I’ve always had a somewhat twisted fondness for author, poet & critic, Dorothy Parker (1893-1967). Generally, I try to see the silver lining, take the high road, and all that. However, when it comes to searingly mean wit of Dorothy Parker, I throw silver linings & half-full glasses to the winds & revel in her wickedness. Below are some of my favorite Dorothy Parkerisms.
“The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.”
“This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”
“Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.”
“She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B.”
“If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.”
“By the time you swear you're his,
Shivering and sighing.
And he vows his passion is,
Lady make note of this --
One of you is lying.”
“That woman speaks eighteen languages, and can't say 'No' in any of them.”
“If all the girls attending [the Yale prom] were laid end to end, I wouldn't be at all surprised.”
“That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.”
She’s the best (or would that be the worst?) I hope you’ll leave a comment or three.
My thanks go out to this week’s sources Women’s History, GoodReads & DorothyParker.com
As summer leaves us, why not indulge in a bit of etymology & a few celebratory quotes about summer?
Summer comes to English from Sanskrit. It appeared in English in 825, meaning exactly what it does today & spelled sumur. Interestingly, summer is etymologically related to the word gossamer, which came to English in the early 1300s, from a marriage of the words goose & summer, & meant spider threads spun in fields of stubble in late fall. Etymologists theorize that the spider silk looked a bit like goose feathers. Hmm. Within a century, gossamer found its present meaning, of light, flimsy, or delicate.
Here are some authors’ thoughts about summer.
“Summer's lease hath all too short a date.”
”There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart."
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Come with me,' Mom says.
To the library.
Books and summertime
“One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.”
-Henry David Thoreau
"Summertime and the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high,
Your mama’s rich and your daddy’s good-looking
So hush little baby, don’t you cry"
-DuBose Heyward, music by George Gershwin
So, good followers, what say you about summer?
My thanks go out to this week’s sources, Etymoniline.com, Goodreads & the OED.
For a change of pace, I’d like to celebrate a writer, generally fascinating chap & certifiable mensch.
Isaac Bashevis Singer once wrote, “When I was a little boy, they called me a liar, but now that I am grown up, they call me a writer.”
He wrote countless short stories & any number of novels, some arguably memoir. Many of his stories featured holocaust survivors &/or the struggles & joys of the lives of Jews & searchers. Miraculously, Singer spent all those years pondering sadness, disappointment, torture, inequity & cruelty, yet managed to hold onto hope. He won the 1978 Nobel Prize in Literature, two National Book Awards, countless other awards, & the love of many readers.
A smattering of Singer wit & wisdom follows:
“If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet.”
“The waste basket is the writer's best friend.”
“There will be no justice as long as man will stand with a knife or with a gun and destroy those who are weaker than he is.”
“For those who are willing to make an effort, great miracles and wonderful treasures are in store.”
“Kindness, I've discovered, is everything in life.”
On that last note, followers, please chime in with one kind thing someone has done for you lately.
My thanks go out to this week’s sources, The Library of America & Goodreads
I write for teens, narrate audio books, bake bread, play music, and ponder the wonder of words in a foggy little town on California's central coast.