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At typewriter: Dorothy Parker

April 4, 2011 | 10:53 am


Dorothy Parker was one of the members of the Algonquin Round Table, the group of 1920s-era writers and artists and intellectuals that included Harold Ross, who would soon found the New Yorker magazine. Parker, already known as a critic, was one of the names that helped Ross get the magazine off the ground. 

Parker, who wrote short stories in addition to her criticism, is known for a New York-sharp wit, on display in poems like "Resumé":

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

As identified as she was with New York, Parker also spent quite a lot of time in Los Angeles, where this 1941 photograph was probably taken. Doesn't that look like a script she's holding? While here, off and on from the 1930s until the early 1950s, she wrote for various studios. She received two Oscar nominations for her screenwriting -- for "A Star Is Born" (the 1937 version starring Janet Gaynor) and 1947's "Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman" starring Susan Hayward.

This weekend, Flavorpill posted a photo series of authors with their typewriters. They've got one of Parker too -- plus William Faulkner, William S. Burroughs, Sylvia Plath and more.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Dorothy Parker at work in 1941. Credit: Associated Press.