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A young person who’s about to be exposed to all sorts of different viewpoints is facing a serious challenge.It’s wise to ensure that he or she has a strong faith and the critical thinking skills to evaluate other ideologies, and I’m grateful to have had those things taught to me.
Mentally and spiritually, I was more prepared than I’d ever been to go deeper with my reading, to “meet” and engage those with differing views.
But what’s interesting is that Parker, too, taught me to be a better Christian writer. But the techniques and ideas I picked up from reading and re-reading her work helped me to find a voice of my own, one that represented my own beliefs as fully as her voice represented hers.
“Well, picture my surprise when this turned out to be a book review, after all!
You could have knocked me over with a girder,” she quips after spending three paragraphs on her struggles with melancholic insomnia, and then goes on to give the book what is surely the most hilariously memorable review that a book about appendicitis has ever had.
n the age of social media, when you can put your opinion of a movie or book out there and then watch it die the death of a thousand cuts, I remember how fearlessly Dorothy Parker expressed hers — and I keep on putting mine out there.
Though she sometimes downplayed the importance of reviews as a genre, the casual brilliance she displayed in her own — the fact that she never phoned it in — makes me think that something in her knew that following the arts, having opinions about the arts, and talking about the arts really did matter.For a very long time (read: just before finding this book) I wasn't completely sure that Dorothy Parker had ever written anything longer than a quote.I'd always sort of suspected that she was famous for drinking a lot and delivering devastating one-liners on a regular basis.Many of these stories are wonderfully sarcastic (the best ones are about rich New Yorkers lamenting how terribly difficult their lives are) with great descriptions like this one:"The apartment was of many rooms, each light, high, and honorably square.Each, with its furnishings, might one day be moved intact to the American wing of some museum, labeled, 'Room in Dwelling of Well-to-Do Merchant, New York, Circa Truman Administration'; and spectators, crowded behind the velvet rope which prevents their actual entrance, might murmur, according to their schools of thought, either, 'Ah, it's darling! '"and of course, Parker's trademark lines are present as well:"It was a big factor in Dr.She could be honest about her own lifestyle and ideology, too.Parker was a socialist at a time when many members of the intelligentsia held that you were either a socialist or a fascist — a mentality that drove quite a few straight into the arms of socialism.Parker’s worldview may look naïve or misguided or both, but at least she was willing to acknowledge many of its weaknesses.That kind of willingness would serve us all well, whatever our views. Milne of : “Tonstant Weader fwowed up.”) But when she loved a piece of work, she could gush like a teenage fangirl.Other personal topics that show up in her reviews include romantic highs and lows, vacations, and hangovers.She coyly attributes her lack of enthusiasm for two popular novels to being “a person in that state where she is afraid to turn around suddenly lest she see again a Little Mean Man about eighteen inches tall, wearing a yellow slicker and roller skates.” orothy Parker’s lifestyle is not the reason I make people study her work.