Dorothy Parker? Apocryphal?
Here Lies the Body of Dorothy Parker. Thank God!
When did she craft this fateful expression?
Dear Quote Investigator: QI has already examined a collection of epitaphs that have been ascribed to Dorothy Parker; this is the fifth and final member of the set, and it will be explored below. Here is a link to a webpage that has pointers to four other analyses.
In October 1924 “Vanity Fair” magazine published a feature presenting self-selected memorial remarks obtained from prominent artists and writers of the time:
A Group of Artists Write Their Own Epitaphs
Some Well-Known People Seize the Coveted Opportunity of Saying the Last Word
Most of the inscriptions were comical, but Parker’s blunt remark suggested an outlook of despair: 1
Excuse My Dust
Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.
- 1924 October, Vanity Fair, A Group of Artists Write Their Own Epitaphs, Start Page 42, Quote Page 43, (Dorothy Parker tombstone epitaph), Conde Nast, New York. (Verified on microfilm) ↩
- 1925 June, Vanity Fair, A Group of Artists Write Their Own Epitaphs, Start Page 50, Quote Page 51, Column 3, (Dorothy Parker tombstone epitaph illustration), Conde Nast, New York. (Verified on microfilm) ↩