Dorothy looked at me and looked at me and she really thought my brains were a miracle. I mean she said my brains reminded her of a radio because you listen to it for days and days and you get discouraged and just when you are getting ready to smash it, something comes out that is a masterpiece. Beauty can be born just about anywhere. It can appear in blue stocking families, or come from hard working blue collar families, or it can even occur in a trailer trash family from Little Rock, Arkansas. Genetics are puzzling and unpredictable, sometimes giving unattractive kids to attractive parents or cherubs to parents who are mystified how symmetrical features ever found their way into their family tree. Lorelei Lee from Little Rock is one of those mysteries of nature.
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Travelling on the celebrated Santa Fe Chief with the movie star Douglas Fairbanks and his brainless leading lady, the young Loos became exasperated that a woman so stupid could "so far outdistance me in feminine allure". Whipping out her yellow pad, Loos began drafting The Illuminating originally Intimate Diary of a Professional Lady, teasing fact and fantasy into an intoxicating depiction of "the lowest possible mentality" in prohibition America, a gold-digging blonde who is not — surprise, surprise — quite as dumb as she looks.
No wonder that the part burst into life when Marilyn Monroe starred in the film version. Later, Loos joked that the plot of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was "almost as gloomy" as a Dostoevsky novel. When her diary begins, Lorelei is "under the protection" of the millionaire Gus Eisman, a Chicago button manufacturer, but in danger of falling in love with an impecunious British writer who wants to divorce his wife and marry the woman he believes to be his true love.
When Eisman gets wind of this, he sends his mistress on a European tour with her hard-boiled friend Dorothy. Quickly bored with London, despite a dance with the Prince of Wales, they head for Paris "devine" and its romantic attractions, especially "the Eyeful Tower". Edith Wharton, probably tongue in cheek, hailed it as "the great American novel". Loos, an unreliable witness, claimed that James Joyce, who was losing his sight, saved his reading for Lorelei Lee. Who knows? In just a few months, Gentleman Prefer Blondes became a magazine sensation.
Then the publishers Boni and Liveright came calling, and made a contract for a slim hardback, illustrated by Ralph Barton. Blondes sold out at once as a runaway bestseller, becoming the second highest-selling book of , and helping to define the jazz age for ever.
A second edition of 60, copies was exhausted almost as quickly. Some 45 editions later in the end, plus , the book had passed into classic status. It would be translated into 14 languages, including Chinese. Loos herself lived long enough she died in to describe her book as a "period piece" for the grandchildren of its first fans.
Plot[ edit ] A kiss on the hand may make you feel very nice, but a diamond and sapphire bracelet lasts forever. This consists mostly of footing the bill for gowns from Madame Frances, jewelry from Cartier , dinners at the Ritz , and tickets to the Ziegfeld Follies. During this time, she continues seeing other men and meets a married English novelist named Gerry Lamson who frowns upon her liaisons with Eisman. Lamson wishes to "save" her from Eisman and begs her to marry him. Not wishing to forgo an upcoming trip to Europe paid for by Eisman, Lorelei spurns Lamson and insists his highbrow discourses bore her. But when Mr.
Anita Loos – sharp, shameless humour of the 'world's most brilliant woman'
On pronouncing her name, Loos said, "The family has always used the correct French pronunciation which is lohse. However, I myself pronounce my name as if it were spelled luce, since most people pronounce it that way and it was too much trouble to correct them. Beers Loos, founded a tabloid newspaper for which her mother, did most of the work of a publisher. Gladys died at eight of appendicitis,  while their father was away on business. After graduating from San Diego High , Loos devised a method of cobbling together published reports of Manhattan social life, mailing them to a friend in New York, who would submit them under their own name for publication in San Diego. Her father had turned out some one-act plays for the stock company, and encouraged Anita to work in the field herself.