The Proust Questionnaire, 2018

proust-questionnaire.jpgDear friends, family and all others: At 44, it is time to actually do it … below are my answers to the Proust Questionnaire – formulated without much thinking, with a glorious view of the Auckland Harbour Bridge and a bottle of decent New Zealand red wine.

Here are my thirty-five answers to thirty-five questions that everyone should think about every few years, and be it only for themselves.

__1.__What is your idea of perfect happiness?
To be in a position where I can make independent decisions.

__2.__What is your greatest fear?
To sacrifice freedom for convenience.

__3.__What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I still do not dare to say everything I think.

__4.__What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Narcissism („Giovanni, nimm dich nicht so wichtig.“)

__5.__Which living person do you most admire?
As a musician: Sir András Schiff. As a human being: Those who realize that being one of nearly 8 billion similar creatures does not justify entitlement nor special treatment.

__6.__What is your greatest extravagance?
To live without thinking too much about the future.

__7.__What is your current state of mind?
„Where to from here?“

__8.__What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Wit.

__9.__On what occasion do you lie?
When I need to protect truth.

__10.__What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My ears.

__11.__Which living person do you most despise?
Too many to even start.

__12.__What is the quality you most like in a man?
Empathy.

__13.__What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Irony.

__14.__Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
„As I said, …“

__15.__What or who is the greatest love of your life?
What: Music. Who: My partner Eric, who fearlessly throws his emotions and thoughts at me without considering consequences.

__16.__When and where were you happiest?
When my mother died in my arms – for one very brief second, I understood life.

__17.__Which talent would you most like to have?
To always show my inner self.

__18.__If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
To be able to always show my inner self.

__19.__What do you consider your greatest achievement?
To be 44 years old and still be rather fearless.

__20.__If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
A Beagle.

__21.__Where would you most like to live?
In this very moment.

__22.__What is your most treasured possession?
My brain.

__23.__What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Not being understood.

__24.__What is your favorite occupation?
Medical doctor.

__25.__What is your most marked characteristic?
Callousness. That is „most marked“.

__26.__What do you most value in your friends?
That they love me for who I am.

__27.__Who are your favorite writers?
Emily Dickinson, Thomas Mann, Hanns-Josef Ortheil, Daniel Silva and many others.

__28.__Who is your hero of fiction?
The Michelangelo that Irving Stone depicts.

__29.__Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Franz Schubert, because nobody else has ever managed to express the pain of beauty in a better way.

__30.__Who are your heroes in real life?
Nurses.

__31.__What are your favorite names?
Felix, Benjamin.

__32.__What is it that you most dislike?
Small talk.

__33.__What is your greatest regret?
Not to have fought for everything and everybody.

__34.__How would you like to die?
Without wishing for it to happen.

__35.__What is your motto?
„I am more interested in the future than in the past, because the future is where I intend to live.“ (Einstein)

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The Proust Questionnaire, 2018

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