Ok, that line isn’t in the book, it’s from the Disney movie Alice in Wonderland from 1951. But it is from the tea party scene. With the coming release of the Tim Burton movie, “Alice in Wonderland” many of us are feeling some Alice-fever. Based on this idea, Gypsyscarlett has posted a very intriguing list of six authors, 3 male, 3 female, she would invite to a tea party. Although whittling the list down to only six was almost physically painful, here are my six who made the cut:
1. Lewis Carroll. The man himself, the inventor of the Mad Tea Party, would be the penultimate guest at such a soiree. And of course he’d have to finally explain why a raven is like a writing desk.
2. Jane Austen. You had to see that coming. So many questions about her books, where she got her inspiration, how many of her characters were based on real people, why she had Cassandra burn her letters after her death. Her insights into human nature and emotion blew me away. For a country parson’s daughter to achieve what she did while living the stifling sort of life an unmarried woman in early 19th century England was condemned to is nothing short of miraculous. Why do we lose so many of the great ones so young?
3. Virginia Woolf. Another trail-blazer. I’d love to have her and Jane Austen in the same room. Honestly, the woman is an icon, what more can I say?
4. Isaac Asimov. His visions of the future are still the basis for movies, research, books, you name it. The inventor of the Three Laws of Robotics (1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm; 2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law; 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law) will hopefully govern the behavior and development of robots as they become more and more human-like in the future, as I have no doubt they will.
5. Jack Kerouac. We have to have one wild child. I want to hear more road stories, in his beautiful prose. The man sure had a way with words. Charles Laughton, who did one-man reading tours, included a selection from “The Dharma Bums” that makes you stop whatever you’re doing and listen. As Mr. Laughton said, “Not too bad for a beatnik.” Another one we lost way too soon.
6. Edith Wharton. Her novels gave us a glimpse of life among the wealthy and privileged and what the consequences can be for those who somehow fall outside the lines in late 19th c – early 20th c New York. I would love to know what she really thought of her peers. And I’d like to settle the question of whether Lily Bart’s death was suicide or an accidental overdose.
So those are my picks for a tea party, although I could see this lasting well into the night and the drink eventually turning to sterner stuff.
Now, who would you invite to tea?