: a seat at the algonquin round table :

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly a seat. Or even a particularly round table. Still, it was the Algonquin, the famed hotel on West 44th in Manhattan where the great, influential writers of the 1920s lunched and witty, sophisticated bon mots zinged. And I was there — not at the same time, of course, but in the same place.

Known to us mortals as the Algonquin Round Table, this bunch called themselves the Vicious Circle and included Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley, George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber, Robert Sherwood and Alexander Woollcott.

They were writers, columnists, critics, playwrights, an elite clique that had the public hanging on their every word. In fact, their gatherings drew onlookers, people who’d go stare at them during their lunches. That’s how popular they were. Or how bored we were in pre-internet days.

When I was in New York on business, I stayed at the Algonquin a couple times. I loitered in the lobby, had drinks in the bar, and conjured images of those fabled luncheons. I rode the same elevators and walked the same halls. I tried (and failed) to channel Dorothy Parker, my literary hero. Heady times, those.

In all likelihood, a visit there these days would undoubtedly find me hounded and harassed onto the street by the spirit of those legendary talents. My pencils would be confiscated. So. My apologies for continuing to subject you to this hackneyed, predictable, uninspired drivel.

Or as Dorothy Parker, a woman who knew how to write, remarked, “This wasn’t just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.”

The blog funk drags on : (

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14 Responses to “: a seat at the algonquin round table :”

    • publikworks

      Hi, John, what a wonderful, encouraging comment. But there’s something missing, I can feel it. I just hope it comes back. Soon.

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  1. Lenore Diane

    You keep using this word ‘funk’. I do not think it means what you think it means. (Princess Bride). Happy Wednesday, Lisa!

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    • publikworks

      Thank you, LD, it was a fine Wednesday and, I’m pleased to announce, an equally fine Thursday. Hope you’re enjoying the same.

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