My dinner parties are much like everyone elses, although I do have to ask people to supply their own cutlery sometimes. Often there are friends of friends, people I don’t know myself or people who I am trying to introduce to each other so they can rent each others houses, agist each others animals and generally make each others lives (and mine) easier. Sometimes they are just people with whom I think have something in common. Occasionally, when we don’t adhere to the old rule about no discussion of sex, politics or religion, when we have had too much to drink, people disagree vociferously.
Everyone wants the obvious people at their imaginary dinner parties. Oscar Wilde, for example, is booked out for the next two centuries. My sister suggests that having Dr Frankenstein and his monster on the same night would make for some lively conversation. Was the monster consulted about what parts were used to construct him? Maybe he had strong views that Dr Frankenstein didn’t put into practice. It would be interesting to hear what they had to say to each other after a cider or five.
Why not have Mary Shelley as well? The whole thing was her fault to begin with, and I think her partner is quite attractive in an emo kind of way- also, he might be pursuaded to read after dinner if he’s working on something new. If we’re having the Shelleys, it is only polite to invite her mother, who I would love to meet. We could discuss the changes in femnism over two centuries, and then I would also invite Caitlin Moran, whose wit and badger hair I admire, and who also has the advantage of still being alive.
Moran has even expressed a desire to meet Mary Wollestonecraft:’That was so ballsy, you know? That was an era where there were people around who could still remember witches being burned. So not just to give her hope and make her realize that she did start something that was incredible, but also to reward her by letting her just sit back and listen to some Beyonce, and order a really fucking amazing steak, and some underwear that wasn’t made of sacking cloth, and that wasn’t full of nits. I would bring Mary Wollstonecraft back and show her the 21st century. Give her some wine.’