Thank you for the tag Miss Lady @jordanhamilton :) Here are my picks!
We'd have a lovely dinner in Paris (since this is a fantasy after all, and I LOVE French food), followed by wine and book discussions. :D Get ready for a total literary nerd daydream!
I'd love to have dinner with my favorite author, Italian novelist and essayist Italo Calvino. He's the author of my favorite book of all time, Invisible Cities (which if you haven't read – YOU NEED TO). His writings are this genius combination of fantastical fiction and literary theory, and I absolutely can't get enough of it. Reading his words, you can just tell this guy is a genius; I'd love to listen to him speak on the direction media and our consumption of it is taking today, and how his past insights on the activity of reading apply in this new age.
Book We'd Discuss: Invisible Cities
French literary theorist Roland Barthes was admired by Calvino, and the two of them definitely met while both were in Paris in the 1970's exploring the boundaries of literature at OuLiPo (aka The Workshop of Potential Literature). I think the resonance between their works is fascinating, so how much MORE fascinating would it be to hear them converse about literature and art in general? Barthes is one of my favorite theorists; I'd love to ask him about some of the more dense points in his essay S/Z, which I'm reading currently.
Book We'd Discuss: S/Z, his theoretical deconstruction of the short short Sarrasine by Balzac.
And finally, the least intellectual of the three is my other favorite author, Ken Kesey. He's a sort of psychedelic neo-Hemingway (is that heresy? no matter). He wrote One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, as well as his REAL magnum opus (in my opinion), Sometimes A Great Notion. He's not really into all that theoretical mumbo-jumbo, no: he'd probably dismiss it all with a wave of his cowboy hand. What I'd really like to ask him about is inspiration. He was the original Merry Prankster, one of those Day-Glo hippies who drove the bus Furthur across America, spreading LSD-laced good vibes and giving birth to the psychedelic movement in the 1960's. I'd like to hear firsthand about his experiences, and his inspiration in writing my favorite novel. His experiments with narrative perspective have always inspired me; he certainly wasn't the first to do it, but he did it well. It'd be cool to hear him, Calvino, and Barthes ping-pong back and forth on art, perception, and humanity.
Books We'd Discuss: Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test; Sometimes A Great Notion
I hope that wasn't too much of a nerd-out... -_____- Any other literary nerds out there??
Excited to hear who everybody else would like to dine with :)