Little words: a study of Dorothy Parker




O'Connor, Shirley C.

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Dorothy Parker's work has not received the critical attention that it deserves. Although Parker is best k nown for her cynical witticisms, a careful study of her writing reveals that her short stories are as important a contribution to American literature as are those of her contemporaries, Hemingway and Fitzgerald, and that many of her poems are perfect examples of classical satire. Parker's self-destructive life style affected her work in both positive and negative ways. If she had been more self-disciplined, she could have better utilized her talent; if she had been less bitter, she would not have been able to so well describe the basic insecurity of women. In spite of all that has been written about Parker, she remains an enigma. Therefore, all that can be truly known about her must come from examination of her work.