1. Suggest a question for us to answer

Q:23 I asked what now?

 Posted by at 1:30 pm on 30 June 2013  blogjune, The Past, Thinking  No Responses »
Jun 302013

It’s the last day of #blogjune 2013, so I guess it’s better late than never 🙂

Con, I am so sorry I asked you this one, although I was intrigued by your answer. But it is HARD. What was I thinking?

If you could invite 6 guests from any time to a dinner party, who would you ask and why? Let’s presume you can choose which age they are when they come, that they are not freaked out totally by all the new technology surrounding them and that they will actually talk and socialise with the other guests.

Like Con, I asked my nearest and dearests, and I was intrigued by Mr10’s suggestion, “Adolf Hitler …. as a baby”. I like that. I think that it would be interesting to have a  reminder that even those considered the epitome of evil were once innocent and vulnerable. Maybe it would be nice to ask Gandhi as a baby also and put them on a mat to play together to see what happens. Would Gandhi insist on taking all the toys while vulnerable little Adolf fills his nappy in the corner of the playpen? The mind boggles…

I think I’ll stick with the baby Hitler idea, which leaves five more slots. I am presuming that I could get the guests to talk about what I wanted them to talk about. I am going for an entertaining dinner full of stories that I could never hope to experience otherwise, rather than a pleasant evening full of modest and rather nice people. It looks like I would prefer hearing from people who were rebellious and went against the social mores of their time…

So, my guests  would be:

1. Baby Adolf Hitler – let’s say 12 months, so essentially pre-verbal.

Photograph of Anaïs Nin as a teenager, circa 1920.Source:  Sexual Fables

2. Anais Nin. Author, narcissist and sexual adventurer. For a few hours she would be entertaining company, although if her writing is anything to go on, totally self-absorbed. I would ask either the “living in Paris at the height of experimentation and daringness” Ms Nin or at the very end of her life. I think that meeting with someone who is in the middle of bucking convention and making her way in uncharted territory would be exhilarating.  She managed to have two husbands at the end of her life – one on each coast of the USA, so I would be interested to hear how on earth she did it, and whether it was worth it.


3. Freddie Mercury. Singer, song writer … and… oh dear … sexual adventurer. I’d invite the Freddie at the height of success but before the AIDS epidemic had touched the gay community. I would love to hear him compare notes with Anais Nin .

© Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons

4. Plato. I’d like to find out whether he just made up Socrates as a narrative device for his own philosophy or whether he was just a scribe for his teacher. Also, he is probably the most unlike any of the other guests so may act as a catalyst to bring out other stories or angles that the others may not have considered without his presence.

5. Dorothy Parker from around the 1920s. Fresh from lunch at the Algonquin Round Table , aiming for wit and a pithy comment and likely to have acerbic commentary on every exploit of the other members of the table.

6. Jessica Mitford at the end of her life, as long as she would forgive me for inviting the other women in the prime of their youth… I’d hope she’d talk about her family of eccentric sisters, her work with the American Communist party and then by the end of it all round off with what must be one of the strangest recordings ever – her rendition of the Beatles’ Maxwell’s Silver Hammer .

When I next add a post to this blog – hopefully with less gap than last time, I will be answering Con’s last question to me : “When you were 13, what did you want to be when you grew up?” … and then asking her a hopefully less hairy question.