Dorothy Parker

Hilariously Self-Deprecating Quotes from Your Favorite Authors

Everyone’s self-deprecating once in a while — even literary geniuses. Or perhaps, especially literary geniuses? After all, they know the exact right words to string together to tease themselves, talking down their bodies of work or their personal histories — though usually, let’s be fair, tempering it with a “but” at the end. These people have to sell books, after all. After the jump, a few of our favorite authors make fun of themselves, as gently as the ego demands. Let us know your favorite, or add one we missed in the comments! … Read More

  • 4

Adorable Pictures of Famous Writers and Their Pets

A dog may be man’s best friend, but some men make better friends than others. To us, it’s always seemed as though pets attach themselves to artists (and vice versa, of course) in greater numbers than to regular folks — or at least that almost every artist we know needs a furry friend to talk to. Maybe it’s the pull of a constant, silent listener to bounce ideas against, maybe it’s because of the boundless soul of the writer, maybe it’s a coincidence. Either way, we think pictures of famous authors and their pets are pretty adorable, so we’ve collected a few of them here. See some of our favorite writers with their dogs and cats (and peacocks, guess who) after the jump, and if we missed your favorite literary pair of man and beast, add them in the comments. … Read More

  • 1

The 10 Grumpiest Authors in Literary History

The new issue of The Believer features an interview with the late Maurice Sendak. Inspired by his “legendary crossness,” we’ve rounded up a list of the grumpiest authors of all… Read More

  • 25

Famous Last Words: 15 Authors’ Epitaphs

In this the spookiest of months, we find ourselves occupied with the world’s darker themes, and we got to wondering — what words have sent famous men and women of letters into the great unknown? Or perhaps more precisely, which words were chosen to honor them for eternity? From the tongue-in-cheek to the ponderously serious, from the knightly to the poetic, and even one that doubles as a grave robber’s curse, we’re fascinated by the epitaphs of famous authors, so we’ve collected a few of them here for your shivering pleasure.… Read More

  • 16

Writers Praising Writers: 15 of the Best Compliments from One Author to Another

We all know authors can insult one another with aplomb, but do those bitter wordsmiths ever have anything nice to say? Well, yes, of course. If we had to guess, we’d say that most authors’ biggest fans are other authors, who might understand a given piece of literature better than any mere mortal — or they might just be more likely to write about it. In the excellent collection Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story, which hit shelves last week, 20 famous writers choose and introduce the short stories from the periodical that moved and thrilled them. In honor of the book’s publication, we’ve put together a few of our favorite author-on-author compliments. Click through to spread the love, and if we’ve missed your favorite compliment, add to our list in the comments. … Read More

  • 2

Dorothy Parker’s Guide to Life

Today marks the 119th birthday of poet, critic, and political activist Dorothy Parker. Known for her sharp wisecracks, biting criticism, and caustic social commentary, her wit was a breath of Oscar Wilde air in the 20th century. Parker rose to acclaim while at Vanity Fair, where she wrote theater criticism. It was during this time that she became one of the founding members of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of esteemed New York writers, critics, and actors — who were equally well-known for their active social lives. After moving to The New Yorker, Parker continued to write criticism as well as sharp, humorous poems. Later in life, she became a left-wing political activist and was placed on the Hollywood blacklist.

After the jump, we celebrate the abundance of wisecracks, witticisms, and pearls of wisdom that Parker bestowed on the world by compiling her thoughts on topics such as men, money, writing, style, and love. … Read More

  • 7

Doodling on the Faces of Famous Writers

When video director and editor Michael Daye found himself at home with a box of postcards of 100 famous authors and nothing to do, he decided to take a Sharpie and have a little fun. Doodling on the faces of the defenseless writers, Daye created a series of often charming artworks of his own — sometimes the augmentations are relevant to the author they decorate, and sometimes they’re just for show, but we love the way he has taken these iconic faces and made them his own. Click through to see some of our favorites from the project, and head over to Daye’s Tumblr to check out even more. … Read More

  • 5

The Most Notorious Literary Party Animals

It’s almost the weekend, and we can bet that means you have at least one enticing soirée on your horizon. But will you party as hard as your favorite author? Literary history is filled with notoriously hard-partying writers, from the decadent Fitzgeralds, flouncing about in public fountains with their clothes on, to the permissive Beat poets, flouncing about in mixed company with their clothes off. Romantic, perhaps, but keep in mind that often the most reckless partiers paid for their indulgences in their health or creative ability, so revel with care. Click through to read our list and take some cues (or some warnings, more likely) from ten of the most notorious party animals in literary history, and let us know if we missed your favorite bon vivant or sultry bacchant in the comments. … Read More

  • 12

10 Great Poems You Can Memorize Today

Shakespeare once wrote, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” Centuries later, Dorothy Parker took the bard’s immortal words and applied them to undergarments in Vogue, writing, “Brevity is the soul of lingerie.” As these two esteemed poets once pointed out, less can be more, which is why this National Poetry Month we’ve decided to collect some of our favorite short poems. Death, love, tourism — we’ve still got all the hard-hitting themes, and, we hope, a solid repertoire for you to pull from when the need for a poem arises. And if you have your own “short but great” favorite, we hope you’ll add in the comments, because isn’t poetry more fun when you get to share it with others? … Read More

  • 22

A Collection of Seth’s Book Design Work

This week, we had a first look at the cover of the newest Lemony Snicket book, Who Could That Be at This Hour?, the first in a highly anticipated new series entitled All the Wrong Questions. It’s cleverly illustrated by famed Canadian cartoonist Seth, who has penned a few comic series and graphic novels of his own, but keeps a healthy side career in book design. We think Seth and Lemony Snicket are a perfect match, and not just because they both have about the silliest pen names we can think of — they both have a kind of lighthearted darkness about them, a thematic one-eyebrow raised at all times. We’re excited to see the rest of the series, all to be designed (and illustrated!) by Seth, so to tide ourselves over, we’ve pulled together a mini collection of Seth’s book design work (on other people’s books, of course). Click through to check out his work, and let us know what you think in the comments! … Read More

  • 2