Sunday, September 25, 2016

Notes on the Invitation List for a Literary Dinner Party

Samuel Beckett: Says he can't come to dinner, but he's coming to dinner. Bringing a pebble as his guest.
Fanny Burney: Coming? Made it to page 1,342 of her reply, but haven't found answer to invitation yet.
Lewis Carroll: Put children to bed before arrival.
Agatha Christie: Promises to bring her own arsenic.
Gabriele D'Annunzio: Will arrive by aeroplane on the lawn. Say good-bye to garden.
Emily Dickinson: Arrange flowery bower with bee hive in which she may hide from view. Songbirds and frogs optional.
Arthur Conan Doyle: Avoid at all cost mention of fairies.
Elena Ferrante: Requires camouflage - perhaps a humanoid teepee made out of the wallpaper?
Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Never mind. Paint over wallpaper.
Antonio Gramsci: Wishes it noted that, although all men are intellectuals, D'Annunzio is a nincompoop and doesn't count. Seat at other end of the table.
Alice James: Set smelling salts, milk of magnesia, and laudanum at seat. Rent small therapy dog for the evening. Says Nurse will eat beforehand at home.
James Joyce: Prefers crockery to have lewd designs; says otherwise party is too boring and monoideal.
Vaslav Nijinsky: Alright, alright, he's not a writer... But rumor has it, he comes to parties in his faun costume (!), so sure to prove a beneficial sight for Emily and Alice.
George Sand: Won't come without Chopin and Chopin concerned about drafts. Send photographic proof that windows close tightly. Reconsider Nijinsky, as Chopin might not survive the shock.
Jonathan Swift: Requests Irish baby for his entrée. Actually seems to be in earnest.
Henry David Thoreau: Requests that he be served his dinner outside, on a log. Would prefer that the weather be rainy.
P.L. Travers: Hide the Disney videos.
Simone Weil: Says dinner parties are for bourgeois oppressors. Will only eat food if has grown it herself in the garden first.
Virginia Woolf: Insists on buying the flowers herself. Says, last time, the flowers were all wrong and she was busy weeks writing out her frustration. Also, requests private dining room.

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