"That bird only sings when she's unhappy."
“You can drag a horticulture, but you can't make her think.”Dorothy Parker (1893–1967) was an American poet, critic, and satirist, known for her biting wit. Her written works specialized in cynicism related to love and romance, how they don't seem to work in practice as they do in idealistic works, and how even people who know this still want love and romance. Some of her shorter works are flat-out memorized in certain circles, and her influence remains in the Pop-Cultural Osmosis for tropes about non-ideal love.She also collaborated with various people on occasional plays and screenplays, sharing an Academy Award nomination for the screenplay of the original A Star Is Born. She's also co-written the screenplay to Alfred Hitchcock film Saboteur.She's also famous for an alleged incident where she met President Calvin Coolidge, a notorious example of The Quiet One, at a party and told him "Mr. President, I just bet my friend that I could get you to say more than two words." Coolidge looked at her and said, "You lose." Parker would later get the last laugh, however: when Coolidge passed away, her immediate reaction to the news was "How can they tell?"
— Dorothy Parker, after being asked to use "horticulture" in a sentence.
TV Tropes pages with page quotes from Dorothy Parker:
Works by Dorothy Parker provide examples of:
- And I'm the Queen of Sheba: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.
- Appliance Defenestration: From a review of Beauty and the Beast by Kathleen Norris: "I wish you could have heard that pretty crash Beauty and the Beast made when, with one sweeping, liquid gesture, I tossed it out of my twelfth-story window."
- Authors of Quote: Herself an example, she also remarked on another case:When, with the literate, I am
Impelled to try an epigram,
I never seek to take the credit;
We just assume that Oscar said it.
- Baby Talk: Reviewing The House at Pooh Corner under the nom de plume "Constant Reader":It is that word ‘hummy,’ my darlings, that marks the first place in The House at Pooh Corner at which Tonstant Weader Fwowed up.
- Bait-and-Switch Comment: "This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force."
- Caustic Critic: She was famous for this. In 1920, she was fired from Vanity Fair, because her savage theater reviews offended powerful producers too often.
- Dull Surprise: Described Katharine Hepburn's performance in an early role, the notorious flop The Lake, as having "run the gamut of emotions from A to B".
- Keep the Home Fires Burning: The poem "Penelope", a tribute to Odysseus' wife.
- Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: "The Choice" is a poem about a woman who has a choice between a man who offers her lands and fine things and a man who charms her with his singing alone. She chooses the latter without a second thought—and then wonders afterward if there's something wrong with her head.