I was originally introduced to the Proust Questionnaire by my fellow Write Bitch Madhuri Blaylock in her interview series, Getting Proustian (you can find my interview on her blog). As an admitted nerd for self-reflection, I really enjoyed answering the questions. It also got me thinking.
Why not put some of my characters under the microscope?
Below is the Proust Questionnaire as answered by San Francisco’s favorite vampire, Seneca Lynch. You can read more about him in my most recent Shades Below novel, The Devil’s Disease.
Now, without further whatnot…
The Proust Questionnaire: Seneca Lynch
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Wouldn’t know. However, sometimes a stiff drink can be just the thing.
2. What is your greatest fear?
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
5. Which living person do you most admire?
Tech. Sgt. Royal Atkins. He once saved my life, such as it is. He paid a heavy price for it.
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
Imported blood…kidding. Mostly.
7. What is your current state of mind?
Disinclined towards introspection.
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
I find all virtue to be overrated.
9. On what occasion do you lie?
Any occasion where a lie is more expedient than the truth.
10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
People look at me and think I am kind. I find it highly inconvenient.
11. Which living person do you most despise?
None of the people I despise can be classified as “living”.
12. What is the quality you most like in a man?
13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
If I knew, I’d make a strict effort not to overuse them.
15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
16. When and where were you happiest?
The spring of 1915, just before I shipped off to England for the Great War. I was sitting on a bluff overlooking the San Francisco Bay, in the company of someone I cared for. It was the first time since my death that immortality didn’t feel quite so painful.
17. Which talent would you most like to have?
Grace. I’ve always thought I would make a marvelous cabaret dancer. Sadly, I have two left feet.
18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
The one thing I would change is the one thing I can’t. Therefore, it doesn’t matter.
19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I helped a good man once. It reminded me what it was like to be a good man.
20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
The point is moot. I have no soul. When I die, there will be no coming back.
21. Where would you most like to live?
San Francisco, of course. The cuisine here is exquisite.
22. What is your most treasured possession?
My M1 steel combat helmet.
23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
24. What is your favorite occupation?
I’ve only ever had one occupation: I am a soldier.
25. What is your most marked characteristic?
My charming personality.
26. What do you most value in your friends?
27. Who are your favorite writers?
Alexander Dumas. Voltaire. Hemingway.
28. Who is your hero of fiction?
Edmond Dantès, the Count of Monte Cristo.
29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Dracula, I suppose.
30. Who are your heroes in real life?
The ones who didn’t make it home.
31. What are your favorite names?
That is an appallingly pointless question.
32. What is it that you most dislike?
Good intentions and poor planning.
33. What is your greatest regret?
Like all great regrets, there was a woman involved. Beyond that, I’m afraid it’s none of your business.
34. How would you like to die?
35. What is your motto?
Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.