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Dorothy Parker on Writing

“Dorothy Parker (August 22, 1893 – June 7, 1967) was an American writer and poet, best known for her caustic wit, wisecracks, and sharp eye for 20th century urban foibles. From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in such venues as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Her letters, short stories, and articles are all brilliantly witty and I strongly recommend her work!” from listverse.com

“If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.”

“I’d like to have money. And I’d like to be a good writer. These two can come together, and I hope they will, but if that’s too adorable, I’d rather have money.”

“I hate writing, I love having written.”

The two most beautiful words in the English language are ‘cheque enclosed’.”

(Actually, this quote attributed to Parker is a paraphrase. In 1932, the New York Herald Tribune asked her for a list of the most beautiful words. Dorothy said, “To me, the most beautiful word in the English language is cellar-door. Isn’t it wonderful? The ones I like, though, are ‘cheque’ and ‘enclosed.'”)

“There’s a hell of a distance between wise-cracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words.”