Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Proust Questionnaire, with Chris Szego

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The Proust Questionnaire, with Chris Szego

Chris Szego is the manager of Bakka Phoenix, Canada's oldest SF bookstore. She is also the Romance editor at The Cultural Gutter. In her answers to the Proust Questionairre, she lets us in on her greatest extravagance, her current state of mind and where she'd like to live.

The Proust Questionnaire was not invented by Marcel Proust, but it was a much loved game by the French author and many of his contemporaries. The idea behind the questionnaire is that the answers are supposed to reveal the respondent's "true" nature.

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What is your dream of happiness?
To be active in mind, body and heart, among the company of like-minded people.

What is your idea of misery?
To be trapped among people who wallow in their own unhappiness.

Where would you like to live?
In a city full of interesting people and ideas, with lots of parks, close enough to a lake that I can swim...hey, wait... sounds like Toronto! Lucky me.

What qualities do you admire most in a man?
Intelligence, humour, curiosity.

What qualities do you admire most in a woman?
Intelligence, humour, curiosity.

What is your chief characteristic?
My love of reading. Though it's really more of an addiction.

What is your principal fault?
Impatience.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Books and chocolate. Except I consider both necessities rather than extravagances.

What fault in others are you most tolerant of?
Procrastination.

What do you value most about your friends?
They make me think, they make me laugh, they make me happy.

What characteristic do you dislike most in others?
Entitlement.

What characteristic do you dislike most in yourself?
Intolerance.

What is your favourite virtue?
Kindness. So easy, and so often overlooked.

What is your favourite occupation?
Bookseller: I love what I do (and recognize how fortunate that makes me).

What would you like to be?
A kinder and more patient me. Who can fly!

What is your favourite colour?
Green. I've heard that humans can distinguish ten thousand shades of green. Don't know if that's true, but it'd be fun to find out.

What is your favourite flower?
How can you have one favourite?

What is your favourite bird?
Albatross.

What historical figure do you admire the most?
Tallyrand. Talk about a survivor.

What character in history do you most dislike?
The Church.

Who are your favourite prose authors?
Terry Pratchett, Georgette Heyer, Robin McKinley, Shannon Hale, Malcolm Gladwell

Who are your favourite poets?
Pablo Neruda, e.e. cummings, Margaret Atwood

Who are your favourite heroes in fiction?
Pratchett's Sam Vimes; Shakespeare's Rosalind.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My parents.

Who is your favourite painter?
Tom Thompson.

Who is your favourite musicians?
Michael Bublé, Itzhak Perlman

What is your favourite food?
A nice rare steak.

What is your favourite drink?
Water.

What are your favourite names?
Don't have favourites, but there are some I don't care for.

What is it you most dislike?
Selfishness.

What natural talent would you most like to possess?
The ability to draw.

How do you want to die?
Painlessly, after a long and worthwhile life.

What is your current state of mind?
Anticipating a good time.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
My family.

What is your motto?
Don't have one. Life changes too fast for mottos.

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Check back for more Proust Questionnaires with Canada's literati in this latest series of interviews on Open Book.

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