The Portable Dorothy Parker

The Portable Dorothy Parker

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The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker, Random House Value Publishing Staff

The second revision in sixty years, this sublime collection ranges over the verse, stories, essays, and journalism of one of the twentieth century's most quotable authors.

For this new twenty-first-century edition, devoted admirers can be sure to find their favorite verse and stories. But a variety of fresh material has also been added to create a fuller, more authentic picture of her life's work. There are some stories new to the Portable, "Such a Pretty Little Picture," along with a selection of articles written for such disparate publications as Vogue, McCall's, House and Garden, and New Masses. Two of these pieces concern home decorating, a subject not usually associated with Mrs. Parker. At the heart of her serious work lies her political writings-racial, labor, international-and so "Soldiers of the Republic" is joined by reprints of "Not Enough" and "Sophisticated Poetry-And the Hell With It," both of which first appeared in New Masses. "A Dorothy Parker Sampler" blends the sublime and the silly with the terrifying, a sort of tasting menu of verse, stories, essays, political journalism, a speech on writing, plus a catchy off-the-cuff rhyme she never thought to write down.

The introduction of two new sections is intended to provide the richest possible sense of Parker herself. "Self-Portrait" reprints an interview she did in 1956 with The Paris Review, part of a famed ongoing series of conversations ("Writers at Work") that the literary journal conducted with the best of twentieth-century writers. What makes the interviews so interesting is that they were permitted to edit their transcripts before publication, resulting in miniature autobiographies.

"Letters: 1905-1962," which might be subtitled "Mrs. Parker Completely Uncensored," presents correspondence written over the period of a half century, beginning in 1905 when twelve-year-old Dottie wrote her father during a summer vacation on Long Island, and concluding with a 1962 missive from Hollywood describing her fondness for Marilyn Monroe.

  • A Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition with French flaps, rough front, and luxurious packaging
  • Features an introduction from Marion Meade and cover illustrations by renowned graphic artist Seth, creator of the comic series Palooka-ville

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780517478554
Publisher: Random House Value Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/07/1988
Series: The Viking Portable Library
Edition description: Revised and Enlarged Edition
Pages: 610

About the Author

Dorothy Parker (1893—1967) wrote at various times in her life for Vogue, Vanity Fair, and the New Yorker and was a key member of the famed New York literary circle, the Algonquin Round Table.

Marion Meade is the author of Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This? as well as biographies of Woody Allen, Buster Keaton, and Madame Blavatsky.

Seth is an illustrator whose work has been featured in such publications as the Washington Post, Details, Spin, and the New York Times. He is best known for his continuing comic-book series Palooka-Ville.

Table of Contents

The Portable Dorothy Parker Introduction Suggestions for Further Reading
Part One: The Original Portable as Arranged by Dorothy Parker in1944
The Lovely Leave Arrangement in Black and White The Sexes The Standard of Living Mr. Durant The Waltz The Wonderful Old Gentleman Song of the Shirt, 1941
Enough Rope (Poems)
A Telephone Call Here We Are Dusk before Fireworks You Were Perfectly Fine Mrs. Hofstadter on Josephine Street Soldiers of the Republic Too Bad The Last Tea Big Blonde
Sunset Gun (Poems)
Just A Little One Lady with a Lamp The Little Hours Horsie Glory in the Daytime New York to Detroit
Death and Taxes (Poems)
The Custard Heart From the Diary of a New York Lady Cousin Larry Little Curtis Sentiment Clothe the Naked War Song (Poem)
Part Two: Other Writings
Such a Pretty Little Picture, Smart Set, December 1922
Advice to the Little Peyton Girl, Harper's Bazaar, February 1933
The Game, Cosmopolitan, December 1948
The Banquet of Crow, The New Yorker, December 14, 1957
The Bolt Behind the Blue, Esquire, December 1958
Interior Desecration, Vogue, April 15, 1917
Week's End, (New York) Life, July 21, 1927
My Home Town, McCall's, January 1928
Not Enough, New Masses, March 14, 1939
Destructive Decoration, House and Garden, November 1942
From Vanity Fair, 1918-1919
Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde
Redemption by Leo Tolstoi
Dear Brutus by J. M. Barrie From Ainslee's (In Broadway Playhouses), 1921
The Emperor Jones by Eugene O'Neill
Ziegfeld Follies of 1921
From The New Yorker (Substituting for Robert Benchley), 1931
The Barretts of Wimpole Street by Rudolf Besier
Give Me Yesterday by A. A. Milne
The Admirable Crichton by J. M. Barrie From The New Yorker (Constant Reader), 1927-1931
The President's Daughter by Nan Britton
Men Without Women by Ernest Hemingway
Happiness by William Lyon Phelps
A President Is Born by Fannie Hurst; Claire Ambler by Booth Tarkington Literary Rotarians
Appendicitis by Thew Wright, M.D.; Art of the Night by George Jean Nathan
The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne
Round Up by Ring Lardner
Forty Thousand Sublime and Beautiful Thoughts, compiled by Charles Noel Douglas
The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett
Dawn by Theodore Dreiser The Grandmother of the Aunt of the Gardener From The New York Times Book Review, 1957
The Road to Miltown, Or Under the Spreading Atrophy by S. J. Perelman From Esqure, 1958-1959
The American Earthquake by Edmund Wilson; The Subterraneans by Jack Kerouac; Ice Palace by Edna Ferber
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote; The Poorhouse Fair by John Updike
The Years With Ross by James Thurber
Part Three: A Dorothy Parker Sampler
Any Porch, Vanity Fair, September 15, 1915
Sorry, the Line Is Busy, Life, April 21, 1921
In the Throes, (New York) Life, September 16, 1924
For R.C.B., The New Yorker, January 7, 1928
Untitled Birthday Lament, c. 1927
The Garter, The New Yorker, September 8, 1928
Sophisticated Poetry—and the Hell With It, New Masses, June 27, 1939
Introduction: The Seal in the Bedroom and Other Predicaments, by James Thurber, 1932
The Function of the Writer, Address, Esquire Magazine Symposium, October 1958 (extract)
New York at 6:30 P.M., Esquire, November 1964
Self-Portrait from The Paris Review, "Writers at Work," 1956
Letters 1905-1962
To Henry Rothschild, 1905
To Henry Rothschild, 1905
To Harold Ross, 1927
To Harold Ross, no date To Seward Collins, 1927
To Helen Rothschild Droste, 1929
To Robert Charles Benchley, 1929
To Sara and Gerald Murphy, 1934
To F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1934
To Alexander Woolcott, 1935
To Harold Guinzburg, 1935
To Helen Rothschild Grimwood, c. 1939
To Malcolm Cowley, 1958
To Morton Zabel, 1958
To John Patrick, 1962

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Portable Dorothy Parker 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dorothy Parker is possibly the wittiest and most honest female author that I have ever read. Her realistic short stories and hilarious poems are also eloquently written. Some of my favorites out of the book are "Resume", "The Lovely Leave", and "Big Blonde". A read you will read again and again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
She is amazingly brilliant writing style andhumorous wit.
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antipixie_karee More than 1 year ago
Keep in mind, it's a collection. It's not a novel. It's great for conversation starters at read a funny short story or a couple of Ms. Parker's famous witticisms. I would never suggest reading this book from cover-to-cover; but it is perfect for a light, intelligent, and entertaining "in-between" read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An interesting insight into Dorothy Parker. This book is alive with her prose, poetry, and sharp wit. It gives one an idea of what it was like to be a woman in a man's literary world in the early 1900's.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Dorothy Parker's writing is timeless. I've read her works over and over for years and she has a permanent place in my collection. A timeless voice, wit and a boldness that made her name in her day.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book highlights the brilliant Dorthy Parker in all aspects of her life, and her many talents as a woman writer. Add water and you've got yourself Dorthy Parker.. hence, the Portable Dorthy Parker!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dorothy Parkers Brilliantly imaginitive pessimistic, intelligent style creates an intensly rich book including wonderful and interesting prose and short stories. Because of her highly sincere and amusing topics she is one of my favorite writers. some of my personal favorites are Big Blonde, frustration, and res