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A Telephone Call Dorothy Parker Wu Yue 10300120199.

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Presentation on theme: "A Telephone Call Dorothy Parker Wu Yue 10300120199."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Telephone Call Dorothy Parker Wu Yue

2 Background and Reflection
About Dorothy Parker Text Analysis Background and Reflection Wit to Appreciate

3 Dorothy Parker (August 22, 1893 – June 7, 1967)
Poet Short story writer Critic Satirist Best known for: wit wisecracks eye for 20th century urban foibles

4 Early literary output:
New Yorker Vanity Fair Algonquin Round Table: Dorothy as one of the founding member an informal luncheon group at the Algonquin Hotel in the nineteen-twenties re-printing of her lunchtime remarks and short verses offend powerful producers too often

5 Hollywood: Sharp wit endured
screenwriting two Academy Award nominations Hollywood blacklist (left-wing politics) Sharp wit endured Dorothy Parker: “Big Blonde” (Bookman Magazine, February 1929) The O. Henry Award, an annual American award given to short stories of exceptional merit Marriage: 1st: Parker 2nd, 3rd: Campbell

6 The New York Times wrote:
Miss Parker, for all her mercury-quick mind, was a careful, even painful, craftsman. She had her own definition of humor, and it demanded lonely, perfectionist writing to make the truly funny seem casual and uncontrived.

7 Background and Reflection
About Dorothy Parker Text Analysis Background and Reflection Wit to Appreciate

8 Monologue a sentimental woman tortured by the uncertainty of love
Emotional cycle counting, guessing, waiting, begging, cursing A call from the man (man  busy, office; woman  doing nothing) Ending unwritten

9 1 Repetition 2 Stream of Consciousness 3 Satire

10 Repetition Numbers: 50, 55, 35 Words three times in a row:
“please, please, please” “dead, dead, dead” Dispersed repetition: “let him telephone me now”

11 1 Repetition 2 Stream of Consciousness 3 Satire

12 Stream of Consciousness
Cycles of emotional bursts Curse the telephone “I'll pull your filthy roots out of the wall, I'll smash your smug black face in little bits. Damn you to hell.” herself “send me to hell” the man “hurt him like hell” “I wish he were dead, dead, dead” Metaphor: tele- remote men &women

13 1 Repetition 2 Stream of Consciousness 3 Satire

14 Satire Women writers Women: should not sit and wait for love
master of their own fate Male-oriented society Celebrity culture Women writers

15 Background and Reflection
About Dorothy Parker Text Analysis Background and Reflection Wit to Appreciate

16 Enough Rope, one of the first best-selling volumes of poetry in America
Short stories, distinction between what the speaker says and what she thinks “A Telephone Call” (The Bookman, January 1928), “The Garter” (The New Yorker, September 8, 1928), “But the One on the Right” (The New Yorker, October 19, 1929), “Sentiment” (Harper’s Bazaar, May 1933), and “The Waltz” (The New Yorker, September 2, 1933) Each female monologist outwardly presented a sacrificial politeness that belied the bitingly satirical mentality within. the only monologues, indeed the only works, in which Parker explicitly named herself as the protagonist

17 leaving the endings of these stories essentially unwritten
not delivering what the form of the autobiographical monologue promises, namely some insight into the self the alienation the speaker experienced as a woman --- the distinction between what she thinks and what she can properly say

18 Seeing reviews of her work
Hearing accounts of her behavior Having her one-liners quoted back to her the division between external and internal expression in these monologues Awareness that she could no longer completely control her public image Her satirical mockery of what publicity did to women writers

19 literary star unprecedented public fascination with celebrity culture in America Monologues Her own personal experience of becoming a public figure The beginnings of a larger cultural phenomenon of literary celebrity that has come to influence the current market of fiction as well as contemporary literary studies

20 Difficult Competition
Avoided evaluative comparisons to male writers Wanted to compete with her male contemporaries early twentieth century mass culture in America governed by rigid gender roles Difficult Competition Male authors play heroic roles refined, cultured, and sophisticated Female authors most often compared to their male contemporaries in pursuit of defining their worth among the cultural elite if “successful”, not successful in dispelling a cultural paradigm that associated masculinity with superior talent and femininity with inferior forms of writing

21 a more masculine persona  the rhetorical strategy of satire
masculinity literary longevity To exploit the literary market To critique the limiting effects of celebrity culture on women writers

22 Resisting interpretations of the relationship between her work and her “self” to the end of her life, she inspired her last interviewer, Wyatt Cooper, to write “If you didn’t know Dorothy Parker, whatever you think she was like, she wasn’t. Even if you did know her, whatever you thought she was like, she probably wasn’t”. Her image continues to be created, refashioned, and complicated in a way that makes her an especially intriguing figure in light of contemporary observations about the fluid nature of gender.

23 Background and Reflection
About Dorothy Parker Text Analysis Background and Reflection Wit to Appreciate

24 Algonquin Round Table One of her most famous comments was made when the group was informed that former president Calvin Coolidge had died. Parker remarked, "How could they tell?"

25 Advertisements: One of her earliest ads for Vogue parodies a famous line from Shakespeare’s Polonius: “Brevity is the soul of wit” to describe a line of women’s undergarments: “From these foundations of the autumn wardrobe, one may learn that brevity is the soul of lingerie.” Continuing this line of humor, Parker again wrote an amusing ad for an expensive but revealing nightgown: “There was a little girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, she was very very good, and when she was bad, she wore this divine nightdress of rose-colored mousseline de soie, trimmed with frothy Valenciennes lace. (mousseline de soie—silk, Valenciennes –a French Town)

26 Thank you all!

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