Ed Smiley's Reviews > The Portable Dorothy Parker

The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
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's review
Oct 03, 11

Read from June 13 to October 03, 2011

Because there are a lot of poems and short stories, they ranged between "I liked it" and "I liked it a lot, I gave it 4 stars.

Parker was a notorious wit. She is said to have, when working in Hollywood and in need of a date, appropriated a men's room sign and placed it outside her office door. Needless to say, she met a fair share that time, although a disproportionate amount may have suffered from bladder problems.

She also once stated that "brevity is the soul of lingerie." And noted: "If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."

Dorothy Parker's poetry is concise, direct, full of wit, longing, wry and cynical and often very funny. She waxes especially full on the relationship of men and women, the disappointments of love, a frequent plaint about the misery of life with a spirited toss of the head, and the pluck to go on.

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.

He short stories have a screenplaylike quality, always driven by character dialog in the American idiom; the solitary thought of an individual is nearly always in the form of a soliloquy. Her characters are types from her era, perhaps pathetic, perhaps obnoxious, or absurd, and sometimes heatbreaking and deeply moving. This self deprecating wisecracker cared deeply. She is never afraid to be obvious, which is both her greatest strength and greatest weakness. Though often funny, they also treat of such themes as alcoholism, suicide and racism, and are full of her strong social conscience and contempt for injustice.

It may be noted, in a final irony that is worthy of a Dorothy Parker short story, that her ashes remained unclaimed in various places, including her attorney Paul O'Dwyer's filing cabinet, for approximately 17 years

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Reading Progress

06/13/2011 "I found this hardcover in a treasure trove of free books. Whoopee."
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message 1: by Dvora (new)

Dvora Wonder review Ed, thanks. Loved the poem.

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