The Proust Questionnaire: Q&A with Kevin Lindon Ryan

October 19, 2019

 

 

The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. Here is the basic Proust Questionnaire.

 

__1.__What is your idea of perfect happiness?

 

Being fully present—and believing that everything that happened before prepared me for this moment. 

 

__2.__What is your greatest fear?

 

Rollercoasters. 

 

__3.__What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

 

My fascination with reality television stars.

 

__4.__What is the trait you most deplore in others?

 

Put-on personas.

 

__5.__Which living person do you most admire?

 

Dolly Parton.

 

__6.__What is your greatest extravagance?

 

Expensive gifts. 

 

__7.__What is your current state of mind?

 

Ready.

 

__8.__What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

 

Thrift.

 

__9.__On what occasion do you lie?

 

When I’m making a funny joke. 

 

__10.__What do you most dislike about your appearance?

 

My stomach. 

 

__11.__Which living person do you most despise?

 

You tell me. 

 

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

 

Kindness. 

 

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

 

Power. 

 

__14.__Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

 

“Loves it.” “Such is life.” “Sleep well, dream awake.” “Babe, you look so cool.”

 

__15.__What or who is the greatest love of your life?

 

My late Siamese cat, Bindi. God bless her.   

 

__16.__When and where were you happiest?

 

When I first read The Power of Now one summer in Louisville, KY that radically transformed my life.  

 

__17.__Which talent would you most like to have?

 

Mathematics. 

 

__18.__If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

 

I'd feel the way I did with my best friend, Dennis, before he passed away. On my best days, I'm like Dennis. I want to be more like him. 

 

__19.__What do you consider your greatest achievement?

 

Manifesting reality. 

 

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

 

An indoor/outdoor cat. 

 

__21.__Where would you most like to live?

 

Washington, DC, an easy bus ride away from New York. 

 

__22.__What is your most treasured possession?

 

An aging canvas tote my best friend, Hannah Morris, bought me in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

 

__23.__What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

 

Jealously.

 

__24.__What is your favorite occupation?

 

Writer. 

 

__25.__What is your most marked characteristic?

 

Authenticity. 

 

__26.__What do you most value in your friends?

 

Compassion. 

 

__27.__Who are your favorite writers?

 

Toni Morrison. Michael Cunningham. James Baldwin. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Tony Kushnir. David Wojnarowicz. 

 

__28.__Who is your hero of fiction?

 

Penny Lane. 

 

__29.__Which historical figure do you most identify with?

 

Perry Ellis. 

 

__30.__Who are your heroes in real life?

 

Survivors. 

 

__31.__What are your favorite names?

 

Tinsley. Jordan. Alex. Lindon. Taylor. Bindi. Eleanor. Loren.

 

__32.__What is it that you most dislike?

 

Gaslighting. Crowded grocery stores. Bad body odor. People who cheat in relationships. Living beyond your means. 

 

__33.__What is your greatest regret?

 

That I stopped painting and drawing after I couldn’t go to an art school. 

 

__34.__How would you like to die?

 

Free of pain. 

 

__35.__What is your motto?

 

What is this moment lacking? This is a perfect moment.

 

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