Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Ghosts of the Vicious Circle

The Vicious Circle is a group of writers that shaped the literature of their time.  This group was also known as the Algonquin Round Table and consisted of such notable wits as Franklin Pierce Adams,  Robert Benchley,  Heywood Broun, Marc Connelly, George S. Kaufman, Dorothy Parker, Harold Ross,
Robert E. Sherwood, John Peter Toohey, and Alexander Woollcott.  The impact of all of these writers as a collective is amazing.  One was the founder of the New Yorker, others were famous playwrights and journalists.  Dorothy Parker is my favorite of this group because she seems like the kind of woman I could really relate too. She is famous for such brilliant quotes as, "Brevity is the heart of lingerie."  All of the vicious circle were all influential and they all met together at the Algonquin Hotel to talk.   The Algonquin Hotel still houses the famous restaurant where these literary giants met  and as soon as you walk into the Algonquin you can feel the presence of these great minds.  The restaurant even features pictures of the famous circle of writers on the back of the menu.  

When you walk into the Algonquin you know why the Vicious Circle chose it.  It is cozy and and comfortable with an atmosphere that invites you in.   You can also see why the ghosts of these famous literary minds might linger.  It is a dark place, filled with shadows and hidden places.   Shadowed corners provide privacy and seclusion for phantoms.  I ate dinner at the Algonquin and I wasn't lucky enough to see any ghosts, but guests at the Algonquin have reported seeing moving objects and the faces and figures of the old writing circle. Numerous reports of  ghosts and spectral visitations have filled this old hotel over the years.  Although I had a wonderful meal and wandered through the lobby, I didn't see any evidence of these stories.   Perhaps next time I'll have to stay the night.

2 comments:

Courtney Mroch said...

Oooo! What a delightful place to have dinner. Did it also feed your muse and juice up your writing well???

Lewis Powell, IV said...

"I like a martini,
Two at the most,
Three, I'm under the table,
Four, I'm under the host."
-- Dorothy Parker

If you haven't read Marion Meade's biography, "Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell is This?" I would highly recommend it.