MARCEL PROUST'S QUESTIONNAIRE, AN ADAPTED VERSION

How would you describe your occupation?

I really like to say I am a rebel of consciousness. Everyone likes to be a bit of a rebel and a pirate, no? Apart from that, you might say I am a beautifier.

Who would you like to be?

I guess that being myself is already challenging enough. I wouldn't try to play anyone else's part in the great cosmic play. Besides: all other roles are already taken.

Your favourite heroes in real life?

I can admire people for their skills, their intellect or for their character, but I don't think I have any real heroes I look up to.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?

Happiness is like the ocean's rolling waves: even if the tide is low, there's always a new wave coming. I have learned that happiness is a choice, not a hazard.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

I haven't been there yet. Even when things get tough, I know they can still go worse. But for as long as one breathes, there is more right than there is wrong.

Where would you like to live?

I guess rural France is my ideal "terroir" but I confess there are many places here on Earth that I haven't visited yet. But wherever I would live, I would always have a need for privacy and non-interference.

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?

Poverty. Poverty is largely a state of mind, a misunderstanding that tells we have not enough money. Of course, in our mercantile society one does need money for survival, but basically it is not so that worrying will makes someone any richer. I personally live from a minimum and I always say: 'If you make the best of what is available, you'll always get the best that's available.'

What do you dislike most?

Marketing, shlemihls, dishonesty, arrogance, cruelty, superficiality, emotional blackmail, sentimentality, disputatiousness and vulgarity.

What do you appreciate most in men/women?

In menI like enthusiasm, optimism, a British sense of humour and the French "Savoir-Vivre".
In women I admire enthusiasm, optimism, feminine logic and just being lovable.
In general I prefer simple, a bit naive and emotionally warm people to overachievers, zealots and missionaries, and starry-eyes to silly frowns.

Your favourite animal?

The Phoenix. In this world: the Amur leopard.

Your favourite colour?

Indigo, which is a dark night blue, not what Wikipedia claims it is.

Your favourite flowers?

Violets, lavender and tiny wild flowers.

Your favourite occupation / state of mind?

Creating something, anything | Remembering I am alive and living

Who are your favourite heroes in fiction?

Aeneas and Kassandra in Marion Zimmer Bradley's book 'The Firebrand'.

What talent would you like to have?

I would like to be able to play the piano like Marc André Hamelin, the kamanche like Kayhan Kalhor, I would like to have William Bouguereau's and Frederic Leighton's painting and drawing skills but with my inspiration,
and I would also love to be a compassionate healer who can transmute all misunderstanding, envy and other fears into a restored sense of human dignity, elegance and quality.

Who are your favourite painters?

Simone Martini, Rogier Van der Weyden, Jan Brueghel I , Joachim Patinir, and Dorothea Tanning, Leonora Carrington, Mati Klarwein, Max Ernst, ...
And of course the Masters of Persian and Indian miniatures

Your all-time favourite painting?

Max Ernst's Eye Of Silence

Who are your favourite etchers/engravers?

Max Klinger, Jules De Bruycker and Piranesi

Who are your favourite sculptors?

The nameless Asian Masters who carved for the Buddhist and Hindu temples.

Your all-time favourite sculpture?

The Prajnaparamita from Candi Singasari.

Who are your favourite composers and musicians?

Too many to name! I am a musical omnivore: I love Persian music, Baroque, Wagner, Debussy, Ravel, Rock, Metal, Ambient, Contemporary Classical... but never everything they composed. It is necessary for me to have emotional contact with the music. I listen with my brain switched off. Art has neither meaning nor purpose: it simply is.

Your absolutely favourite piece of music?

I have two: Johann Sebastian Bach's Chaconne for violin solo, interpreted by Julia Fischer or Viktoria Mullova, and György Ligeti's Lux Aeterna.

Who are your favourite writers/poets?

Cornelis Verhoeven (philosopher), Hadewijch (Book of Visions), Louis Couperus, Charles Baudelaire, Charles Van Lerberghe, Maurice Maeterlinck, Rainer Maria Rilke, William Butler Yeats, William Blake, Edgar Allan Poe, Jorge Luis Borges, the early Colin Wilson etc.

Your favourite movies??

Metropolis, La Belle et la Bète, The Seventh Seal, Sirens, Dead Man, Peter Brook's Mahabharata, Angel Heart, Jacob's Ladder, Cat People, The Matrix I, V for Vendetta, Blade Runner, ...

Your motto?

All you have to do is become who you were before you became who you are.

Your philosophy?

Life is a fathomless mystery that expands way beyond all understanding and I am interested in finding out more about it.

What do you expect from life?

I want to be able to decide for myself what I want to do with the time that is given to me. I want to solve the mystery of life and death. I want to be the one that finds a cure for the hunger, intolerance and pessimism in this world. I want to be the one that makes the difference. I want to be endlessly popular without ever being influenced by it. I want to know what is really important. I want to find something lovable and exciting in everyone and everything. I want to be endlessly rich so that I can give a fortune to everyone. I want to be God. And most of all: I want to be endlessly creative in a state of bliss and mystical extasy. And to die happily ever after.

And finally: how do you want to die? And: do you fear death?

I prefer to die old, wise, relaxed, smiling and fully conscious. And absolutely not surrounded by tick-tock machines, pharma doctors or weepers. Do I fear death? I don't look forward to the dying process, no, but if death would be the end, it would also be the end of all problems, and it it is not, then there is no problem, is there? And from very deep in my childhood memory, I know I came from somewhere and I will return there. Birth was not the beginning and death will not be the end.

Erik by Roselyne