Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Parlour Games with Proust

Photo of Marcel Proust
Lately it has been me, me, me on my blog which is something that literary giant Marcel Proust would abhor. And even though I vowed to take his lessons of living to heart in my recent post, I could not resist sharing with you an amusing parlour game that Proust used to play with his friends after a dinner party.

Vanity Fair has an online version of this game in which you answer the questions and your answers are matched to celebrities. But if you'd rather just play with me, here are the questions and my answers. I strongly advise drinking a glass of wine or two before you play!

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A weekend away with my husband in Paris or London

2. What is your greatest fear?
Dying of Parkinson's disease in which I am trapped inside the prison of my body, like my father did and like my mother soon will 

3. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Marie Antoinette

4. Which living person do you most admire?
Artist Cindy Sherman because she took what she feared the most and made a career out of it

5. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
A desire for validation of my work

6. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Lack of manners

7. What is your greatest extravagence?
Fashion and books

8. On what occasion do you lie?
To avoid hurting someone's feelings

9. What do you dislike most about your appearance?
My hair

10. When and where were you happiest?
 In this moment

11. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
To have more self confidence about my work

12. If you could change one thing about your family what would it be?
That we saw each other more often

13. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
 Learning to find joy within the moment even through difficult times

14. If you died and came back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
 A tree

15. What is your most treasured possession?
 Photos of my husband and boys

16. What do you regard as the lowest depths of misery?
Time spent with people who complain

17. Who are your heroes in real life?
 My husband

18. What is it that you most dislike?
 Lack of courtesy 

19. How would you like to die?
 In my sleep

20. What is your motto?
This too shall pass

In the online Vanity Fair version, my answers most closely matched Joan Didion (88%), author of the book The Year of Magical Thinking.  I was a little surprised by this at first, but then I read a reviewer's comments about my show All is Vanity.

Among the myriad of associations elicited by your images was Joan Didion's 'The Year of Magical Thinking' (written by Didion following the death of her husband and daughter). Ingrid's images are a true interpretation of the magical thinking we all experience following the loss of someone dear to us. The images resonate and to me, are universal. (To read DF Krouskie's entire review, read the loop gallery blog here.)

If you do the survey, please share your answers!