16.10.07

witty? a lot, please. vulgar? no, thank you.

(...) other New York columnists began to quote, misquote, or write about Dorothy Parker, with the result that she was on her way to winning a public reputation as being the wittiest woman in New York before she was twenty-seven years old (...).

It soon appeared that she said so many funny things that, if the real author of a bon mot were unknown, the witticism would be attributed to her by default (...). Given this situation, it is understandable that many things were attributed to her that she never said at all.

For instance, it is questionable if she really made the remark seh was supposed to a messenger boy sent by an editor to ask if Mrs. Parker had finished an article th editor has ordered some time ago and now urgently required. So far, so good, for she was notorious for her failure to have her work ready on time. But now:

"Tell him I've been too fucking busyo--or vice versa", she's lledged to have said.

She could have sid it. If a badwy word was ever required, she could ceirtanly supply it. (...) But the remark is vulgar as it stands, and Mrs. Parker was never vulgar. She and her friends then eschewed gutter words not because they were dirty, bue because they were unimaginative. The members of the Algonquin group were nothing if not stylist of the language.


You Might as Well Live - The Life and Times of Dorothy Parker,
Jonh Keats (por qué no se habrá cambiado el nombre?), 1970


Lo cual me recuerda:


If, with the literate, I am
Impelled to try an epigram,
I never seek to take the credit;
We all assume that Oscar said it.

Oscar Wilde,
Dorothy Parker,

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