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  • [es-pree de less-ka/-iay] (idiom) A witty remark that occurs to you too late, literally on the way down the stairs. The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations defines esprit de l'escalier as, "An untranslatable phrase, the meaning of which is that one only thinks on one's way downstairs of the smart retort one might have made in the drawing room."


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June 20, 2006


Thanks for that, Claire.

I like everything I read of hers.

I like to imagine that we would've been good friends!


(I posted a comment earlier - so if bothe these show up, please delete one okay? Argh.)

I looove Dorothy Parker as well - I like to think I would have spent my time paling around the Algoquin with her and Lillian Hellman had I been around in New York, c. 1925.

My favorite DP story is as follows:
A young starlette decided to hold the door open for DP as she was walking into a hotel lobby. The starlette offered the open door and then said, "age before beauty" to which DP replied, "pearls before swine."

Man, she was the originator of *so* many great one liners. I was hoping I'd end up a bit pithier by the end of my reading. My boss says that's not how it works. I always end up talking like Jane Austen, though, when I read her. Oh well. :)

I had a feeling both of you liked DP.

I, of course, am a huge fan of the martini poem :)

I love to have a martini
Two at the very most
Three I'm under the table
Four I'm under the host

Becauset that is exactly what I'm like when I drink martinis.

I know she would have liked me, too, glasses & all.

I like Parker, but I've never understood that poem. As I am getting on in years, I feel like Maurice Chevalier in Gigi when I talk like this, but...

I always made passes at girls in glasses, and they were all beautiful. I thought their glasses added to their beauty.

That said, The Big Blonde, is one of the saddest stories I've ever read.

Amy, ha! I don't think she doesn't like myopic women, I think she just thinks men are too vain or overly particular or something. I think she'd like you too. I feel a little boring for her, frankly.

Lance, I feel like Maurice Chevalier in Gigi when I talk like this, ha! That said, I agree with you about the Big Blonde. A lot of her stories are sad, but that one takes the cake.

Dottie was the biggest influence on my book, and she died on my birthday, June 7th. If you want to check out the URL I left which has audio samples on poems she inspired in part, feel free. :)

S. Omar Barker later amended that poem to:

Whether men will make passes
At girls who wear glasses,
Depends quite a bit
On the shape of the chassis.

Dorothy Parker was pretty choosy, and tired quickly of those who couldn't keep up with her sense of humour and intelligence. I doubt she'd have liked me.

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