Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Proust Questionnaire, with Trina Davies

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The Proust Questionnaire, with Trina Davies

Trina Davies is a playwright and the author of The Romeo Initiative (Playwrights Canada Press), set during the division of Germany, as well as four previous plays.

In her answers to the Proust Questionnaire, Trina tells Open Book about impatience in the parking lot, why Madame Tussaud deserves credit and her own personal motto.

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.

You can catch Trina reading at the Playwrights Canada spring launch on Monday, May 7.
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What is your dream of happiness?
A fire in the darkness.
A community of astonishing individuals.
Laughter and love.

What is your idea of misery?
Isolation, illness and grief.

Where would you like to live?
I finally have a sense of place where I am. However, I want to visit everywhere. My passport gets a regular workout.

What qualities do you admire most in a man?
The ability to be soft and strong at the same time.

What qualities do you admire most in a woman?
The ability to be soft and strong at the same time.

What is your chief characteristic?
Umm…

What is your principal fault?
Impatience. Do I have to open that package of treats in the grocery store parking lot? Yes. Yes, I do. Don’t ask again.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Splurging on one night staying in the hut built into the cliff over the waves, or that brunch at Raffles — finding that one luxury moment sprinkled through the everyday.

What faults in others are you most tolerant of?
Narcissism.

What do you value most about your friends?
That they will be there if I need someone to help me paint, drive a truck across provinces, or pour wine and create a music mix dedicated to me if I need to heal.

What characteristic do you dislike most in others?
Ignorance.

What characteristic do you dislike most in yourself?
Impatience. Wait a minute, I’m eating a treat…

What is your favourite virtue?
Kindness.

What is your favourite occupation?
This is vague.
1. What do I like to do? 2. What job do I like to do? 3. What job do I like others to do?
1. Hike in the rainforest. 2. Working with others to produce something new. 3. Cleaning. All types of cleaning. I admire people who enjoy this. (I do not)

What would you like to be?
The best version of myself.

What is your favourite colour?
Purple. Green. Blue. I give up.

What is your favourite flower?
Lily.

What is your favourite bird?
Chickadee.

What historical figure do you admire the most?
Currently, probably Madame Tussaud. She was a crotchety old tight-wad at the end, but what a life, what a ride.

What character in history do you most dislike?
I don’t know if I heavily dislike any (aside from the obvious candidates). I did begin to write a play about George IV and Ms. Fitzherbert once — but found that I couldn’t stomach their ego-centricities and gave up the idea.

Who are your favourite prose authors?
Isabelle Allende, Ann-Marie McDonald, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Margaret Atwood.

Who are your favourite poets?
Pablo Neruda, William Blake, Lorna Crozier, Leonard Cohen (yes, I think he counts).

Who are your favourite heroes in fiction?
I’m changeable.

Who are your heroes in real life?
I’m not sure I believe in heroes. Those that work to make others’ lives better, whether in small or big ways.

Who is your favourite painter?
I don’t have a favourite. I love to go to a gallery and discover.

Who is your favourite musician?
This changes far too often for me to put my finger on it at any given moment.

What is your favourite food?
Indian. Mmmmm. Spicy!

What is your favourite drink?
Wine. Beer. Club soda and lime juice. I give up.

What are your favourite names?
Playing favourites will leave someone out.

What is it you most dislike?
Ignorance. Indecision.

What natural talent would you most like to possess?
Stunning singing voice.

How do you want to die?
Who wants to die?

What is your current state of mind?
Hungry. Not just for food.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
My friendships.

What is your motto?
There are few straight lines.


Saskatoon-born Trina Davies is a writer, director and actor. In 2008, she received the Established Playwright Award from the Enbridge playRites Awards for The Romeo Initiative. Trina has also won awards for her other works, including The Auction, Multi User Dragon, Shatter and Waxworks, which have been read and performed across Canada. She is currently a member of the Alberta Playwrights Network, the Playwrights Theatre Centre, and the Playwrights Guild of Canada. Trina lives in Vancouver.

For more information about Trina Davies please visit the Playwrights Canada Press website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

Check out all the Proust Questionnaire interviews in our archives.

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JF Robitaille: Minor Dedications

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