Friday, May 30, 2014

Reader Friday: Your Literary Meal


If you could choose one author from the past to have dinner with, who would it be? Where would you want to dine with this person? What would you order? 

Most important, what questions would ask?

33 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's all cliche, but my first reaction was Ernest Hemingway. We would go to Sloppy Joe's bar in Key West. Dining? Drinking! And only his cocktail, Death in the Afternoon. I would ask him about death -- and life before.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mark Twain

    I'd ask: "Do have a good story?"

    We'd eat American cuisine from the crave list he wrote about in his "A Tramp Abroad" and finish with a warm slice of apple pie.

    ReplyDelete
  4. William Faulkner. Breakfast --- coffee and beignets - on a Wednesday morning in early April at Cafe du Monde by Jackson Square in New Orleans, about a block from where he wrote SOLDIERS' PAY. I would ask him to recommend five books to read.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Socrates. I'd let him order for me at a local Greek restaurant. We'd chat about his assessment of today's current events and some ways to make things better..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just don't let him order the drinks, Joe.

      Delete
    2. Good point. In that case, I would choose Dan Brown so I could ask to borrow $1M.

      Delete
    3. Oh, wait. He's alive. I'd still ask him for the money.

      Delete
    4. Joe--Go with Brown. Otherwise, you better speak ancient Greek. Or Socrates did some time-travel language studies way-back-when. If not, it's pretty much going to be pointing and eyebrows.

      Delete
  6. Drinking cafe allongé with James Baldwin at Le Select. I would ask him what it was like to live in Paris when it was still good and how he felt about writing "Giovanni's Room," which his own editor advised him to burn.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I would join Lance and Old Rebel. And I'd ask him what story is he working on, and steal it, lol! (Giving full credit to the Ghostwriter, of course!) ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Charlotte Bronte in beautiful gardens outside a Gothic style house in Yorkshire on a sunny day. I do believe the sun popped through the clouds now and then. We'd have cucumber sandwiches, lots of tea, a baked custard followed by a lovely syllabub, and what the heck, some ratafia cakes. Of course we couldn't eat that all at one time so I'd have to stay overnight and help solve the mystery of noises in the attic. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Harper Lee. I know she must have written more than one book, I want to see what wasn't published. And we'd invite Truman so I could ask him about "In Cold Blood". And I wouldn't care if we ate at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amanda, Oh yes...Truman. As the quote goes (that is wrongly attributed to him but is true to his form): "If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me." The stories he could tell...

      Delete
  10. Robert Benchley, because I don't think I'd stop laughing, and he'd have all sorts of inside dope on the literati.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Jules Verne for me. We'd go to a French restaurant and talk about all the modern everyday things that existed only in his imagination in his day. And thank him for showing me the world as I read him in grade school.

    ReplyDelete
  12. James: Who are the folks in the picture? Twain?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was a big soiree at Delmonico's in NYC on the occasion of Twain's 70th birthday. Apparently there were 170 guests, and several photos of groups at tables.

      This photo of Twain is here. You can sort of see the names on the bottom and I can't discern anyone famous. I suspect they were high NY society folks.

      Delete
  13. Arthur Conan Doyle. We'd have tea at a gentleman's club in London. I'd ask him very little, just let him talk.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Tough call. I'm a huge Shakespeare fan, but I think I'd have to sit down in a quiet restaurant with George Orwell and let him watch CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the local broadcasts all claim that one political party or the other is leading us toward an "Orwellian future." Then ask what he thought.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Most of my favourites are still present, but two who recently passed, Douglas Adams and Brian Jacques, top my list.

    We'd dine at my house, where I make these awesome burgers (dubbed "Basil-Burgers" by the kids in my church) and some killer chili con queso.

    I'd probably just chat with them about stuff in general. They'd meet the family, and if it felt safe, the extended family (Fillii et al). I'd want to hear stories from their childhood and formative years more than anything. If from that point we talked shop I'd start with something like:

    "How'd you come up with those story lines and characters?"

    Specifically for Brian I'd ask:

    "Why rodents?"

    And for Douglas particularly:

    "Can you define your logic path?"

    It'd be quite a fun conversation I think.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm going to be greedy. I don't want just one. I would be seated next to Dorothy Parker at the Algonquin Round Table and listen (and order another round of drinks to keep the conversation flowing.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you there, Terri. I'd buy a round, too!

      Delete
    2. Ditto Terri. That was the first one thought of but I'd take her into the Blue Bar at the Algonquin. The OLD Blue Bar not the remodeled one.

      Delete
  17. Gertrude Stein. We'd eat at an indian restaurant. Curry and lots of naan. I'd ask if she likes Indian food, and if she says "no" apologize profusely and leave immediately for a restaurant of her choosing. I'd ask her how she comes up with each word for her poems - "Just the next word that pops into your head or do you wrestle so precisely to find the right one?" I'd ask how she decides on word intent in such abstract writing.I'd ask her to tell me her own analysis of one of her poems. I'd ask for her autograph - "No one will ever believe I had dinner with a dead person if you don't!" I'd ask if she'd critique a page of my writing. I'd ask if we can get dinner again sometime.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The Apostle John. Imagine talking to a man who was eyewitness to the most important events in human history.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very good choice David, very good.

      Delete
    2. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

      Delete
    3. It has the same problem as Socrates though. If you can't speak ancient Greek or Hebrew and he doesn't understand modern English, you're going to have difficulty.

      Delete
  19. Raymond Chandler. I have no idea where though. I imagine anyplace with a bar would do. I'd like to know how he chose his words. His prose descriptions read like poetry. They're still engaging nearly 100 years later.

    ReplyDelete