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date: 26 November 2020

Parker, Dorothylocked

  • Joy Arbor

Extract

Dorothy Parker is often remembered as a wit of the 1920s and 1930s, the author of such quips as “You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think” and “Boys seldom make passes / At girls who wear glasses.” She is associated with the Algonquin Round Table and the early New Yorker. Infamous for her biting remarks, outrageous behavior, and heavy drinking, she has been the subject of numerous novels, plays, and screenplays, most recently Alan Rudolph's 1994 film, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, with Jennifer Jason Leigh in the title role. In the public imagination, Parker's celebrity and caustic personality often overshadow her significant literary achievements as a short-story writer, poet, critic, screenwriter, and playwright, as well as her political commitments. Yet Dorothy Parker's work ought not to be overlooked. Parker is important to literary and cultural history as a writer, a sharp-eyed critic, and a champion of political freedom. During her life, Parker was also a wildly popular writer; her books of poetry and short stories were best-sellers. The Portable Dorothy Parker, arranged by Parker in 1943 and released by Viking in 1944 specifically for servicemen overseas, is one of only three in the series (they now number more than seventy-five) that has sold steadily and never gone out of print. The other two are The Portable Shakespeare and The Portable World Bible

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