Alien encounters of a different sort used to take place at the Round Table of the Algonquin Hotel in New York City where its literary members gathered for lunch – humorist Robert Benchley, playwright Robert E. Sherwood, newspaper columnists Franklin Pierce Adams and Alexander Woollcott, and Dorothy Parker. Born August 22, 1893, Parker was a poet, short story writer, screenwriter, critic and satirist, best known for her caustic wit and wisecracks.

Through the re-printing of her lunchtime remarks and short verses, Parker gained a national reputation. One of her most famous comments was made when the group was informed that former parker2president Calvin Coolidge had died; Parker remarked, “How could they tell?”

If all the girls attending [the Yale prom] were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

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

You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.

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

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

It serves me right for putting all my eggs in one bastard.

parker 1

If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.


4 thoughts on “August 22, 1893: Have Tongue, Will Travel

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