- Table talk (literature)
Table talk is a species of memoir in which a collector (biographer, colleague, friend, etc.) records impromptu comments by some famous person (made generally at the dining table or in small get-togethers), in anticipation of their lasting value. The collector may go on to publish the remarks in book form.
"Table talk" may also refer to a similar informal conversation, more deliberately engaged in by the famous person, with the direct intent of publication (somewhat analogous to granting an interview).
Collections of such table talks by royal persons, celebrities, and other important personalities dating back to the
3rd centuryexist. The phrase "table talk" has been in use in the English languagesince the 16th century.
As examples, published table talks exist for:
Frederick the Great
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Ludwig van Beethoven
Johann von Goethe
George Bernard Shaw
Occasionally, comments are collected from others by a notable person as part of that person's working notes and may survive in the papers of that person.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, for example, kept notes on the conversations of his family and friends, many of whom, of course, were noteworthy.
Table talks online
*Samuel Taylor Coleridge: [http://books.google.com/books?id=gwdLAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=table+talk&lr=]
*Abraham Lincoln: [http://books.google.com/books?id=jGtJAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=%22table+talk+%22&lr=]
*Martin Luther: [http://books.google.com/books?id=nIFAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=table+tak]
*Samuel Johnson: [http://books.google.com/books?id=WzofAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=table+talk&lr=]
*John Selden: [http://books.google.com/books?id=jPkqAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=table+talk] [http://books.google.com/books?id=pB9IML8cKtkC&printsec=frontcover&dq=table+talk&lr=]
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