Ta-Nehisi Coates digs up an old Paris Review interview with Dorothy Parker, full of great Parker observations, and Rod Dreher flags this keeper:

INTERVIEWER:You have an extensive reputation as a wit. Has this interfered, do you think, with your acceptance as a serious writer?PARKER:I dont want to be classed as a humorist. It makes me feel guilty. Ive never read a good tough quotable female humorist, and I never was one myself. I couldnt do it. A smartcracker they called me, and that makes me sick and unhappy. Theres a hell of a distance between wisecracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words. I didnt mind so much when they were good, but for a long time anything that was called a crack was attributed to meand then they got the shaggy dogs.

David Gibson is the director of Fordham’s Center on Religion & Culture.

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