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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?
Self-actualization. In layman's terms, that is realizing everything I was meant to be. Finally understanding the mystery of the Song of the Stars; see also here. (Yes, that is all deliberately cryptic.)
2. What is your greatest fear?
Being unworthy of that which is described in #1 and therefore being declared a crazy fraud.
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Fear of the past and future.
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Those that would force their will upon others.
5. Which living person do you most admire?
For some, my answer might as well be "Mork from Ork" but I have a very clear recollection, as well as frequent reminders, of why I admire my God.
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
Probably my Frankenstein-ish desktop computer.
7. What is your current state of mind?
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
True virtue, to me, is not overrated; it is not susceptible to corruption or the vicissitudes of time. Principles are not dependent upon people save by the interpretations by which they are perceived.
9. On what occasion do you lie?
Lawful Good is not the same as Lawful Neutral, for those of you that get the D&D reference. I'm not a "rules lawyer" type that is all by the book and all letter of the law. I have lied in the past, but I don't see a reason to justify it. But neither do I believe in delivering "honesty" in a way that is cruel or harmful to others.
10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Well, the excess fat can be dealt with, eventually. I hate my button nose and it's going to be quite a while before my boyish looks will be envied or seen as favorable.
11. Which living person do you most despise?
Despise? Though I hold terrible grudges for years against someone who I feel has genuinely betrayed my trust, I never truly despise. Fear, yes, for that is what is underneath layers of anger, hate, and suffering. Pity, perhaps, if it seems that for now, they are lost to their destruction.
12. What is the quality you most like in a man?
13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
My answer to #12 and #13 are pretty much the same– I admire those that are at peace with themselves and the world around them.
14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Cimmorene has made fun of my frequent use of "fail", "epic", and other gamer terms as of late. Many originate from the hacker culture, although I must admit I'm a hardware tinkerer and have little patience for code.
15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Cimmorene, who is truly my eternal companion. I wish I could explain better somehow, but I will repeat the dream analogy if you wish.
16. When and where were you happiest?
Before the abuse. That is all I care to discuss about that right now. Since then, such things have been more respites and relief than pure, unfettered joy.
17. Which talent would you most like to have?
I would like to further develop and refine my dancing skills someday, if not pursue a thorough exploration of the martial arts and the philosophy that surrounds them (the Tao).
18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I want to better be able to live in the moment, to live for today, and not worry so much about yesterday or tomorrow; one day, hopefully, it would be one eternal round.
19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Making a family of my own, and realizing that things are NOT the way they were with my family of origin. I am blessed to have a woman that loves me and children that are healthy and happy.
20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
As much as I admire the philosophy of the East, I do not believe in reincarnation, and I think it unwise to focus too much on anything or anyone I am not.
21. Where would you most like to live?
Locale is not quite so important, as long as I have space to be alone and I am near those that love me. But as far as environment, I would like to be near the mountains.
22. What is your most treasured possession?
My body, although it sometimes seems strange and foreign to me. I do not know how to better explain this answer.
23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Being robbed of agency, either by one's own choices, or the choices of others.
24. What is your favorite occupation?
I am fond of mechanics, handymen, and those that work with moving parts.
25. What is your most marked characteristic?
My sense of humor is what helped me and many of my family of origin to survive. Yes, really.
26. What do you most value in your friends?
That they accept me, warts and all.
27. Who are your favorite writers?
I don't think I have any standouts right now, save maybe Stan Lee. Yes, I'm sorry I don't have any names of "great" fictional literature– it has been a long while since I honestly read fiction, although a friend has recommended some good SF (once I can get a written list from him). I mostly read periodicals, reference materials, and other particular non-fiction.
28. Who is your hero of fiction?
The Silver Surfer, a.k.a. Norrin Radd, who was actually created by artist Jack Kirby (but whom Stan Lee wrote dialogue for). I cannot explain here why I deeply relate to him.
29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I don't have one, although I guess George Washington is a favorite of mine.
30. Who are your heroes in real life?
Those that stand by their convictions and invite, not force, others to consider them.