Tag Archives: Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker

An appreciation by her grizzled contemporary, W. Somerset Maugham

Once when I was in Hollywood, I was invited to dinner by Miss Fanny Brice. It was by way of being a literary party. Aldous Huxley was there, his sardonic gusto in the horribleness of human beings not yet greatly mitigated by non-attachment and brotherly love. Dorothy Parker was there demure in black silk, but with a demureness fraught with peril to the unwary. I forget who the remaining guests were but they were evidently grand, for at dinner Dorothy Parker and I found ourselves seated together a good way down the table and well below the salt.  Continue reading Dorothy Parker

Sounds Familiar

Running The Whole Gamut of Emotions is an unusual expression used to describe the full emotional range between delirious joy and abject misery. The simple musical explanation for the word ‘gamut’ is that during the 11th Century Guido d’Arezzo used letters of the Greek alphabet for the original musical scale. The lowest note in the vocal scale was called ‘gamma’ (the third letter in the Greek alphabet) and the highest was called ‘ut’. Subsequently gamma and ut came together, gamut, to describe the entire musical range. These days children use ‘doh, ray, me’ etc to sing out the musical scale and we thank the Greeks again. Can you imagine running the whole ‘doh-doh’ of emotions? I suppose Homer Simpson might. The expression was used to great ironic effect by Dorothy Parker when she described the acting of Katherine Hepburn, “She delivered a striking performance that ran the gamut of emotions from A to B.”
Continue reading Sounds Familiar

How to Stay Sick

Never walk if you can ride. When the thought of exercise assails you, rest until the impulse passes. Smoke on every occasion. Never leave the table hungry. Use white sugar, white flour. Slobber gobs of butter on everything. Order second helpings.

Plan meals to include gooey pastries, plus ice cream with thick toppings loaded with sugar, cakes and cute cookies. Was this man a nut who last said, “If it’s dead don’t eat it, bury it”, otherwise salt it heavily.

Start every meal with three Martinis [or as Dorothy Parker once said, “have tee many Martoonis” – Ed]. Eat four square meals a day. Under no circumstances eat organically grown fresh fruit or vegetables, this is only for those sickly-looking food faddists.

Resent everything, devote a good part of the day to worrying. Fear for the future. Get mad at everybody. Lose your temper and lash out at everyone who can’t fight back. Always buy a big house with a big mortgage. Bite off more than you can conveniently chew, in business. Don’t pay cash for one car, buy two and mortgage them both.

From ‘The Key to Good Health – Vitamin C’ by Bartz & Klenner