Proust Questionnaire 11: Dorian Lynskey


Dorian Lynskey is a music writer for The Guardian, and he is in conversation tonight exploring aspects of his brilliant book 33 Revolutions Per Minute with Sinéad Gleeson and Philip King at 8.30pm in Liberty Hall, but before that he will be DJ’ing at the sure-to-be-wonderful Faber Social at 6pm in Smock Alley/the Banquet Hall.

What is your idea of happiness?

Filing a piece that I’m proud of, spending some time with my daughters and then going out to a party where I can DJ. Or being at Glastonbury with my wife and friends, just before a favourite band comes on stage.

Where would you most like to live?

Where I live now – north London. Other than that, New York or San Francisco.

What is your favourite virtue?


What is your most marked characteristic?

I don’t know but my favourite one is making people laugh.

What is your idea of misery?

Feeling stuck.

If not yourself, who would you like to be?

Like most music writers, obviously I wish I could write great songs but then a lot of professional musicians struggle to do that.

Who are your favourite writers?

Philip Roth, F Scott Fitzgerald, Joseph Conrad, Harold Pinter, Ibsen, Larkin, Shelley, Kazuo Ishiguro, John Dos Passos, Milan Kundera, Lorrie Moore, Joan Didion, Robert Christgau, Ellen Willis, Jon Savage, Rick Perlstein and Greil Marcus.

Who are your favourite musicians?

Pet Shop Boys, Public Enemy, Manic Street Preachers, David Bowie, Randy Newman, Chemical Brothers, Beach Boys, Kinks, New Order, Saint Etienne, Nile Rodgers, Kraftwerk, virtually everyone at Motown and, currently, Vampire Weekend and John Grant.

Who are your favourite heroes and heroines in fiction?

I don’t think I have any. Many of my favourite novels have dislikable characters.

Who are your favourite heroes and heroines in history?

Martin Luther King, Emma Goldman, Nye Bevan, Victor Jara, Shelley – idealists and troublemakers.

What social movement do you most admire?

The US civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?

The desire to exercise.

How would you like to die?

Older than my dad was.

What is your present state of mind?


What is your biggest pet peeve?

Writers who pretend to hold obnoxiously provocative opinions for money.

Which fault in others do you most easily tolerate?




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