A dinner party…

February 1, 2007

Over at Angel Station the other day, Walter Jon Williams lists 10 people in history he would invite to a dinner, assuming no language barrier. They include the following:

Servilia
Benjamin Franklin
Frederick the Great
Catherine the Great
Voltaire
Talleyrand
Oscar Wilde
Shakespeare
Benvenuto Cellini
Alcibiades

Williams lists his reasons, and it’s an interesting reasoning. Servilia, for example, was Caesar’s mistress, mother of Brutus, and Cato’s half-sister and knew a good many people of the early Roman empire. “Near-misses,” he says, “included Mary Shelley, Tu Fu, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Li Po, Elizabeth I, Henry VIII, and Niccolo Macchiavelli.”

He then asks the reader who they would invite.

I’ve actually thought about this many times over the years. Being that it’s subject to whim and changes in my mood, and is a little more eclectic, I’ve never been able to narrow it down to a solid ten people. For today:

Peter the Great
Oscar Wilde
John Lennon
Alexander the Great
Charles Dickens
Thomas Jefferson
Napoleon
Lord Byron
Frederick the Great
Mozart

You’ll notice a lack of women there, not because I have anything against women, but I’m not familiar with many of them save Livia, wife of Augustus, Madame Pompadour, and Ayn Rand, who could actually be included in the list but would probably be too contrary to get along with anyone else.

Imagine the clash of egos in the current list though. If some of the folks couldn’t make it and Adolf Hitler and Ernest Hemingway showed up, or it was evened out out with Buddha, Jesus Christ and say, Marcus Aurelius, and then Elvis Presley, Lincoln, and Ben Franklin for color?

Eh. Good thing this isn’t a real option. I’d never get the dinner list narrowed down, and it would suck not to have any women around anyway.

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