Proust for skedaddlers

Posted: June 27, 2010 in Musings, Writing
Tags: , , , ,

It would take more than a ten-hour flight to Hawaii to get me started on Proust, the French writer best known for his humongous work, A la recherche du temps perdu.

But thanks to Simone Howell at Inside a dog, I’ve found a way to invoke Proust, while skedaddling out of the country, and without actually committing to reading the seven-volume translation.

She put me on to the Proust Questionaire, which was devised by young Marcel at the age of twenty, as a means of revealing one’s innermost self. More than a century later it remains a popular interview strategy, with Vanity Fair featuring the Proust Questionnaire on its back page each month.

If you want to have a bit of fun with it while I’m away, just copy the questions and add your answers in the comments or, if you have a blog, do it there and link back to Inside a dog or indeed, to me, if you want to share the love around. :)

THE PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE

What is your most marked characteristic?

I never give up. People interpret this as patience, but I suspect it is sheer bloody-mindedness.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Normally it’s the superior heat-generating capability in winter, but because he’s taking me to Hawaii, I’ll say kindness, because I love that in a man.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Warmth (as in emotional, not the heat-generating variety)

What do you most value in your friends?

Loyalty, laughs and the safety net they provide when I fall.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

The ease with which I am distracted (Like now, I am supposed to be leaving for the airport).

What is your favorite occupation?

Firefighter. Oh, for me personally? That would be writing.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Blue sky, sunshine, friends and family, laughing.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

When I am powerless to help or comfort those I love

In which country would you like to live?

Australia; everyone I love lives here

Who are your favorite writers?

Peter Temple, Marcus Zusak, Melina Marchetta, Carol O’Connell, Kate Atkinson

Who are your favorite poets?

Ross Clark and David Stavanger

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

The father in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

Who is your favorite heroine of fiction?

Jane Eyre, for never giving up

Who are your favorite composers?

George Gershwin, Bob Dylan

Who are your favorite painters?

Klimt, Redon, Lautrec …and Rochele Painters who are doing the outside of the house while I’m away.

What are your favorite names?

The ones that suit my characters

What is it that you most dislike?

Cruelty

Which talent would you most like to have?

Singing

How would you like to die?

Peacefully, after a long healthy life filled with people I love

What is your current state of mind?

Distracted. It is my default mode.

What is your motto?

If you have a choice between doing something and doing nothing, always take the ‘do something’ option. You never know where it may lead…

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