04 November 2009


Hoof, why did I sign up for this again? Okay, something else. Tonight it’s the Proust Questionnaire.

1.What is your idea of perfect happiness? 
No pain, no yearning, and to exist without the weight or burden of self.

2.What is your greatest fear? 
Dying, and the eternity of nothingness that follows.

3.What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

4.What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Smugness. Or immodesty. I don’t know, some combination of the two. Smudesty.

5.Which living person do you most admire?
My son.

6.What is your greatest extravagance?
The time I spend online.

7.What is your current state of mind?
It’s standing on the edge of a high diving board that is suspended above an empty pool.

8.What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Beauty, obviously. Nobody has to work at beauty, so why do we reward those who have it? Ptooee.

9.On what occasion do you lie?
When I want to spare someone’s feelings. I think that’s important to do. There’s nothing virtuous about crushing someone.

10.What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My eyes. They look hound-doggish when I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror.

11.Which living person do you most despise?
I’d rather not say.

12.What is the quality you most like in a man?

13.What is the quality you most like in a woman?

14.Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I quite like [insert likeable thing here].

15.What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Bruce. Or Hartley. Brucely. Hartluce.

16.When and where were you happiest?
I don’t remember.

17.Which talent would you most like to have?
Musicality, or paintingness.

18.If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would feel less awkward about talking to people.

19.What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Changing my life from what it used to be.

20.If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I’d want to come back as myself. I can’t imagine being anyone or anything else. That would be frightening.

21.Where would you most like to live?
France, or some non-existent place in Italy.

22.What is your most treasured possession?
A small box of memorabilia from childhood.

23.What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? 
Being in a very bad situation you know you're not going to change. That’s different from the lowest depth of grief, obviously.

24.What is your favorite occupation?
I haven’t found it yet, but I imagine it would be writing. It’s the only thing I actually put effort into without feeling like I’ve lost something.

25.What is your most marked characteristic?
I wish I knew.

26.What do you most value in your friends?
Mutual respect, and the sense that I can speak to them in confidence and vice versa.

27.Who are your favorite writers?
This changes with the books I’m reading because I admire a lot of writers. Right now it’s Wells Tower. I used to really like Murakami, but then I realised everyone else in the world does too, which makes me question his value. I know that’s silly, but the best writers make you feel as though they are writing only for you.

28.Who is your hero of fiction?
Fictional hero? Or writer of fiction? If it’s the former, then I’m not sure. I don’t think writers are heroic. It’s easy to sit alone in a room and make things up. It’s much more courageous to try and see things the way they really are, and feel helpless in the face of that.

29.Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I’m ignorant of most historical figures. I’ve been told that I resemble a Joan of Arc figure, and I remember feeling like a persecuted crusader when I was in a mental institute, so maybe her.

30.Who are your heroes in real life?
The professors at the university where I did my film degree. They are some of the most dedicated and interesting people I’ve ever met.

31.What are your favorite names?
I admire simple names, like Sam, but I’m always choosing silly names like Jupiter. If I have another son, I think I’d like to name him Casper.

32.What is it that you most dislike?
The feeling of impermanence, or that life could end at any moment so you can never really relax.

33.What is your greatest regret?
That I fell out of touch with a wonderful friend who died in an accident a few years later. I wish I’d told her how much she meant to me, but I was young.

34.How would you like to die?
I’ve thought about this, and I still don’t know. I think it would be horrific to die before you have the chance to say goodbye to your people and to yourself. But I think it would be horrific to contemplate eternity as imminent also. I think I would like to know that it was going to happen and then drift away surrounded by people I felt good being around.

35.What is your motto?
I don’t have a motto. Mottos are for people who think in absolutes. Maybe that’s my motto.

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