THE WIT OF CARRIE FISHER
When I was a kid, my interest in Carrie Fisher was always more about her writing than her work in Star Wars. While others were rightly captivated by her involvement in the greatest pop culture phenomenon in the history of cinema, I was all about her crafty bon mots.
As a writer and personality, Fisher was the natural heir to Dorothy Parker, and whatever she said in real life seemed sharper than any line Star Wars creator George Lucas gave her. She took home big pay checques for her dialogue punch ups on Hook, Sister Act 2, The Wedding Planner and Lethal Weapon 3, and small pay checques for writing jokes on multiple Oscars ceremonies.
But it was Fisher’s four novels that announced her writing talent to the world. Her first, and most famous, was Postcards from the Edge which begins: “Maybe I shouldn’t have given the guy who pumped my stomach my phone number, but who cares?”
I also liked the opening to Surrender the Pink: “Dinah Kaufman lost her virginity a total of three times.”
In 2008, Fisher started writing straight-up memoirs. Wishful Drinking described the loneliness of growing up with famous parents and her experience of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for bipolar disorder. Shockaholic included anecdotes about getting on Elizabeth Taylor’s bad side and the dangers of going for dinner with Ted Kennedy. And The Princess Diarist revealed that she and her Star Wars co-star Harrison Ford had an on-set affair back in 1977. The beauty of her writing was that all of these front page revelations were told in such a non-earnest, matter of fact way.
In fact, everything she wrote, and most of what she said, was full of wit and self-deprecation. And when she passed in 2016, we lost one of the last great raconteurs.
Here are some lines I like to remember her by:
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