Who’d be on your literary dinner list?

Today is World Poetry Day. On Facebook this morning I made a comment that W.H. Auden was one of, say, ten people with whom I’d like to have had a long literary dinner party. This got others thinking (along the lines of “Rod Benson reads literature?!!”,  and possibly also “pffft”), and Mike Frost asked me who, apart from him, would be on my list.

Well, if we limited the guests to novelists writing in English during the past century, and insisted on five women and five men, my guest list would be the one printed below. Sorry, Mike, but you’d be on some of my other lists, and I’d guarantee you a fine dining experience with people who’d get you fired up and more.

A similar list of poets is more difficult to assemble, at least for me, but I’ll give it some thought and blog it here later.

Who’d be on your literary dinner list?

Iris Murdoch

Graham Greene

Zadie Smith

Philip Roth

Flannery O’Connor

Anthony Burgess

Mary Wesley

David Malouf

Joyce Carol Oates

T.C. Boyle

And to serve the courses, I’d want Harold Bloom and Ayn Rand. With Bob Carr serving drinks. No, scratch Bob and call Bob Ellis.


P.S. Okay, so Mark Colvin pointed out to me via Twitter that ten guests at one table would be crazy. Sans the 20th-century limitation, he reckons he’d have Mary Shelley, Voltaire, Dickens, George Eliot, and Kingsley and Martin Amis “for verbal fireworks” (heh heh). So feel free to divide my list after Flannery for two still awesome nights of revelry, ranting and rancour.

One Reply to “Who’d be on your literary dinner list?”

  1. 5 from the 20th Century:

    Vladimir Nabovok
    David Foster Wallace
    John Updike
    Norman Mailer
    Martin Amis

    As Nabovok said, when it comes to literature my tastes are distinctly homosexual.

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