If you could invite any three literary figures from different eras to a Sunday Dinner who would they be?
I usually avoid the Literary Blog Hop because the questions intimidate me far too much. My blogging is about me typing whatever comes to mind, not sitting down and really thinking through a question, formulating some kind of response in my mind and carefully typing it out and revising it along the way. If I operated that way, do you think I'd be posting songs from Mannequin? And how much poorer we all would be.
But this week's is easy enough for me to do. I mean, if I wanted to do it right, I'd painstakingly consider all the variables, make a top ten list, and then slowly narrow it down to three.
As it stands, I scanned my Goodreads books and then chose three people based on how much I've wanted to yell at them/kiss their feet.
You know, I've never really been into meeting authors. I've heard enough stories about them turning out to be assholes and ruining their works for people that I'm not one to jump at the chance. That being said, the only authors I've met have been Orson Scott Card and Elizabeth Kostova, and they were both lovely people. So maybe I need to stop being such a Judgey McJudgerson and just answer the question.
"Eras" is tricky. Which means I'm going to cheat. Number one on my list is going to be Patrick Dennis, as he was supposed to be delightful at dinner parties AND wrote my favorite book of ever, Auntie Mame. He's hilarious and clever and an excellent writer. When he lost his money late in life, he became a butler, which he apparently enjoyed. Anyway, he'd keep people appeased and conversation going.
Number two, and I'm slightly cheating because their eras overlap, but she's still 30 years older than he is, Dorothy L. Sayers. Oh, Sayers! You were a Christian humanist and just so utterly fantastic. The first thing I read of hers, weirdly enough, was not the Lord Peter Wimsey series, but her translation of The Song of Roland, which was great. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And then I found out that oh, she writes detective novels too. She would be open-minded enough not to set off Patrick Dennis, and she'd be well-versed enough in the Classics to have a decent conversation with:
George Eliot. Oh, Georgy. So smart and so unattractive. She is honestly MAYBE the most intelligent female author I've read. I emphasize female because for her time (1819-1880) it was, of course, not the fashion for women to be all up in smartitude. At least not to the extent she was. But she's also the Queen of 19th c. Fanfic, and I have some questions for her. Like why's she so into men of the land with clear brows and sturdy, capable hands? Why did she think Romola was in any way a good idea? And could she please rewrite Middlemarch with more kissing scenes?
If I had written this list when I was 16, the answer would be Charlotte Bronte, Charlotte Bronte and Charlotte Bronte. I am not kidding when I say my Jane Eyre-obsessed self used to have imaginary conversations with her about her life and book. And yes, I'm now aware of how very weird that was. But if you were one of the enormous number of 16-year-old girls who makes a period of her life entirely about Jane Eyre, then you should understand. Because that book is the HEIGHT of love and angst when you're a teenager and therefore an idiot.
Man. That dinner party would kick ass.