Missing Dorothy Parker Quote Still Missing

:: sipping a very dry martini and brushing an imaginary bit of lint from my immaculate pinstriped suit ::


"Before a man speaks it is always safe to assume that he is a fool. After he speaks, it is seldom necessary to assume it. "
H. L. Mencken

As Winston Churchill said to George Bernard Shaw, “Suck my dick.”

Wasn’t he quoting Parker there?

No, he was quoting Demi Moore in G.I. Jane:

As it happens, Moore is set to star in a new movie about Dorothy Parker called Don’t Just Toss That Book Lightly Aside, Because I’ll Show You Where You Can Shove It. Who is more suited to play Parker than Moore? Both married much younger men.

Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
As Winston Churchill said to George Bernard Shaw, “Suck my dick.”

Either her, or Demi Moore.

Nobody could throw Winston Churchill anywhere with great force.

Jennifer Jason Leigh did a creditable job in Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle.

Sam, did you mean a credible job, or that she was listed in the credits?

“Creditable” has a few meanings, the main one of which is: deserving of usually limited commendation. So the word was used correctly.

Remember the Michael O’Donohue sketches in the first season of SNL that were “impressions” of people having twelve-inch spikes driven into their eyes? Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle sparks the serious moral debate of whether they should be plunged into the viewer’s eyes, the director’s, the writer’s, or the actors’. Or everyone’s.

I suggest the director’s, writer’s and actor’s eyes would be sufficient. But I didn’t watch the whole movie. I might add myself to the list if I had.

Just checking, not criticizing the grammar.

I’ve just come across this in the course of my reading, and was greatly intrigued: “And it was not a book to be read once and thrown aside, for it had a new story to tell every day.”

Could the phrase have originated with Twain in Life on The Mississippi back in 1883?

Scissorjack, the important point here is that the phrase we’re searching for is a parody of the phrase you quote from Twain. Twain may have created the original phrase, or it may have pre-dated him. That’s not important. What we want to figure out is who created the parody of the phrase, the one attributed to Parker, and when they said it.

It appears much earlier.

There are several other pre-Twain cites of “thrown aside lightly” on Google Books.

“Tossed aside lightly” also predates Twain.

It was a cliche of long-standing even by Twain’s time, since his phrasing clearly indicates that he was using a familiar saying as a springboard to a deeper insight.

I’ve never tossed a zombie aside, lightly or otherwise.

Minor update for this zombie:

I was reading an editorial in the Sunday NY Times by Clive James. He is discussing a take-down review of Salman Rushdie’s memoir Joseph Anton. He is discussing how a UK review might be for more critical - the fact that this review appeared in the NY Review of Books, a normally more diplomatic mag, is what drew attention. It is being held up as a the Hatchet Job of the Year…

And in this review on The Guardian’s website from Dec 2012:

We see:

I also saw this page showing a history of the quote that looks pretty good:


Sorry if this page has been cited previously…

Cool. That page is dated March 26, 2013 and it’s certainly new to me. Not to all Dopers, though. Sam Clements and Bonnie Taylor-Blake are our own samclem and Tammy Terrell.

But Clive James is full of it. What we’ve said repeatedly here is confirmed by your cite:

He did say it in a movie. But he didn’t write it; Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett did.