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markk

markk

Currently reading

Blood Brothers: The Story of the Strange Friendship between Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill
Deanne Stillman
Martin Luther: His Road to Reformation 1483-1521
Martin Brecht
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My Dorothy Parker collected works venting

The Portable Dorothy Parker - Dorothy Parker, Marion Meade

It's probably not a good statement about me that some of my favorite writing is criticism, and nobody did it better than Dorothy Parker. Some of her best quips (such as "Crude is the name of Robert Hyde’s first novel. It is also a criticism of it.") were born in critiques of plays, novels, and other works. and I find that reading them never fails to make me laugh. This is why I find it incomprehensible that while collections exist of Parker;s short stories and poems, there is no collection of her criticism. The closest thing to it is a 500-page collection of her reviews of Broadway plays from 1918 until 1923. This is a travesty, akin to not having a complete edition of Mark Twain's short stories or Arthur Miller's plays.

 

Instead, I have to settle for what's available in the selected collections of her writings that include her criticism. There's really one one of these: a collection originally published by Viking in 1944 that has since gone through several updates, the most recent being in 2006. I would be more accepting of it if I hadn't read that some of her critical pieces (such as her review of Nan Britton's The President's Daughter) were left out of the latest revision, It makes me pine even more for a complete edition that captures the delicious acidity of her pen; until then I'll have to settle and make do with the scraps at hand.