Talk:Dorothy Parker

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Good article Dorothy Parker has been listed as one of the Language and literature good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
October 14, 2007 Featured article candidate Not promoted
October 14, 2007 Good article nominee Listed
Current status: Good article

removed reference to Harlan Ellison review[edit]

Since this is an article about Parker, I think the extended bit about how she boosted Ellison's career with a favorable review should go in an article about Ellison.11 Arlington --(talk) 17:50, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Adding to Parker's Bio[edit]

I really don't think anyone should add bio info to this article unless you've read Marion Meade's bio. Because bad info keeps cropping up. -- k72ndst 04:16, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Good heavens, can't you recognize an improved article when you see it? I fixed quite a few errors as well as sorting out the chronology. What "bad info" are you referring to?Zompist 16:42, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Her mother died when she was four, not five (July 20, 1898). Parker's mother and stepmother weren't Catholics. She didn't "move" to New York, she always lived in Manhattan; Dottie was born at her parents' summer house on the Jersey Shore, she wasn't a native to N.J. Parker also didn't sell her first poem to Vogue, it was to Vanity Fair. See my site for this: And do not trust the Keats bio, it is riddled with errors. Meade's bio is the definitive one. Sorry to go on and on about Parker, see my user page to see why I do... -- k72ndst 18:10, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
These things were already in the article before I looked at it (indeed, most of them had been there for months), except for the Vogue bit which had already been corrected, and the moving bit, which was my mistake. Wikipedia can be frustrating sometimes, but at least progress tends to be made. IMDB has Dorothy Parker acting in a 1962 German spy movie, which seems unlikely, but their correction process is horrendous. Zompist 18:43, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Dottie in Hollywood[edit]

If anyone is interested, I can kick in more about Mrs. Parker in Hollywood. She did spend about 30 years on and off there. And was nominated for two Oscars. It seems that the entry here pretty much glosses over her time in LA. That's a shame, since she did help found the Writers Guild. -- k72ndst 11:36, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Friend of Dorothy[edit]

Are you sure about "Friend of Dorothy". I thought that was a Wizard of Oz / Judy Garland reference -- User:GWO

So it seems to be : -- User:GWO
It is even so. Actually, Mrs. Parker was rather homophobic, owing to her unhappy second marriage to a bisexual. Eh, I like her anyway. - user:Montrealais

I've read an anthology of Mrs. Parker's book reviews under the name "Constant Reader"; the "thrown with great force" line is from a review of a memoir by Margot Asquith and should read "This is not a book to be. . . ."

Hm. This being a wiki and all, I'll just mosey on back over there and do that for youse, but I'm leaving this comment here so people will know why. --Calieber 18:02, Nov 4, 2003 (UTC)

fod not oz or parker[edit]

friend of dorothy dates to the 1880s and is not about judy garland. but i can't find an online reference.

Dot Parker?[edit]

Does anyone know a source for this? I've read a lot about Mrs. Parker without running across this form of the name. (She was called Dottie sometimes, however.) RivGuySC 05:11, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

I have signed letters she wrote to her sister. She signed them all DOT. k72ndst 11:15, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

"Big Blonde" analyses[edit]

I just removed two out-of-place analyses of "Big Blonde", one of them as follows:

Dorothy Parker's short story, "Big Blonde" was a classic of that time and showed many aspects of the society. The story especially shows how women of the time were trying to find their place and desperately searching for the "perfect" life.

A less broad analysis might be in order: that the story examined only one niche in which aging women of the time found themselves, and if anything the Big Blonde and her female cohorts have given up on a search for the perfect life, the Big Blonde herself happily embracing suicide as an alternative to her grating lifestyle. — 04:25, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Of course it should be noted that the story "Big Blonde" is in fact autobiographical. Just adding my 2 cents. *Exeunt* Ganymead | Dialogue? 16:25, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

'Wisecrack', 'one-night stand'[edit]

For reference— I checked my copy of the OED (2nd ed.); neither of these words is attributed to Parker or mentions her, unfortunately. 'One-night stand' dates back to 1896 with a theatrical reference; the first cite for 'wisecrack' is from a 1915 San Francisco periodical. Zompist 08:53, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Strong work. Love Wikipedians who actually do their research! Onlyemarie 23:52, 13 March 2006 (UTC)


Dorothy was a no-nonsense critic. She once said of a novel that failed to inspire her: "This is not a book to cast aside lightly, it should be hurled with great force." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:31, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

"If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised."

I'm not a native english speaker, could anyone explain what makes this funny?
Laid is another term for... uh... copulation. So she's saying the girls are promiscuous. -Joseph Blue
Also, it's funny because it's a pun based on a surprise ending...the conventional ending (based on the standard "laid" definition) would be something like: "...they would stretch for three football fields." Dorothy introduces a comic twist based on the slang definition of "laid", appealing to culturally relevant subconsciously held beliefs about what Yale girls might actually be doing at the prom. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:45, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

I added the Memorable Quotes section. I may add some more if they come to mind.SmokeyTheCat 15:59, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

We already have a set of sourced quotes in Wikiquote. While Parker is best known today for her witticisms we shouldn't fill this article with them. -Will Beback · · 19:40, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't see why anyone would object to some quotes here. They give a flavour to the subject. Other entries in Wiki have selected quotes. But I won't revert. SmokeyTheCat 20:19, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm not so sure that I agree with Will Beback -- the article about Oscar Levant, for instance, is filled with his witticisms. Ditto Alex. Woollcott. What I was objecting to was a whole list of them without a single reference for any of them. Also, the non-encyclopediac "when her dog dumped".... If you have some references for these quotes, put them back in, using somewhat more formal language, and I will sustain their use in this article. Hayford Peirce 21:11, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
If you want sources, the versions in Wikiquote have sources. I don't object to having as many as five quotes. Beyond that is redundant with Wikiquote. -Will Beback · · 23:29, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't see why two or three of her *better* quotes would be out of place -- she really *was* a very witty person.... Hayford Peirce 23:37, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
This article is becoming overwhelmed with trivia. Adding a few of her famous quips and quotes won't make it better. What will make this article better, is going deeper into her life outside the Algonquin Hotel: more about her 20+ screenplays, the 33 short stories she penned, her political activism, the causes she believed in. Right now the article is just a gloss on Dorothy Parker's life, and more energy is spent on adding pop culture references and fighting over pointless stuff, when what the article really could stand is more facts and history. That's my 2 cents. --K72ndst 15:02, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Okay I have added just three quotes. All quite witty I think. Delete them if you must.SmokeyTheCat 17:33, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Someone has claimed that one of these is mis-attributed. That's not my recollection. I will revise the subject and come back on this one ...SmokeyTheCat 12:24, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
A good number of Parker's quotes are mis-attributed. It was common practice back then for gossip columnists to invent and/or hear a wise-crack and attribute its authorship to a celebrity. Dorothy Parker copped more than her share of these. She was witty, occasionally acerbic, but rarely bitchy, and never foul-mouthed. The David Niven anecdote (see below) has all the ear-marks of an attribution. (talk) 22:33, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

In Popular Culture[edit]

Mentions of Dorothy Parker in popular songs should be included under influences in popular culture (like the Prince song). She has been included in pop songs going all the way back to Cole Porter. So to the person who keeps deleting these reference to her, please stop doing this. If you would take the few minutes to listen to these songs -- before editing the article -- you would see these are valid for inclusion. --K72ndst 19:03, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

That's me, and believe me, I have absolutely no intention of listening to a Prince song, now or ever. Speaking of which, the article said (before I deleted it):
On Prince's rock, pop and funk opus "Sign O' The Times", released in 1987, the song "The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker" characterizes Dorothy as a flirtatious, seductive waitress, described as being "dishwater blonde, tall and fine" and receiving "a lot of tips."
I challenge you to demonstrate that this has anything to do with this Dorothy Parker, that it isn't just a coincidence that Prince chose that name. What could a "flirtations, seductive waitress", described as ... yadda yadda yadda ... possibly have to do with Parker? +ILike2BeAnonymous 20:35, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
It has been recorded (and to my astonishment when I read it) that the use of the name in Prince's song was entirely coincidental and did not refer to the real DP - but I can't find the ref. Possibly in Michaelangelo Matos but I've lent my copy. Mutt Lunker (talk) 22:42, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree; though this seems to happen a lot on Wikipedia (Howard Hughes, which could also stand to be trimmed), it's being weeded out except where the reference is actually appropriate or adds something to the article. I didn't listen to the song, but I did look up the lyrics and the name seems to be unrelated (unless it's some very elegant analogy that I just don't see).Justfred 22:49, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
It's a metaphor -- don't you see this?

This device is known for usage in literature, especially in poetry, where with few words, emotions and associations from one context are associated with objects and entities in a different context.

The sub-heading is Parker's influence "in popular culture" and that is what this refers to. Just because you don't like (a) the music; (b) the analogy; does not mean that (c) you chop it out. What the songwriter is doing is taking her essence and transferring it -- a metaphor. This is a clever usage of a common figure of speech. --K72ndst 03:39, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Since when is Dorothy Parker a "figure of speech"?
And a metaphor for what?
Sounds like grasping at straws to me. +ILike2BeAnonymous 03:58, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Dorothy Parker a waitress? A metaphor for a waitress? A figure of speech? The lady has been dead for 30 years now. No one under 60 has ever heard of her. A Prince song about a "Dorothy Parker" cannot possibly be construed to be about her. Hayford Peirce 04:17, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
You are both showing your age. First, Parker has been dead almost 40 years. Second, she is still in print, and has never gone out of print, and a new edition of her work just came out in April. In addition, the Dorothy Parker Society ( is made up of 20 to 30-year olds (see the photos on the site), so your opinion that nobody knows who Parker is, or reads her, is invalid. Using Parker as a metaphor for a witty, attractive, image of feminity is the point here. To be more precise, a metaphor is a figure of speech. The subject is Parker. I think you are being very narrow in your view of how a person's influence on pop culture is felt. --K72ndst 14:04, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm 26 and I've heard about her and been reading about her since I was in my early teens =) --† Ðy§ep§ion † Speak your mind 14:56, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
I've read her work, and read several books about her. Nothing in the song (except perhaps for "wit") appears to have any relation to her. The references to the song I found on the internet(s) agree that there appears to be no relation. If anything, I would think it's Prince (or whatever he's calling himself these days) trying to appear intellectual and clever, and failing. Short of asking Prince himself, since you (K72ndst) appear to know a lot about Ms. Parker, perhaps you could explain the metaphor?Justfred 15:34, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes; and since the subject was broached above, regarding how broad or narrow our focus on popular culture should be here, the problem endemic to this so-called "encyclopedia" is one of the accumulation of too much crap which is unrelated, or tenuously related at best to the subject at hand, not a dearth of material. It's what's referred to 'round heah' as "cruft" (a term I refuse to use as it's entered the lexicon of Wiki-speak, an indicator that one has drunk the Kool-Aid). Too many articles here have too much flotsam and jetsam that's there just because someone fancied a connection. +ILike2BeAnonymous 17:09, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

The Dorothy Parker Society[edit]

I added the external link to the Dorothy Parker Society ( and it keeps being deleted. An anonymous user keeps telling me that there cannot be a link since it isn't official. However, I would like your opinion. I run the site and wrote the book A Journey into Dorothy Parker's New York. This is a literary society. We pay royalties to the estate (the NAACP). The site has numerous Parker photos, stories, audio files, and news. What is your two cents? I would like to have this link returned. There are numerous great Wikipedians that watch the Dorothy Parker article, I would invite you to look at and decide. Thanks. --K72ndst 05:11, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't know why links have to be "official" or what that means. The link seems useful to me. Zompist 09:31, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Vote for KEEP the link, unless it is libelous. Chivista 14:41, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I've looked over the link more carefully and I think it's 100% legit. If you can't have a link to a Dorothy Parker Society in an article about Dorothy Parker, what can you have? I don't care whether it's "official" or not, and I would like to have that fully explained it if seems to make a difference to someone else. Also, I gotta say that I don't much care for anonymous editors whose editing primarily seems to be removing stuff that they disagree with. There's another guy (anonymous, too) who apparent runs a pay-for-site involving old radio shows who's been going on a rampage trying to delete all the links to free, public-domain radio shows. He's stopped doing it in some of the articles, because he's been threatened with being blocked, but he definitely has an agenda of his own for his activities. In the Dorothy Parker case, I dunno, but I think this link should definitely be left alone. If necessary, I'll ask the Admin. involved in the other case to come and take a look here. Hayford Peirce 19:31, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Even if it's not official it's apparently authorized. I think it should stay. -Will Beback · · 22:14, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Okie, let's give it another 24 hours for any more discussion, and then, unless there are compelling reasons not to, one of us can reinstate it. Hayford Peirce 22:21, 7 December 2006 (UTC)


Would it be worth adding a line that says:

  • The song 'The ballad of Dorothy Parker' on the album 'Sign O the Times' by Prince (1987) has nothing to do with this person.

Otherwise helpful editors will keep adding it. -Will Beback · · 08:15, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Nah; it's irrelevant to the subject of the article. Just keep swatting away those flies ... +ILike2BeAnonymous 17:55, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions[edit]

I agree with the Wiki person who added this to the article. Having TV producer Amy Sherman-Palladino name her production company Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions is a worthy addition to the References in Popular Culture section of this article. It may not be the most significant part of Parker’s legacy, but it is valuable. For seven years (plus more in syndication), the closing credits of The Gilmore Girls featured the name Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions, which, in turn, sent untold numbers of viewers to the Web to search for just who the heck Dorothy Parker was. Millions of viewers were exposed to this over the years. Many may have come to this very article. Others may pick up Parker books. The fact that the show’s creator Amy Sherman-Palladino also had Rory Gilmore be a Parker fan, and read her work on TV and have her poster on her wall, also helped Parker’s legacy. --K72ndst 18:32, 18 May 2007 (UTC) And the logo features a picture of a lady who has her back turned and is sitting and holding a cigarrette behind her back and is holding a martini glass. and next to the lady when the smoke grows DOROTHY PARKER DRANK HERE and P R O D U C T I O N S surrounded by two lines appear.

You say "*Amy Sherman-Palladino created and produced her WB/CW series Gilmore Girls through her company, named Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions."
So it doesn't sound so unnecessary promotional, why not pay homage to Dorothy by simply saying "The television series Gilmore Girls was produced by Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions"? --CliffC 19:40, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
What you said. +ILike2BeAnonymous 21:27, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Great, have done this. --CliffC 21:47, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree with this compromise. Thank you for letting this stand, I thought it was important to point out within an article about a writer that a main character quoted and read from often. Nate 04:31, 19 May 2007 (UTC)


Everyone in the Author infobox I list under "influences" is stated in Marion Meade's biography Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This? and for "influenced" these are writers who have said over the years that Parker was a major influence. K72ndst 01:01, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Algonquin Round Table proposal at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals, please vote![edit]

The focus of the project would be articles relating to the Algonquin Round Table, including its members and their literary works.
Interested Wikipedians (please add your name)
  1. Otto4711 17:42, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
  2. Chris 06:09, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Wow, a project of depth, thought and lasting impact! Most cool, I'm in! Chris 06:09, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Trivia section[edit]

I'm moving this information out of the article. I'm trying to get this article up to GA or FA status and a trivia section is a bar to that goal. I've integrated a good chunk of it into the article already but this remainder doesn't fit anywhere.

  • Alan Moore imagines a shooting and writing spree with the writer in the song "Me & Dorothy Parker" which has been recorded by the Flash Girls on their album Maurice & I.
  • Parker's name was used on a compendium of literary extracts about tattoos, Dorothy Parker's Elbow - Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos by Kim Addonizio and Cheryl Dumesnil, so named because she had a small star inked on the inside of her arm.
  • She is featured in the song "Dorothy Parker's Hair" by the Australian band Mental as Anything.
  • Punk band The Mr T Experience recorded Parker's "Somebody's Song" poem on their 1996 album Love Is Dead.
  • The songs "Afternoon" and "Ballade at Thirty-Five" from No Promises, by Carla Bruni were adapted from the poems by Parker.[1]

Good article review[edit]

I had hoped to review this at FAC, and I apologize that I didn't get the chance to help out in time. This is obvious good article quality so I'm happy to give this a speedy pass!

Successful good article nomination[edit]

I am glad to report that this article nomination for good article status has been promoted. This is how the article, as of October 14, 2007, compares against the six good article criteria:

1. Well written?: The nitpicky type stuff at FAC doesn't concern me. This was overall a clean, brisk read.
2. Factually accurate?: Well-cited. I don't have access to the books used as reference, but I assume of course that the information is faithfully passed along.
3. Broad in coverage?: Actually, I do find myself hungry for more as I read this article. Maybe some of these things are known but I'm curious: how did she react to being on the blacklist? She bequeathed her estate to Martin Luther King, but had she met him before? I think it might be good to have maybe a paragraph in this article that lays out the importance of the Algonquin Round Table. Are there any bite-sized examples of her wit? Some quotes of her writing, even pull quotes perhaps, could really help the reader get an idea of what sort of wit she had.
4. Neutral point of view?: Yes
5. Article stability? Yes
6. Images?: Yes

If you feel that this review is in error, feel free to take it to Good article reassessment. Thank you to all of the editors who worked hard to bring it to this status, and congratulations. — JayHenry 04:24, 14 October 2007 (UTC)


I have re-added these. Please don't delete them without discussion as it was agreed above that would be a useful contribution to the article.  SmokeyTheCat  •TALK• 10:40, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

After being expelled from Randolph Hearst's castle for fornication Dorothy Parker wrote in the visitors book (in reference to his mistress);

Upon my honour
I saw the Madonna,
Standing in a niche,
Above the door,
Of a wellknown whore,
And a first class sonofabitch, page 274 Bring on the Empty Horses, David Niven

founding member of Screen Actor's Guild[edit]

why is there no mention of her founding the Screen Actor's Guild with Lillian Hellman?

Immaculate Conception or Virgin Birth of Jesus[edit]

The article states that Parker was asked to leave her school for calling the dogma of the immaculate conception "spontaneous combustion." This seems to be referenced although I don't have access to the cited book. However, it doesn't really make sense. Immaculate conception refers to Mary being without sin (every other person since the fall has original sin according to Catholic docrine), I'm not sure how "spontaneous combustion" is a good metaphor for this. It would be an amusing metaphor for the dogma of the Virgin Birth of Jesus though. The two are often confused by non-catholics. I could be wrong about this, Parker may well have said it, but i think the source needs to be double checked. Grcaldwell (talk) 11:19, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

It appears real; see this 1956 interview in The Paris Review [1]. It might be good to add this as a reference to the article, since it's quite easily viewable and an offline book isn't. — e. ripley\talk 18:41, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Nice interview! Yep, seems she said it. I'll add a reference. Grcaldwell (talk) 19:34, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Also "Parker survived three marriages (two to the same man) and several suicide attempts" is an amusing but unencyclopedic zeugma. Is a marriage something that one would not be expected to survive? It may be Parkerian in style (perhaps she said something similar, I wouldn't know). but it's not good style for here. Grcaldwell (talk) 11:44, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Wrong Dorothy Parker photo[edit]

That is not the correct photo of Dorothy Parker. I know the LOC has it labeled as Parker, but that is a pianist from the early 20th Century, not the author. It is a common mistake that happens all the time with this same image. This photo is pre-1917 when Dorothy was still Dorothy Rothschild. Also, just compare the nose and eyes to the book covers. -- --K72ndst (talk) 00:35, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Dates at Vanity Fair[edit]

The current edit says that DP's career at Vanity Fair took off in 1921, but she was terminated in 1920 after she was already popular. This seems false, but if it's true could it be clarified by someone who knows the qualifications that would make sense of it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:05, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Business is Business[edit]

Business is Business was a 1925 silent movie, not a play, as has been recorded here: "In 1924, Parker collaborated with fellow Algonquinite George S. Kaufman on a one-act play, Business is Business." The book Dorothy Parker: A Bio-Bibliography by Randall Calhoun has a list of her screenplay and play credits. K72ndst (talk) 17:52, 12 June 2013 (UTC)


"..and her father was of German Jewish descent (but not related to the Rothschild banking dynasty" How could he not be related? The Rothschild name was adopted by the banking dynasty for the Red Banner (or Shield) that marked the shop of Amschel Mayer Bauer in the Judenstrass173.176.120.156 (talk) 07:08, 21 January 2014 (UTC).

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Polly Adler's bordello[edit]

Parker was claimed to be a patron of Polly Adler's bordello or brothel in New York.

Does this indicate lesbian practices, or the use of gigolos? Valetude (talk) 15:41, 8 July 2017 (UTC)