The Little Hours, by Dorothy Parker

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In my experience, counting sheep is never a good way to fall asleep, and nor is reading if you’ve got a particularly ripping yarn opened on your lap. I’m glad I never hit on the method Dorothy Parker came up with in this story, which was first published in the New Yorker in the year 1933. Fine literature has its uses to be sure, but getting a good night’s sleep isn’t among them. And is it – along with going to bed at ten – even helpful in the quest to become a better person? Maybe… maybe not. Of course, Parker was always refreshingly sceptical about self-improvement schemes, as she described in her poem “Observation”:

If I don’t drive around the park,
I’m pretty sure to make my mark.
If I’m in bed each night by ten,
I may get back my looks again.
If I abstain from fjnd and such,
I’ll probably amount to much;
But I shall stay the way I am,
Because I do not give a damn.

The Little Hours, by Dorothy Parker {13:45}

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