Monday, September 24, 2012

Cheap Trick of the Day


Let us now diss famous dames. . .


These quotes are, of course, borrowed.
But the person who originally used them
must've borrowed them too, eh? Truth is,
it's Monday and I don't feel like writing
anything. So I will let famous people
speak for me, saying colorfully nasty
things about women of note.

This was a long list and I
winnowed out the clinkers, noticing that
the only really good ones belonged to
another time and place. The art of the
gorgeous insult is apparently wearing
thin.

Please note: in keeping with my latest
obsession, we could not avoid including
several choice Levant quotes. I don't
think he sat around inventing these: they
just spontaneously sailed out of his
bizarre and fevered intellect, and straight
over everyone's head.





She was incredibly ugly, uglier than almost anyone I had
ever met. A thin, withered creature, she sat hunched in her
chair, in her heavy tweed suit and her thick lisle stockings, impregnable and indifferent. She had a huge nose, a dark
mustache, and her dark-dyed hair was combed into absurd
bangs over her forehead.
- - - Otto Friedrich (about Alice B. Toklas)

 

I loathe you. You revolt me, stewing in your consumption
. . . you are a loathsome reptile - I hope you die.
- - - D. H. Lawrence (to Katherine Mansfield)

 


Zsa Zsa Gabor
 

 
 
She not only worships the golden calf, she barbecues it for lunch.
- - - Oscar Levant (about Zsa Zsa Gabor)


The only person who ever left the Iron Curtain wearing it.
- - - Oscar Levant (about Zsa Zsa Gabor)


You can calculate Zsa Zsa Gabor's age by the rings on her fingers.
- - - Bob Hope




Katherine Hepburn
 
 
 

She has a face that belongs to the sea and the wind, with
large rocking-horse nostrils and teeth that you just know
bite an apple every day.
- - - Cecil Beaton (about Katherine Hepburn)


She ran the whole gamut of emotions from A to B.
- - - Dorothy Parker (about Katherine Hepburn)


Marilyn Monroe

Her body has gone to her head.
- - - Barbara Stanwyck (about Marilyn Monroe)


She has breasts of granite and a mind like a Gruyere cheese.
- - - Billy Wilder (about Marilyn Monroe)


She's a vacuum with nipples.
- - - Otto Preminger (about Marilyn Monroe)





Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor looks like two small boys fighting
underneath a thick blanket.
- - - Mr. Blackwell



Every minute this broad spends outside of bed is a waste
of time.
- - - Michael Todd (about Elizabeth Taylor)


Other Actresses

Her hair lounges on her shoulders like an anesthetized
cocker spaniel.
- - - Henry Allen (about Lauren Bacall, 1994)




 

I treasure every moment that I do not see her.
- - - Oscar Levant (about Phyllis Diller)



 

Miscellaneous

In feathered hats that were once the rage, she resembles
a petrified parakeet from the Jurassic age. A royal wreck
- - - Mr. Blackwell (about Camilla Parker-Bowles)

(More) Literary Legends

A fungus of pendulous shape.
- - - Alice James (about George Eliot, pseudonym of Mary

Ann Evans)

George Eliot has the heart of Sappho; but the face, with the
long proboscis, the protruding teeth of the Apocalyptic
horse, betrayed animality.
- - - George Meredith (about George Eliot, pseudonym of

Mary Ann Evans)




Every word she writes is a lie, including "and" and "the."
- - - Mary McCarthy (about Lillian Hellman)



Isn't she a poisonous thing of a woman, lying, concealing,
flipping, plagiarizing, misquoting, and being as clever a
crooked literary publicist as ever.
- - - Dylan Thomas (about Dame Edith Sitwell)






I am fairly unrepentant about her poetry. I really think
that three quarters of it is gibberish. However, I must crush
down these thoughts, otherwise the dove of peace will shit
on me.
- - - Noel Coward (about Dame Edith Sitwell)


In her last days, she resembled a spoiled pear.
- - - Gore Vidal (about Gertrude Stein)





She was a master at making nothing happen very slowly.
- - - Clifton Fadiman (about Gertrude Stein)


Virginia Woolf's writing is no more than glamorous
knitting. I believe she must have a pattern somewhere.
- - - Dame Edith Sitwell (about Virginia Woolf)





(Favorites? Am I prejudiced in favor of Oscar Levant?
His jibes  shouldn't have worked because they were full
of unlikely words like 'barbecue' and 'Iron Curtain', but
they win the prize for originality and sheer goofiness. In
second place, the "nothing very slowly" about Stein,
who really seems to get it in these things. Also, did you
notice the similarity in pose between Dylan Thomas
and Marilyn Monroe? Each of them whoring in their
own special way.)

5 comments:

  1. I see what you mean about the lack of love among the literati. Sheesh.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Poison pens, indeed. (Poison penises, too.) This is why I say "writer's group" is an oxymoron. "Real" writers hate each other and, in fact, hate all of humanity, which is why they are so good at dissecting them/it/he/she/whatever!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Do we become writers because we're sociopaths, or do we become sociopaths because we're writers? It's definitely a symbiotic thing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's the pearl in the oyster thing. Writing is a way to contain the damage so it doesn't kill us. We notice others don't suffer the same way, and become resentful or even paranoid. Also, in most cases huge success involves a high degree of ruthlessness. There is a real parallel to being an actor, especially in Hollywood. You can imagine the resentment there when some minor player suddenly gets a plum role and becomes a star while the rest of them, perhaps more talented, must drive cab or wait tables.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I imagine really successful writers have to become extra protective of their privacy if only to keep from being inundated by unsolicited mss. We tend to be solitary types anyway, and I imagine people figure once you make it big you don't hafta sit and stare at the screen anymore trying to squeeze out another sentence or three, day after fucking day.

    ReplyDelete