Saturday, 6 January 2007

Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night, next to Epiphany, the phrase always brings to mind Shakespeare. My mind is on plays at the moment because I've recently watched the film version of 'The Importance of Being Ernest; what a wonderfully camp one it was too. Rupert Everett was absolutely spot on as Algie - very Oscarish - but I felt that Colin Firth (who played Ernest), yummy as he is, is more suited to an Austen character than a Wilde one. Of course, as Lady Bracknell Judi Dench (who was magnificent) had all the best lines.

And Lady Bracknell's wonderful put-downs reminded me of a writer I like: Dorothy Parker. Now she may not be everyone's favourite - because her wit could be caustic and her comments cynical if not downright sarcastic - but I should so like to have the speed of her riposte and wit of her repartee. And Parker was a master of irony.

Here is a poem that she wrote entitled 'Oscar Wilde':
If, with the literate, I am
Impelled to try an epigram,
I never seek to take the credit;
We all assume that Oscar said it.

Her humour is still thoroughly modern but, like Oscar Wilde, Parker could also be succinct (no wasted words in her writing) and generate pathos when she wanted. She was a very talented writer indeed but you wouldn't want her for an enemy and I can only imagine that she must have been Hell to live with.

My favourite short story of hers is 'A Telephone Call' (very Bridget Jones) because it says it all without saying it at all. If you too like Parker please do let me know of your favourite story or poem. Or perhaps you particularly like her quips - some of them could be stingers.

Have fun and Happy New Year.

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