Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Sunday-Salon/Literary-Blog-Hop Mashup: Dinner with Your Favorite Literary Figures

Literary Blog Hop

Welcome to the Literary Blog Hop
hosted by The Blue Bookcase!

This monthly blog hop is open to blogs
that primarily feature
book reviews of literary fiction,
classic literature, and general literary discussion.

Our question this week comes from Mel u over at The Reading Life:

When I was in my early teens I read a book called Van Loon's Lives by Hendrick Willlem Van Loon. It was written in 1942 (Van Loon was a Newberry Winner for another work). I was maybe ten or so when I first read it and I was totally fascinated. The story line is that Von Loon and his good friend found a magic way to invite three famous literary figures from different eras for a Sunday Dinner. The book gives mini bios of the guests, explains the food the would have wanted and shows their dinner conversations. If you could invite any three literary figures from different eras to a Sunday Dinner who would they be? Magic takes care of the language issues.

Let's have our Sunday Dinner in a small café near Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris. Trays of fresh fruits and cheeses with crusty baguettes and all the best wines. An endless supply of macaroons. I'd have little tables of three or so, but there is no way I'm limiting myself to three guests.

I'd love to seat eighth century Chinese haiku poet Li Po with twentieth century mysteriously disappearing poet Weldon Kees and (Stop it! I know it's odd, but it's my Sunday Dinner!) Billy Collins, all at the Poetry Table. I'll place my favorite librarian Nancy Pearl with avid readers Steven Gilbar and Sara Nelson and Michael Dirda and Susan Hill at the Let's-Talk-About-Good-Books table. I'd like to see ZAMM author Robert Pirsig with the Dali Lama and Happiness Project author and blogger Gretchen Rubin at the Happiness Table. And, finally, I'll put Dr. Seuss with snarly Mo Willems and William Steig and Window author Jeannie Baker and Don and Audrey Wood (happily reunited in marriage and writing and working together again) and the she-could-sit-anywhere Maira Kalman at the Picture Book Table.

And I, merrily flitting from table to table, refilling glasses of Bordeaux and sneaking off now and then to scribble down some of my guests' beautiful words. 

Of course, you are invited. You know how these Parisian soirées can run late into the night. Come on over. We are waiting for you.


  1. Oh, my, what a wonderful soiree it will be! I like the idea of a table for Gretchen Rubin and the Dali Lama.

    Your menu sounds tempting, too! I'm there....


  2. Always a fun question. I'd love to have a chat with Geoffrey Chaucer, Willa Cather, and Charles Dickens. It would probably be a slightly odd luncheon.

  3. It would be so difficult to only choose three!

  4. Great description of your Sunday meal! I lagged and am not doing a Sunday Salon today, instead I am visiting and commenting on blogs, sort of getting back in touch with other bloggers

  5. Nice job! I like your notion of several tables with groups of three; and your proposed guest lists are terrific. I'd like to be the waiter serving those tables! Well done! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, and I wish you a great week! Cheers! Chris

  6. Two of my four tea party guests have died since I wrote this post in 2006, but these were my Grandes Dames Litteraires:

    I'd also enjoy being a fly on the wall at your tea party/salon.

  7. I've got a spot just for you, Laurel-Rain. :-)

  8. Thank you for sharing your post from 2006, Sherry.

  9. Great answer-I like the beautiful setting you have provided for your dinner affair-


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