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
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
- - - 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
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)
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 looks like two small boys fighting
underneath a thick blanket.
- - - Mr. Blackwell
Every minute this broad spends outside of bed is a waste
- - - Michael Todd (about Elizabeth Taylor)
Her hair lounges on her shoulders like an anesthetized
- - - Henry Allen (about Lauren Bacall, 1994)
I treasure every moment that I do not see her.
- - - Oscar Levant (about Phyllis Diller)
MiscellaneousIn 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 LegendsA fungus of pendulous shape.
- - - Alice James (about George Eliot, pseudonym of Mary
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
- - - 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.)