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 Asher Evans: survivor, vampire, and protégé of vampire Constable Seneca Lynch. Asher will be starring in the the upcoming Shades Below novel, If You Were My Vampire.
Now, without further ado…
The Proust Questionnaire: Asher Evans
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Perfect happiness? There’s a quaint thought.
2. What is your greatest fear?
Fear is a trap. The fearful are always the first to die.
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I am a survivor.
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
5. Which living person do you most admire?
Seneca Lynch. Although I don’t suppose he is technically “living”…
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
7. What is your current state of mind?
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
9. On what occasion do you lie?
I don’t. If people can’t handle the truth, that’s their problem.
10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I have a tattoo I would prefer to be rid of. Unfortunately, as it was part of me when I converted, it is part of me for eternity.
11. Which living person do you most despise?
Lukas Kaufmann. He represents all those who took my family. Although like Lynch, he is not technically “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?
Jedem das seine. To each his own. Lynch hates when I say it.
15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My life ended April 11, 1945. Any love I felt before that turned to smoke in a German chimney. I try to think about it as little as possible.
16. When and where were you happiest?
17. Which talent would you most like to have?
The talent to understand the point of questions like this.
18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Nothing. I’m fucking perfect.
19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I once saved someone who did not deserve to die.
20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I’ve seen enough in one lifetime. If I were to die, I wouldn’t want to come back.
21. Where would you most like to live?
I haven’t thought about it. San Francisco has been my home since the war ended.
22. What is your most treasured possession?
A brass button from a child’s coat. I was sorting the possessions of incoming prisoners, and I thought my sister would like it.
23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
I cannot put it into words, but I see it every time I close my eyes.
24. What is your favorite occupation?
I’m currently an enforcer for a loan shark. It suits me.
25. What is your most marked characteristic?
Lynch would probably say my lack of faith. I say when you’ve seen what I’ve seen, belief in anything seems like a waste of time.
26. What do you most value in your friends?
I don’t have friends.
27. Who are your favorite writers?
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Hermann Hesse. Thomas Mann.
28. Who is your hero of fiction?
Faust. I sometimes think Lynch resembles Mephistopheles, which is probably unfair. I believe it would amuse him, though.
29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I am a historical figure, so…myself?
30. Who are your heroes in real life?
There are no heroes in real life.
31. What are your favorite names?
Marta. Rivka. Grace.
32. What is it that you most dislike?
33. What is your greatest regret?
I lost my sister. We were on a platform, and our mother told me to hold onto her. We were separated in the crowd. I never saw either of them again.
34. How would you like to die?
As quickly as possible.
35. What is your motto?
I already answered this: Jedem das seine. To each his own. Although I have also heard it translated, “To each what he deserves.”