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American author (1893-1967)

Dorothy Parker quote

All right, God, send me to hell. You think You're frightening me with Your hell, don't You? You think Your hell is worse than mine.

DOROTHY PARKER, "A Telephone Call"

Scratch a lover, and find a foe.

DOROTHY PARKER, "Ballads of a Great Weariness," Enough Rope

I'm never going to accomplish anything; that's perfectly clear to me. I'm never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don't do anything. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don't even do that any more.

DOROTHY PARKER, "The Little Hours," Here Lies

I can't write five words but that I change seven.

DOROTHY PARKER, The Paris Review, summer 1956

Men seldom make passes
At girls who wear glasses.

DOROTHY PARKER, New York World, Aug. 16, 1925

There's life for you. Spend the best years of your life studying penmanship and rhetoric and syntax and Beowulf and George Eliot, and then somebody steals your pencil.

DOROTHY PARKER, The Portable Dorothy Parker

There's a hell of a distance between wisecracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words.

DOROTHY PARKER, The Paris Review, summer 1956

Heterosexuality is not normal, it's just common.

DOROTHY PARKER, attributed, Women Know Everything!

That woman speaks eighteen languages, and can't say No in any of them.

DOROTHY PARKER, attributed, "Our Mrs. Parker," While Rome Burns

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

DOROTHY PARKER, attributed, The Algonquin Wits

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

DOROTHY PARKER, attributed, The Red Hat Society's Laugh Lines

If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.

DOROTHY PARKER, attributed, The Natural History of the Rich

This wasn't just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.

DOROTHY PARKER, Women Know Everything!

The men you imitate in verse influence your prose.

DOROTHY PARKER, The Paris Review, summer 1956

I hate writing, I love having written.

DOROTHY PARKER, attributed, Rhymes with Vain

I know that an author must be brave enough to chop away clinging tentacles of good taste for the sake of a great work. But this is no great work, you see.

DOROTHY PARKER, "The Socialist Looks at Literature," Dec. 10, 1927

It’s easier to write about those you hate—just as it’s easier to criticize a bad play or a bad book.

DOROTHY PARKER, The Paris Review, summer 1956

Excuse my dust.

DOROTHY PARKER, Vanity Fair, Jun. 1925

You can't teach an old dogma new tricks.

DOROTHY PARKER, attributed, The Algonquin Wits

Brevity is the soul of lingerie.


The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.

DOROTHY PARKER, attributed, Women Know Everything!

Take me or leave me; or, as is the usual order of things, both.

DOROTHY PARKER, Constant Reader

Gertrude Stein did us the most harm when she said, “You’re all a lost generation.” That got around to certain people and we all said, Whee! We’re lost. Perhaps it suddenly brought to us the sense of change. Or irresponsibility. But don’t forget that, though the people in the twenties seemed like flops, they weren’t. Fitzgerald, the rest of them, reckless as they were, drinkers as they were, they worked damn hard and all the time.

DOROTHY PARKER, The Paris Review, summer 1956

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

DOROTHY PARKER, attributed, Women Know Everything!

Ducking for apples -- change one letter and it's the story of my life.

DOROTHY PARKER, attributed, The Illustrated Dictionary of Snark

All those writers who write about their childhood! Gentle God, if I wrote about mine you wouldn’t sit in the same room with me.

DOROTHY PARKER, The Paris Review, summer 1956

I never see that prettiest thing--
A cherry bough gone white with Spring--
But what I think, "How gay 'twould be
To hang me from a flowering tree.

DOROTHY PARKER, Not So Deep As A Well: Collected Poems

By the time you swear you're his,
Shivering and sighing.
And he vows his passion is,
Infinite, undying.
Lady make note of this --
One of you is lying.

DOROTHY PARKER, "Unfortunate Coincidence", Not So Deep as a Well

As only New Yorkers know, if you can get through the twilight, you'll live through the night.

DOROTHY PARKER, "New York at 6:30 PM"

Money cannot buy health, but I'd settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair.

DOROTHY PARKER, Dorothy Parker in Her Own Words

They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.

DOROTHY PARKER, New York World, Jan. 20, 1928


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