…dreamed of having the power to zip in and out of time and plop yourself into the body of someone you’ve always admired and immediately engage in the conversation she or he is having right at that moment? I’m a fantasy/sci-fi fan if you hadn’t figured it out… but I’ve thought for years (to the point of its being somewhat spooky) that I possess certain qualities in sync with a certain famous American writer, critic, poet and member of the Algonquin Round Table. Dorothy Parker. New York City has beckoned to me ever since I was a little girl and I always wondered why. I wanted to be a Radio City Rockette in the worst way, to share an apartment with other dancers and be in a musical on the Broadway stage… the artsy entertainment part of me, I suspect. I’ve also been drawn for years to Dorothy Parker, a founder and active member of the Round Table during the Roaring Twenties. From all accounts, she was brilliant, tough, caustic, and incredibly talented and gifted. She’d have had to be to hold her own with the likes of Woolcott, Benchley, Kaufman, Ferber and all the rest of them who wandered in for lunch from time to time. I think she and I could have been friends in another lifetime… maybe we will be. Or maybe we were.
I find it fascinating that she was blacklisted in Hollywood for being a member of the Communist Party but was also an advocate for civil liberties and rights and donated her estate to Dr. Martin Luther King which eventually passed through to the NAACP. Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
Among many observations and witticisms Dorothy is quoted as saying, “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.”
One of my favorite quotes of hers: “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.”
Yep, I’d love to have known her.