10 Dorothy Parker Quotes for Writers and About Writing

Here are 10 Dorothy Parker quotes for writers and about writing from the author of Enough Rope, A Star Is Born, and "Big Blonde." In these quotes, Parker covers wit, truth, money, and more.
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Here are 10 Dorothy Parker quotes for writers and about writing from the author of Enough Rope, A Star Is Born, and "Big Blonde." In these quotes, Parker covers wit, truth, money, and more.

Whether fair or not, Dorothy Parker was an American writer known more today for her wit and literary lifestyle than for her writing. A few of her popular works include the O. Henry Award short story "Big Blonde," a co-writing credit on the script for A Star Is Born, lyrics for the song "I Wished on the Moon," and the poetry collection Enough Rope. On top of this, Parker was a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table.

(Click here for 14 Shirley Jackson quotes for writers and about writing.)

As such, Parker probably had as wide an impact as any American writer of her time with success in poetry, script writing, criticism, and political activism. The FBI compiled a 1,000-page dossier on her during the height of McCarthyism, and she was included on the Hollywood Blacklist as a result. When she died of a heart attack in 1967, she bequeathed her estate to Martin Luther King Jr.

Here are 10 Dorothy Parker quotes for writers and about writing.

10 Dorothy Parker quotes for writers and about writing

"The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue."

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"I hate writing, I love having written."

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"Take me or leave me; or, as is the usual order of things, both."

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"I don't care what is written about me so long as it isn't true."

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"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 the money."

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"If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do for 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."

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"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.'"

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

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"Don't look at me in that tone of voice."

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"Of course I talk to myself. I like a good speaker, and I appreciate an intelligent audience."

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