My fantasy dinner party of twelve people with the genders more or less matched. Setting aside the temptation to only include people I actually know, and the greater temptation to include a lot of my own personal dead, I think mine goes something like:
Kate Bornstein, because she is funny smart and mad
Neil Gaiman, because he is some of the best company I know
A very young Samuel Johnson before he became the Doctor and still had radical anger in him
Mozart because you just can't have one person from the eighteenth century, it'd be rude and besides he might play the piano
Pauline Kael, because I would like to talk to her about movies and if I know anything about them I learned it from her
Angela Carter, because she is the writer I most admire and we were not on especially good terms in the years before she died and I'd like to patch that up
Lotte Lenya, because she sang like a glorious crow and her letters are charming and smart
S J Perelman, because he was one of the funniest men who ever lived
Elizabeth the First, because she was someone who would adapt to circumstances better than most people plucked out of time and was smart and witty
Disraeli so I could ask him about my theories and listen to him talk
Nicole Kidman because there needs to be someone beautiful and she is apparently quite bright.
Oh and me...