The Proust Questionnaire — Book Edition

Mark Lamster Answers The Proust Questionnaire—Book Edition

By Mark Lamster December 13, 2013
Mark Lamster, Architecture Critic: Dallas Morning News (TX)
View Mark Lamster’s Profile

This November marked the 100th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of Marcel Proust’s opus, In Search of Lost Time (A la recherche du temps perdu), originally known in English as Remembrance of Things Past. To honor the occasion, we developed the Designers & Books version of the eponymous Proust Questionnaire, which we’ve sent out to various contributors and friends. Rather than including the questions from the original that asked about a wide array of “thoughts and feelings,” our adaptation focuses solely on the respondent’s relationship to books.

View the complete questions asked in The Proust Questionnaire—Book Edition

Here are the answers Mark Lamster sent in response to the Proust Questionnaire—Book Edition:

1. Of these, your reading preference: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama:
Fiction and nonfiction. I don’t discriminate. But at bedtime it’s usually fiction.

2. Your favorite childhood book (or favorite childhood author):
Fly High, Fly Low by Don Freeman.

3. Your favorite book character:
Harry Paget Flashman.

4. Your favorite book title (because you like the sound of it):
An Armful of Warm Girl. And William Spackman doesn’t disappoint.

5. A book you could never finish:
A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander.

7. If for some reason it turned out that you could save one and only one book from among those you own, which would it be:
The Power Broker by Robert Caro.

9. The best “book as object” you own (how it looks over what it says):
MoMA’s Machine Art catalogue (The Machine: As Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age, 1968) with pressed tin cover.

10. Your reading speed: very slow, slow, moderate, fast, very fast:

11. While you read, are you a note-taker?
Generally not. Will often dog-ear a page, however.

15. If you are what you read, the book that best says who you are:
Let’s say, W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz and Woody Allen’s Without Feathers. I’m not so easily circumscribed.

16. Your favorite writer of the gender opposite yours:
Fran Lebowitz.

17. The last book you bought:
North Dallas Forty by Peter Gent.

18. Your favorite place to purchase books:
Any actual brick-and-mortar bookstore.

22. Your favorite format for books:

24. A book that was particularly meaningful to, or highly recommended by, an acquaintance of yours:
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. High up on my must-read list.

View all Questionnaires.

Also see “Celebrating a Proust Anniversary with The Proust Questionnaire—Book Edition.”

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