If I didn’t care for fun and such,
I’d probably amount to much.
But I shall stay the way I am,
Because I do not give a damn.
Born this day in 1893 to a miserable childhood and lifelong depression, the sad, alcoholic, brittle, embittered, feminist, pathfinder, wasted, acheiving, thoroughly non-negotiable Mrs. Dorothy Parker.
“I don’t care what is written about me as long as it isn’t true.”
Well can we say you’re a role model? I wonder if she know her legacy would include Dorothy Parker, role model for learning disabled high-school drop outs with a pigs eye view of literature. Was that part of the plan? Who else but Dotty could put autodidactic and wisecracking snobbery within our reach:
“I’m never going to accomplish anything; that’s perfectly clear to me. I’m never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don’t do anything. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don’t even do that any more.”
“Her wit caricatures the self-deluded, the powerful, the autocratic, the vain, the sill, and the self important; it does not rely on men and small formulas, and it never ridicules the marginalized, the sideline or the outcast. When Parker goes for the jugular, its usually a vein with blueblood in it.”
When she wasn’t going for her own that is. Her signature piece, Resume:
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.
Marion Meade, on Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This?–
As before, she tried to make light of her impulse to self-destruction, although this time psychiatric treatment made it harder to accomplish. In verse, she compiled a consumer’s report for those contemplating suicide and rated the various methods of killing one’s self: Razors, as she knew from experience, were painful, and drugs caused vomiting and cramps. Other methods she had not actually tested had to be dismissed on hearsay as hopelessly unreliable: Given the inadequacy of what was available to an aspiring suicide, Dorothy figured she might as well go on living. When “Resume” was published in The Conning Tower, some people admired the way she had transformed a near-fatal experience into dark humor. As might be expected, [her psychiatrist] was not among them.
Peter Schakel and Jack Ridl, Approaching Poetry: Perspectives and Responses:
Here the irony is not that the poem advocates suicide but says the opposite. The irony lies in indirection, as it offers unexpected and ultimately despairing reasons for avoiding suicide and continuing to live, and in the ambiguity of the title: the word resume, without accents, means to “go on again, after an interruption; to continue…”
I love her for making it bearable, for letting me in on the joke, and for every bold and defiant unequivocal “NO.”
“I’ve been too fucking busy, and vice versa.”
Yes. Hell yes.