caroljane

Literary dinner partiers gone wild

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The New York Times Book Review (I know, I know, but it is the International Edition and is all about South America and Africa, and it is free with the Toronto Star on Sunday)-- they have a feature where they ask authors who they themselves like to read. It is really enjoyable even though I have usually never heard of the authors being interviewed or of half the living  writers they cite. And last week was just woo-hoo! for me. It was an economist-writer I never heard of (natch) but she answered this question:

"If you could invite 3 writers living or dead to a dinner party, whom would you want?"  ACnd she said, "Vikram Seth (my own total favourite of the century), Maya Angelou (American poet etc) and wait for it...

Ayn Rand!

That is the most perfect mix I can possibly think of., what with Vikram and Maya trying stiltedly to talk poetry over AR's scornful smiling gaze, her  razorlike comments ringing through the bewildered clutter of the other two making excuses for their muddled thinking. and me hiding under the table before the inevitable epic catfight.

The answers to this kind of question to celebrities is always so predictable and disappointing. Jesus, Ronald Reagan and/or FDR, etc.  I am sure OLers can do better.

Which 3 would you bring home for dinner, dead or alive?

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literaryDinnerGuests.jpg

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1 hour ago, caroljane said:

Which 3 would you bring home for dinner, dead or alive?

Well, I'd really like Eco, Pynchon, and Wodehouse.

But we know a lot about each of them, even Pynchon for all his reclusiveness.   Why waste the opportunity?  Is this like the genie in the bottle, where you only get three wishes?  And (natch) can't wish for more wishes?

Then, how about Shakespeare, Jonson, and Bacon?  Let's settle this authorship question once and for all.

And do they all have to be English speakers?  Can we hand out Babel fish?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_races_and_species_in_The_Hitchhiker's_Guide_to_the_Galaxy#Babel_fish

Then let's pull in St. Paul, the author of the Gospel of John, and Julian the Apostate.  That one ought to be fun to watch.  And it could all be conducted in Greek.  Which I don't speak.  So I'd be the only one in need of the Babel fish.  

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2 minutes ago, william.scherk said:

literaryDinnerGuests.jpg

I got Eco and Woolf, who's the third one?

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1 minute ago, 9thdoctor said:

Well, I'd really like Eco, Pynchon, and Wodehouse.

But we know a lot about each of them, even Pynchon for all his reclusiveness.   Why waste the opportunity?  Is this like the genie in the bottle, where you only get three wishes?  And (natch) can't wish for more wishes?

Then, how about Shakespeare, Jonson, and Bacon?  Let's settle this authorship question once and for all.

And do they all have to be English speakers?  Can we hand out Babel fish?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_races_and_species_in_The_Hitchhiker's_Guide_to_the_Galaxy#Babel_fish

Then let's pull in St. Paul, the author of the Gospel of John, and Julian the Apostate.  That one ought to be fun to watch.  And it could all be conducted in Greek.  Which I don't speak.  So I'd be the only one in need of the Babel fish.  

Of course they can be  of any language!.. I  want to be there too, and  if John the Baptist crashes the party I want to hear his comments on primogeniture!

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6 minutes ago, 9thdoctor said:

I got Eco and Woolf, who's the third one?

It is James Baldwin of course! And they are in Paris in....say,  1776.

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2 minutes ago, caroljane said:

Of course they can be  of any language!.. I  want to be there too, and  if John the Baptist crashes the party I want to hear his comments on primogeniture!

Excellent.  Then let's mix it up.  Naturally there must be Aristotle, Aquinas, and Rand. 

And how about Hume, Kant, and...alright, Rand again.  Bet no food gets digested at that meal. 

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1 minute ago, caroljane said:

It is James Baldwin of course! And they are in Paris in....say,  1776.

1776?  None of those three had been born yet.  Typo?  Or a joke I'm totally not getting?

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1 minute ago, 9thdoctor said:

Excellent.  Then let's mix it up.  Naturally there must be Aristotle, Aquinas, and Rand. 

And how about Hume, Kant, and...alright, Rand again.  Bet no food gets digested at that meal. 

Er, no. This is  the 21st century and  you cannot only invite one token female philosopher. You will have to invite Tara Smith too.  Chortle, chortle.

 

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4 minutes ago, 9thdoctor said:

1776?  None of those three had been born yet.  Typo?  Or a joke I'm totally not getting?

Sorry, my time travel fantasies -- since it is us now meeting the already dead, I just thought of a past setting for the group. Kind of like a Destination getaway.

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14 minutes ago, caroljane said:

Er, no. This is  the 21st century and  you cannot only invite one token female philosopher. You will have to invite Tara Smith too.  Chortle, chortle.

 

But with only three attendees, and given that Tara Smith isn't going to add anything to Rand's contributions...why again?

A couple more: Proust, Tchaikovsky, and Wilde.  Let's see who hooks up with who.

And a bit of a stomach-turner: Gobineau, Hitler, and David Irving.  Here the idea is that Hitler will hate the Frenchman Gobineau for originating his (anti-semitic) ideas, and so will boast about how many Jews he killed, to the surprise (NOT) of Irving, who thinks (NOT) that Hitler didn't order or even know about the Holocaust.  On second thought, I'd rather not attend that dinner party. 

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15 minutes ago, 9thdoctor said:

But with only three attendees, and given that Tara Smith isn't going to add anything to Rand's contributions...why again?

A couple more: Proust, Tchaikovsky, and Wilde.  Let's see who hooks up with who.

And a bit of a stomach-turner: Gobineau, Hitler, and David Irving.  Here the idea is that Hitler will hate the Frenchman Gobineau for originating his (anti-semitic) ideas, and so will boast about how many Jews he killed, to the surprise (NOT) of Irving, who thinks (NOT) that Hitler didn't order or even know about the Holocaust.  On second thought, I'd rather not attend that dinner party. 

Oh, too close to the bone for me too.  As a Boomer, my ground zero definition of utter evil  still stays fixed at the Holocaust.

How about a more  genteel walk down literary lane?  after dinner tea-drinking with Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen and Candace Bushnell.   Bronte scorned Austen' s work as trivial and bloodless, Austen would have found Bronte rather common but interesting,and  Bushnell rather vulgar and pushing.  Bronte and Bushnell would have bonded over hating on Austen for not appreciating their superior qualities.

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13 minutes ago, caroljane said:

Oh, too close to the bone for me too.  As a Boomer, my ground zero definition of utter evil  still stays fixed at the Holocaust.

How about a more  genteel walk down literary lane?  after dinner tea-drinking with Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen and Candace Bushnell.   Bronte scorned Austen' s work as trivial and bloodless, Austen would have found Bronte rather common but interesting,and  Bushnell rather vulgar and pushing.  Bronte and Bushnell would have bonded over hating on Austen for not appreciating their superior qualities.

Yeah, let's scratch the Hitler one.  Irving would enjoy meeting him, and I wouldn't want to be the originator of pleasure for any of those three. 

Are we assuming that Bronte and Austen will have read Bushnell?  In their after-lives?  I suppose if we're going to have an Aristotle-Aquinas-Ayn Rand meetup, then we'll have to allow such impossibilities. 

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9 minutes ago, 9thdoctor said:

Yeah, let's scratch the Hitler one.  Irving would enjoy meeting him, and I wouldn't want to be the originator of pleasure for any of those three. 

Are we assuming that Bronte and Austen will have read Bushnell?  In their after-lives?  I suppose if we're going to have an Aristotle-Aquinas-Ayn Rand meetup, then we'll have to allow such impossibilities. 

Oh, no! It is a dinner party! They are politely getting acquainted and describing their work to each other as the wine flows and they unwind ....

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lol. my final thought tonight is Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sappho, and Edna St, Vincent Millay. I think they would all have got along swimmingly.

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On ‎5‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 10:18 PM, 9thdoctor said:

I got Eco and Woolf, who's the third one?

Baldwin, not Alex? The other Baldwin brother, Bro.

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For mystery writing? John D. McDonald. Baldacci. John Sandford. 

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