The Proust Questionnaire — Book Edition

Tony Brook Answers The Proust Questionnaire—Book Edition

By Tony Brook November 4, 2013
Tony Brook, Graphic Designer (Spin, Unit Editions)
View Tony Brook’s Profile

This November marks 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 Tony Brook sent in response to the Proust Questionnaire—Book Edition:

1. Of these, your reading preference: fiction; nonfiction; poetry; drama: 
An impossible choice.

2. Your favorite childhood book (or favorite childhood author): 
Nelson (A Ladybird “Adventure from History” book).

3. Your favorite book character:
John Yossarian.

4. Your favorite book title (because you like the sound of it):
Moby Dick.

5. A book you could never finish:

6. A book you will never start:
The Andy Warhol Diaries, probably.

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:
A Dorothy Parker-signed first-edition copy of Enough Rope.

8. A book you should have read but haven’t:
England’s Dreaming by John Savage.

9. The best “book as object” you own (how it looks over what it says):
Dylan Thomas’s Twenty-six Poems, a limited edition signed by Thomas. Very lovely.

10. Your reading speed:

11. While you read, are you a note-taker? If yes, where do you record your notes:
No. Myles Na Gopoleen offers this service for people like me.

12. Your most idiosyncratic reading habit:
I’m not sure if daydreaming counts.

13. The most expensive book you’ve ever bought (and, if you can remember, the price):
Animal Poems by Ted Hughes—one of 11 printed. The other copies have three poems transcribed by Hughes, but my copy is the only one that has four. A whopping £4,000 (B.C. before children—when I had money to spare).

14. If you could be any author:
Bernard Shaw. Relentless. Provocative.

15. If you are what you read, the book that best says who you are:
The Danzig Trilogy by Günter Grass. (A cheat, I know. Sorry!)

16. Your favorite writer of the gender opposite yours:
Dorothy Parker.

17. The last book you bought:
Kurt Vonnegut: Letters.

18. Your favorite place to purchase books:
The Internet. Used to be bookshops, but the ones I liked closed down.

19. The book you are currently reading:
Christopher Isherwood’s Goodbye to Berlin.

20. The book you will read next:
Kurt Vonnegut: Letters.

21. The current location of the book you will read next:
Under my bed.

22. Your favorite format for books:

23. If you could have written any book:
Derek Walcott’s Omeros.

24. A book that was particularly meaningful to, or highly recommended by, an acquaintance of yours:
Proust’s In Search of Lost Time (Remembrance of Things Past on my copy).

25. If you have the chance to plan it, the last book you’ll read:
The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh.

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

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