Dinner party

When I think of the early 1500s, I think of Leonardo DaVinci. When I think of the early 1600s, I think of William Shakespeare.

The early 1700s remind me of Johann Sebastian Bach. And the early 1800s make me think of Jane Austen.

Four geniuses spaced roughly a century apart, working in four different artistic fields: an artist/inventor, a playwright, a composer and a novelist.

So why these four? I know there have been many geniuses throughout history, but those four happen to be particular favorites of mine.

Recently I’ve been trying to see the thread that connects them. And I think I have it.

What they all had in common was a sense of playfulness. There have been many other great geniuses: Goethe, Beethoven and Michelangelo, to name a few. But most of them were so damned serious — it was all about the Sturm und Drang.

When you look at the works of DaVinci, Shakespeare, Bach and Austen, you can clearly tell that they were having a blast. Sure, they were capable of great seriousness. But none of them ever seemed to forget that in its essence, invention is play.

I would love to have them all over for a dinner party. Imagine the conversations they would have! I am quite sure that I would be content just to sit back and listen.

3 Responses to “Dinner party”

  1. admin says:

    Many thanks to the reader who caught the spelling error in an earlier version of this post.

  2. J. Peterson says:

    I wonder how the conversation between Austen and Shakespeare (and Perlin) would go. They use “English”, but the language changed a bit in 200-400 years.

  3. admin says:

    I think we might need to presume some sort of hypothetical Universal Translation technology for this whole fantasy dinner party conceit to work.

    After all, Bach and DaVinci would be speaking early 18th century German and early 16th century Italian, respectively.

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