Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Dorothy Parker

Yesterday afternoon I watch Saboteur, which was directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Reading the credits I was interested to see that Dorothy Parker co-wrote the screenplay. I didn't know that she had worked in Hollywood, but a little Googling revealed that she had a successful and lucrative career there in the 1940s. When I was about 15 years old I loved Dorothy Parker. I had an anthology of her poems and journalism, I may even have had a picture of her on my bedroom wall. Her life just seemed so exotic and exciting. I wanted a time machine to take me back to New York in the 1920s (actually it would have to be a time and space machine. A Tardis basically), so I could sit in on the witty conversations taking place at the Algonquin Hotel.

Of course I now realise that a life lived like that has its downsides. Dorothy Parker died almost penniless, her health ruined by years of heavy drinking. But her golden years were certainly very golden, and she was funny.

Resume by Dorothy Parker
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

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