Dorothy Parker on the Difference Between Wit and Wisecracking

"There's a hell of a distance between wisecracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words."

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) was an American writer known mostly for her biting wit as well as for being a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Parker's work, which often played with themes of 20th-century urban life, was featured in publications such as The New Yorker and Vanity Fair. Parker later moved to Hollywood to pursue screenwriting. She had been nominated for two Academy Awards before her political leanings led to her blacklisting. 


"There's a hell of a distance between wisecracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words."

Source: Interview, The Paris Review (Summer 1956) [Wikiquote]

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