Answering Proust’s Questionnaire

Answering Proust’s Questionnaire

The questions here are from the second questionnaire he developed, the one when he was 20. I thought it might be a fun exercise.

Your most marked characteristic?

Well, I’ve got a lot of forehead.

What do you most value in your friends?

Sense of humor

What is your principle defect?

I’m too sensitive to the opinions of others.

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?

Any condition in which you are completely helpless and dependent on the assistance of others.

What would you like to be?

Smarter, quicker on the uptake, and better at math.

What is your favorite color?

A nice cobalt or federal blue

What is your favorite flower?

Bird of paradise

What is your favorite bird?

Great horned owl

Who are your favorite prose writers?

David McCullough, John Steinbeck, Candice Millard, Walter Isaacson

Who are your favorite poets?

Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Frost, W.H. Auden

Who are your heroes in real life?

John Lewis, Malala Yousafzai, and the activist students of Margery Stoneman Douglas High School, especially Emma Gonzales and Cameron Kasky

Who are your favorite heroines of history?

Clara Barton, Marie Curie, and Rosalind Franklin

What are your favorite names?

Jack, Aniela, Finley, and Harper

What is it you most dislike?

Dishonesty, coconut, and anyone who thinks that the stumbling dotard in the White House is the right person for the job

What historical figures do you most despise?

Hitler, Pol Pot, Charlton Heston, and Charles Manson, and yes, I realize that Heston didn’t slaughter anyone, but jeesh he was a dick.

What event in military history do you most admire?

The assault on Pointe du Hoc by Rudder’s Rangers on D-Day. Spectacular bravery.

Rangers climbed this cliff under unbelievably heavy fire.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?

I would like to not drop things so much, is that a natural gift?

How would you like to die?

Painlessly and by most anything except a stroke

What is your present state of mind?

Largely content but horribly worried about what those absolute dunderheads in Washington will do next

What is your motto?

Anything worth doing is worth doing right.

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