I love minutiae and questionnaires. I have a whole category on this blog for “meaningless minutiae.” It’s not a secret that I don’t think all minutiae is that meaningless, actually. I’ve answered the Vanity Fair Proust Questionnaire before, but not for several years. Clearly some answers will never change, while others fluctuate with the years of our lives. I would love to hear any and all of your answers!
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Where would you like to live?
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Evenings and weekends when all four of us are at home, puttering around peacefully. Getting into bed with my book. A cold glass of wine with ice in it on the porch of my parents’ summer home. My annual weekend with my college friends. Having run. Shavasana at the end of a yoga class.
To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
Over-sensitivity. The faults of those who doubt themselves.
Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Dumbledore. He will always be number one. Also, John Ames in Gilead, Harry Potter, and the butler in The Remains of the Day.
Who are your favorite characters in history?
Marie Curie, Joan of Arc, Georgia O’Keeffe, Anne Frank.
Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
Ina May Gaskin, Oprah, Anne Lamott.
Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
Hermione (Harry Potter), Cora (The Underground Railroad), Charity Lang (Crossing to Safety), Lyra (His Dark Materials), Eve (Paradise Lost), Mrs Ramsay (To the Lighthouse).
Your favorite painter?
Mark Rothko, Georgia O’Keeffe, Helen Frankenthaler.
Your favorite musician?
The qualities you most admire in a man?
Humor, calm, intelligence, and the difficult-to-define, difficult-to-find ability to make me feel safe.
The qualities you most admire in a woman?
Not taking herself too seriously, but not being flip either. Willingness to say what she believes. Ability to make her life reflect her true values. Not complaining.
Your favorite virtue?
Patience. Faith. Commitment. Resilience.
Your favorite occupation?
I am pretty sure I’ll never be able to pick just one. When I was a child, I wanted to be a doctor.
Who would you have liked to be?
Someone more centered, more confident, more clear.