My Answers To The Proust Questionnaire

My Answers To The Proust Questionnaire

In Hitch 22, Christopher Hitchens answers the famous Proust questionnaire. I just published an article on Christopher Hitchens Proust Questionnaire, and it got me thinking it might be cool to answer the questions myself and then periodically return to them over the years.

They are simple questions that, should they be taken seriously, will supposedly reveal your true nature.

So then… what is my true nature?

Where would you live?

2022: Nairobi, Taiwan, Australia? Somewhere where I can laugh a lot as well realise my ambition.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?

2022: To receive all manner of external validation of success.

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?

2022: Sugar, alcohol and melancholy, self-pity.

Who are your favourite heroes of fiction?

2022: Edmond Dantes. Bruce Wayne.

Who are your favourite characters in history?

2022: James Holman, Percival Fawcett, Thomas Alexandre Dumas, Christopher Hitchens, Norm Macdonald.

Who are your favourite heroines in real life?

2022: My mother. My wife. Those who endure pathetic men for the betterment of their children (those are unrelated… I hope).

Who are your favourite heroines of fiction?

2022: I don’t think I know any. Professor Minerva McGonagall?

Your favourite painter?

2022: Goya, Dali.

Your favourite musician?

2022: Colin Hay, Kanye West, Fleetwood Mac.

The quality you most admire in a man?

2022: Reliability. Honesty. Self-deprecation.

Your favourite virtue?

2022: The appreciation and application of irony. Anonymous kindness.

Your least favourite virtue, or nominee for the most overrated one?

2022: Hitchens said faith and patience. I can’t think of anything original to add to that, although I wouldn’t include patience.

Your proudest achievement?

2022: I’m not sure if there are any worth mentioning yet (… hopefully).

Your favourite occupation?

2022: Variety that briefly exposes me to how the world really works. Whether this is podcasting, reading, writing or conducting business. Travel brings this out best, but so does reading. An idyllic occupation would be an endless string of photojournalistic projects.

Who would you have liked to be?

2022: One of the great explorers of the 18/19th century.

Your most marked characteristic?

2022: Impatience, I think. Though I don’t think this is for me to say.

What do you most value in your friends?

2022: The way they can make me laugh, and the way I can ‘be myself’ around them. It’s shared language and between the lines irony.

What is your principle defect?

2022: A lack of commitment.

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?

2022: To fail every time you try.

What would you like to be?

2022: A true renaissance man. Someone who not only masters the softer sciences but can as well discuss mathematics, engineering or physics with the best of them.

What is your favourite colour?

2022: Orange? This is a stupid question. Maybe Black.

What is your favourite flower?

2022: I can name like 3 flowers.  

What is your favourite bird?

2022: See above. Although the Terradactly is cool.

What word or expression do you most overuse?

2022: Like, Um, Youknow. Stupid, distracting, unprofessional filler words.

Who are your favourite poets?

2022: I have 0 knowledge of poetry.

What are your favourite names?

Freja, Emma, Richard, Bob.

What is it you most dislike?

2022: Ghosting.

Which historical figures do you most despise?

2022: I can’t think of anything better to say than Hitler, Stalin, Potts & Mao.

Which contemporary figures do you most despise?

2022: Better question, but I’m not sure who I really despise that much.

Which events in military history do you most admire?

2022: See poetry response.

Which natural gift would you most like to possess?

2022: A photographic memory and genius-level IQ.

How would you like to die?

2022: Old as fuck and fully functional.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

2022: I identify a lot with what Hitchens says “The way in which it makes former admirers search for neutral words”. But I most dislike the stubborn fat which hangs around despite my efforts. Salman Rushdie responded at the height of the fatwa “it’s infrequency”.

What is your motto?

2022: I don’t have a motto, but I do love to say ‘back yourself’.


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