. As noted at Snopes, Drennan’s source seems to be a Parker review which does not seem to contain this quote. If Parker wrote this statement anywhere the primary source seems to have gone missing.”

Try and Stop Me is a newspaper column by Bennett Cerf. The link is to The Dispatch, Lexington N.C., October 12, 1962. Next to the column is The Dispatch Religious Activities, Directory of Churches. The pastor of First Baptist is David Hoke Coon, Jr.

While preparing this commentary, an effort was made to find the text for “Resume”. It is a bona fide quote, first printed in New York World August 16, 1925. While looking for the text, Google suggested a search for “resume dorothy parker analysis.” One result was sponsored by a politician, Michelle Nunn. Another had this to say. “We know that we’re being a bit obvious here. But check it out: almost every single line in this poem offers an idea for a different way to die. When it comes to wordplay, Parker’s not messi…” Maybe she meant to say messy.

Pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.

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  1. Dorothy Parker | Chamblee54 said, on June 12, 2019 at 10:14 am

    […] did nicely without a middle name. Chamblee54 has featured Miss Parker several times (one, two, three, four.) Today, these four posts will be combined into one. Pictures are from “The Special […]


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