Bakers Dozen: Proust Questionnaire 13 – SK, and goodbye!

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After ending on a high last night with the celebration of Dennis O’Driscoll’s life and work, Dublin Writers Festival 2013 is closing its doors for another year. Thank you so much for reading. It has been a pleasure contributing, and here is number 13 to make the Proust Questionnaires a “bakers dozen”. Thanks also to all the contributors, and goodbye for now – SK. p.s. Richard Ford did warn me beforehand that he wasn’t good with questionnaires. Just to clarify (!).

What is your idea of happiness?

Being with the people I love most in the world. But also, having time alone, reading, listening to music, watching things I really like, walking by the sea, pottering, tippling prosecco and watching the world go by, writing, swimming, cycling, daydreaming uninterrupted.

Where would you most like to live?

Dublin is home in so many ways, but I would also like to live (and may yet) in New York, Reykjavik, Paris, Copenhagen, anywhere in Italy, and then near Blacksod Bay in Mayo, which is home-home.

What is your favourite virtue?

Honesty.

What are your favourite qualities in a man?

Honesty, communication, kindness, humour, courage, gentleness, loyalty.

What are your favourite qualities in a woman?

The same, really.

What do you most value in your friends?

Their senses of humour, their gentleness, loyalty, and also their kindness and strength, their acceptance and open-heartedness, their differences and good natures, and that I seem to corral them into mad things without too much trouble.

What is your biggest weakness?

Overthinking things. Worrying. Anxiety. Daydreaming and drifting when I should be working.

What do you enjoy doing most?

Doing things for others. Writing. Reading. Listening to music. Watching really good television. Walking by the sea. Cycling. Dinners with friends. Music festivals. Swimming. Going to live music as much as possible. Going to the pictures. Seeing a really good stand up comic. Watching a great football match. Travelling. Being cosy, by the fire. Watching/listening to political programmes. Listening to the radio. Sewing things that need mending.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Curiosity. Passion for things. Being reliable. Loyalty. Nervy. Tired (these days).

What is your idea of misery?

Being misunderstood. Being let down really badly. Someone I care about being very unwell. People struggling and lonely.

If not yourself, who would you like to be?

I suppose you just have to try and be yourself, sadness comes from trying to be someone else.

What is your favourite colour and flower?

Deep scarlet red, and emerald green. Freesia.

What is your favourite bird?

The owl, followed closely by the robin.

Who are your favourite writers?

A very long list, but some that spring to mind instantly are; John McGahern, James Joyce, Edna O’Brien, David Sedaris, Christopher Marlowe, Charles Dickens, Alice Munro, Ben Jonson, William Shakespeare, Juvenal, Tove Jansson, Roald Dahl, Horace, Lester Bangs, Jane Austen, Henry Miller, Stan Lee, George Bernard Shaw, Grant Morrison, William Goldman, George Eliot, the Bronte’s, Elizabeth Gaskell, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Trevor, Shalom Auslander, Annie Proulx, Henry Fielding, Alexander Pope, Louisa May Alcott, Halldor Laxness, Lewis Carroll, Richard Ford, Ernest Hemingway, Alan Moore, George Plimpton, Anais Nin, Ronald Dworkin, John Stuart Mill, Flann O’Brien, Raymond Carver, James Baldwin, Edgar Allen Poe, Kurt Vonnegut, Iris Murdoch, Homer, Stendhal, Laurence Sterne, Samuel Beckett, Marcel Proust, the list goes on and on…..

Who are your favourite poets?

Seamus Heaney, Tim Key, Patrick Kavanagh, Wendy Cope, Christina Rossetti, John Keats, W.B. Yeats, W. H. Auden, Philip Larkin, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and so many more….

Who are your favourite artists?

Louise Bourgeois, Edward Gorey, Georgia O’Keeffe, Paula Rego, Sandro Botticelli, Francesca Woodman, Leonarda Da Vinci, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Diane Arbus, and so many more. And then if expanding on the term artist, I would include people like Daniel Kitson, Woody Allen, Chris Rock, Louis CK, Amy Sedaris, Neil Hamburger, Phyllis Diller, Jon Stewart, Dylan Moran, George Carlin, Gilda Radner, Bill Cosby, Rodney Dangerfied, Jerry Seinfeld, Andy Kaufman, Tina Fey, Bill Murray, Larry David, Richard Pryor, George Burns, Carol Burnett, Amy Poehler, Jackie Mason, Dave Chappelle, Steve Coogan,  and so many others who have made the world a better place just by their very existence, and ability to make me laugh a lot. And Eric Cantona, of course, who is a wonder.

Who are your favourite musicians?

A very long list, but here are a few; Planxty, Kate Bush, Rakim, Tommy Peoples, A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, Oscar Peterson, Allen Touissant, Van Dyke Parks, The Walkmen, Harry Nilsson, Count Basie, Randy Newman, Björk, Owen Pallett, Destroyer, Future Islands, Prince, Wu-Tang Clan, Mary J. Blige, Mel Torme, Paul Simon, Mos Def, The Smiths, Talib Kweli, Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors, Belle and Sebastian, Elvis Costello, Phil Lynott, Low, Public Enemy, Nat King Cole, Big Star, David Bowie, Beach House, Dan Deacon, Owen Ashworth, Bobby Short, Miracle Fortress, Creedence Clearwater Revival, El-Producto, Junior Boys, The Zombies, Charles Mingus, The Modern Lovers, Miles Davis, Slick Rick, Roy Orbison, Joni Mitchell, Beastie Boys, Max Roach, Dusty Springfield, Juan Atkins, Notorious B.I.G., Suicidal Tendencies, Pavement, Cocteau Twins, Clipse, Thelonious Monk, Daniel Johnston, Arvo Pärt, Prokofiev, Satie, and so many more….

Who are your favourite heroes and heroines in fiction?

Elizabeth Bennett, Stephen Dedelus, Jane Eyre, Little My, Jo March, Batman, Catwoman.

Who are the heroes and heroines in your life?

My parents, my brothers, my friends, others that have come in and out of my life and left a legacy.

Who are your favourite heroes and heroines in history?

Grace O’Malley, Martin Luther King, Tony Benn, Michael Collins, Mary Robinson, Charles Stewart Parnell, Constance Markievicz, so many more if I start really thinking about it.

What is your favourite food and drink?

Food: Roast chicken dinner, hot buttered toast, cheeses, stew. Drinks: prosecco, coffee, red wine, hot chocolate, milk, and when the occasion requires it – a little glass of Guinness, a little glass of turfy whiskey.

What are your favourite names?

Patrick, Marcella, Finbar, Tomás, Woody, Agnes, Bridget.

What do you most dislike?

Thoughtlessness, people being unkind, lack of courtesy, people not being honest and true, bigotry and fascism in all its forms.

Which historical figures do you most dislike?

I suppose anyone associated with fascism, bigotry, and bullies really get me down.

What event in history do you most admire?

The civil rights movement in particular.

What social movement do you most admire?

The civil rights movement, socialism, feminism, anything that looks to level the playing field.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?

To fly like a little bird.

How would you like to die?

In the full knowledge of it, feeling like I gave life my best shot, and that I’d been true.

What is your present state of mind?

Very tired. Very woolly and worn out. Rainy.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Thoughtlessness.

Which fault in others do you most easily tolerate?

Lateness, although maybe I don’t see it as a fault, as I am often late (!)

Which fault in yourself do you most easily tolerate?

I don’t know if I do, but perhaps procrastination, and being scattered.

What is your motto?

Young Hearts Run Free, and on days I don’t feel like that, I just watch Annie Hall or Barefoot in the Park and hope that tomorrow might be better.

Or this – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xAAGh-3sw0

Proust Questionnaire 12: Tony Clayton-Lea

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Tony Clayton-Lea is a music journalist for The Irish Times, and will be chairing the 33 Revolutions Per Minute discussion this evening at 8.30pm in Liberty Hall.

What is your idea of happiness?

It changes, obviously. Sometimes it’s as simple as reading a newspaper or a book while I’m having breakfast. Other times, it’s just breathing between starting and finishing a piece of work. Watching movies, for sure.

Where would you most like to live?

Anywhere in a mortgage-free house, to be honest. Wish-list locations, however, include New York, Provence, Paris and County Meath.

What is your favourite virtue?

Anything that mixes honesty and humour is fine by me. Honour? Humesty?

What are your favourite qualities in a man?

Politeness, intelligence, humour, a good cologne; the ability to laugh at my jokes is a bonus.

What are your favourite qualities in a woman?

Politeness, intelligence, humour, a good perfume; the ability to laugh at my jokes is a bonus.

What do you most value in your friends?

I love the way they contact me the day before a gig looking for ticket.

What is your biggest weakness?

Apple tarts, Brandy Alexanders, Zoolander.

What do you enjoy doing most?

I really love my work (and I’d like more, if you don’t mind…)

What is your most marked characteristic?

Haven’t the foggiest – although now I come to think of it I am quite organised in an almost worryingly robotic way.

What is your idea of misery?

At the moment, it’s filing copy every hour to The Irish Times via Citrix.

If not yourself, who would you like to be?

I love being me. It’s, like, so… well, me. Oh, alright then: just for an hour or so, the writer Kevin Barry in order to know how the flipping heck he wrote something as brilliant as City Of Bohane.

What is your favourite colour and flower?

Awww, c’mon! What is this – Smash Hits?

What is your favourite bird?

You’re serious, right?

Who are your favourite writers?

Old school: Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene. Current (kind of): Carol Shields, Lorrie Moore, Patrick DeWitt, Kevin Barry. I used to love Ian McEwan, but Jeez, he’s gone off the boil in recent years.

Who are your favourite poets?

Bob Dylan, Aimee Mann, Lily Allen, John Cooper Clarke.

Who are your favourite artists?

Bridget Riley, Salvador Dali; and some of Banksy’s work is amazing.

Who are your favourite musicians?

I have a sneaking admiration for Jack White. And while we’re on the topic – I HATE drum solos.

Who are your favourite heroes and heroines in fiction?

Charles Ryder (Brideshead Revisited – although he’s not really a hero, is he?); Miss Haversham (Great Expectations – she’s probably the best written loneliest person in literature, don’t you think?)

Who are the heroes and heroines in your life?

My brother; my mother and my wife.

Who are your favourite heroes and heroines in history?

Martin Luther King; Rosa Parks.

What is your favourite food and drink?

Probably a medium-rare steak and a glass of red wine; but you know, sometimes a Big Mac just hits the spot, doesn’t it?

What are your favourite names?

Angela, Sarah, Paul.

What do you most dislike?

Rudeness, discourtesy, people that you know quite well not replying to emails.

Which historical figures do you most dislike?

Hitler, and all those whose names escape me that tried to subjugate individuality and freedom of expression.

What event in history do you most admire?

Has to be the Civil Rights movement.

What social movement do you most admire?

Feminism.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?

The ability to crap gold bars would be nice, if quite likely uncomfortable.

How would you like to die?

Quickly, painlessly, without fuss.

What is your present state of mind?

It varies between beleaguered and becalmed.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

I loathe misogyny (and yet I really like the occasional sexist joke – go figure…)

Which fault in others do you most easily tolerate?

Let’s not go there, shall we?

Which fault in yourself do you most easily tolerate?

Ditto.

What is your motto?

Fair Play To All – it’s on the family Coat Of Arms, dontcha know…

Proust Questionnaire 11: Dorian Lynskey

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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?

Empathy.

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?

Busy.

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?

Lateness.

(SK)

Proust Questionnaire 10: Little John Nee

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Little John Nee is a writer, storyteller, performer and musician, who will be performing at the Faber Social, which takes place in Smock Alley, the Banquet Hall tomorrow at 6pm.

What is your idea of happiness?

Creating theatre shows and hanging out with friends.

Where would you most like to live?

In a comfortable barn on four acres of land.

What is your favourite virtue?

Compassion.

What are your favourite qualities in a man?

Generosity, gentleness, integrity, sense of humour, creativity and compassion.

What are your favourite qualities in a woman?

Generosity, gentleness, integrity, sense of humour, creativity, compassion and a good kisser.

What do you most value in your friends?

Forgiveness.

What is your biggest weakness?

Creating theatre.

What do you enjoy doing most?

Creating theatre.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Foolishness.

What is your idea of misery?

Bureaucracy.

If not yourself, who would you like to be?

Today Duke Ellington.

What is your favourite color and flower?

Crimson lake and gorse bush blossoms.

What is your favourite bird?

Swallow.

Who are your favourite writers?

Jim Thompson, Elmore Leonard.

Who are your favourite poets?

Dylan Thomas.

Who are your favourite artists?

Banksy, Keeva Holland.

Who are your favourite musicians?

Way too many, listening to a lot of Duke Ellington. Robert Wyatt.

Who are your favourite heroes and heroines in fiction?

Bónapárt Ó Cúnasa in The Poor Mouth, Polly Garter in Under Milk Wood.

Who are the heroes and heroines in your life?

My parents and friends.

Who are your favourite heroes and heroines in history?

Geronimo, Rosa Parks, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Samuel Beckett, Margaret Barry, Utah Phillips, Muhammad Ali.

What is your favourite food and drink?

Indian vegetarian, homemade elderflower soda.

What are your favourite names?

Ruby, Rosa and Tobias.

What do you most dislike?

Arrogance in myself, and bullies.

Which historical figures do you most dislike?

Margaret Thatcher, Richard J.Daley, Himmler.

What event in history do you most admire?

Rosa Parks sitting on the bus.

What social movement do you most admire?

Dharma Punx.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?

To dance like Bojangles.

How would you like to die?

Old, happy and singing a song.

What is your present state of mind?

Mithered.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Bureaucracy in arts.

Which fault in others do you most easily tolerate?

Limited musical ability.

Which fault in yourself do you most easily tolerate?

Limited musical ability.

What is your motto?

The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.

(SK)

Proust Questionnaire 9: Paul Lynch

Philip French at home his cinema room in London

This is not Paul Lynch, but I thought he wouldn’t mind, since like the great Philip French, he is also a film critic. Philip French recently retired from The Observer, and I will miss his writing a lot. If there is ever an opportunity to slot in reference to him, I will take it.

However, this is actually Paul Lynch –

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He is a film critic, and writer, and his debut novel Red Sky in Morning was recently released to great critical acclaim. He appears with Peter Murphy at Smock Alley tonight.

What is your idea of happiness?

Fresh fish off the pan by a cerulean sea, sharing a bottle of red wine with my lady.

Where would you most like to live?

At the moment, New York

What is your favourite virtue?

Honesty

What are your favourite qualities in a man?

The ability to chop down trees, to hunt and skin rabbits, to rebuild a car engine. None of which I possess.

What are your favourite qualities in a woman?

Can I speak of these here?

What do you most value in your friends?

That quality of timelessness, where you can pick up with a friend as if you had just been with them yesterday.

What is your biggest weakness?

Red wine and gin-based cocktails

What do you enjoy doing most?

Drinking red wine and gin-based cocktails

What is your most marked characteristic?

I would like to think my warm and generous personality, though those closest to me would probably say my intolerance of ignorance. Those who don’t know me would say my Byronic hair.

What is your idea of misery?

Having to read an awful book, or being without books at all.

If not yourself, who would you like to be?

When I get tired of being myself, I dream into my characters,

What is your favourite colour and flower?

I tend to wear a lot of black. Flower? The head-bowed, ephemeral bluebell.

What is your favourite bird?

The much-misunderstood magpie. In China they are a symbol of good-luck.

Who are your favourite writers?

This could be a long list: Saul Bellow, Don DeLillo, Cormac McCarthy, Hilary Mantel, Flannery O’Connor, Vladimir Nabokov, WG Sebald, Juan Rulfo, Herman Melville, Charles Dickens. A new addition to the ever-expanding list is Roberto Bolano.

Who are your favourite poets?

John Milton, Seamus Heaney, Fernando Pessoa, TS Eliot, David Harsent, Gerard Manley Hopkins…

Who are your favourite artists?

Pieter Bruegel the Elder. I’ve been fortunate to see most of his masterpieces in the various museums.

Who are your favourite musicians?

John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Sviatoslav Richter, Kirk Hammet, Grant Green, Esbjorn Svensson…

Who are your favourite heroes and heroines in fiction?

I recently read Bolano’s 2666 and adored Benno von Archimboldi: the dedication to writing; the disregard for recognition; the fearlessness in art.

Who are the heroes and heroines in your life?

That generation of writers — the likes of Don DeLillo, Cormac McCarthy and Thomas Pynchon — who eschewed publicity, interviews, book tours, and Proustian questionnaires, and just got on with the writing.

Who are your favourite heroes and heroines in history?

Any writers or thinkers who have dealt with head-on and fearlessly with what it means to be alive outside of the dream of religion.

What is your favourite food and drink?

Fois gras slabbed on top of a rib-eye steak with a glass of super-Tuscan red wine. Nom nom.

What are your favourite names?

If I ever have a daughter I am going to call her Alice-Eve

What do you most dislike?

Sloppiness. If you are going to do the job, DIFR*.

(* do it f__king right).

Which historical figures do you most dislike?

The neoplatonists. They set us up for a 1,500-year rule of mystical ignorance.

What event in history do you most admire?

The first man or woman who drank that fermented juice. What a moment!

What social movement do you most admire?

I would have to say the feminist movement. Though I think we can all move on now and embrace equalism. Men have it hard too, you know.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?

I would love to be able to play the piano or paint.

How would you like to die?

Peacefully.

What is your present state of mind?

Anxious and excited. I have begun writing my third book.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Waiters who take an order without writing it down. I’m sorry mate, but you are going to get something wrong.

Which fault in others do you most easily tolerate?

I do my best to take a mindful attitude to the people in my life. This is a work in progress.

Which fault in yourself do you most easily tolerate?

My almost complete unawareness of mess. My inability to do DIY and gardening. The fact that I can’t drive (yet). My ability to be lost in my head while others are talking to me.

What is your motto?

Ostinato rigore! It comes from Leonardo da Vinci and means, more or less, don’t stop until it is right.

(SK)

Proust Questionnaire 8: Sinéad Gleeson

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Sinéad Gleeson is a journalist and broadcaster who contributes to publications such as The Irish Times, and programmes such as RTÉ’s The Works. She interviews Caitlin Moran tonight at The Concert Hall (8pm).

What is your idea of happiness? 

No deadlines. A day spent with my children, and when they’re asleep: a book I’ve been saving, an open fire and a glass of wine.

What is your favourite virtue? 

Empathy – most of us are quick to judge without putting ourselves in other’s shoes.

What do you most value in your friends? 

Honesty.

What is your biggest weakness? 

Cake. And not saying no to things/my children/more cake.

What is your most marked characteristic? 

Past illnesses are wonderful for making a gal determined.

What is your idea of misery? 

Living in a worse climate than the one Ireland already has. These six-month winters are killing me.

Who are your favourite artists? 

Edward Munch, Frida Kahlo, Alice Maher, Max Ernst and Marina Abramovic. I also adore Cindy Sherman’s photographs.

What is your favourite colour and flower? 

I always gravitate towards the angry sky end of the spectrum – blue, green, purple. Tulips, sweet pea, delphiniums.

What is your favourite bird? 

I’ve become fond of the magpies that squabble in the tree in my back garden.

Who are your favourite writers? 

Not all writers are good all of the time. Some consistent ones: Maeve Brennan, George Orwell, Flannery O’Connor, James Joyce, George Saunders.

Who are your favourite musicians?

A cruel, vast question: Kate Bush, Grizzly Bear, Nick Cave, St. Vincent, Steve Reich, Kraftwerk, The National.

Who are your favourite heroes and heroines in fiction? 

Most people despise her, but Emma Bovary fascinates me. John Self in Martin Amis’ Money. The female friends in Lorrie Moore’s Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? Du Maurier’s Rebecca. Tank Girl.

Who are your favourite heroes and heroines in history? 

Joan of Arc. Countess Markievicz. Joan Jett. The Suffagettes.

What is your favourite food and drink? 

Who doesn’t like olives, fancy cheese and a nice Rioja? Also: Hendricks gin.

Which historical figures do you most dislike? 

The usual fascists dictator types. And whoever cancelled Top of the Pops.

What event in history do you most admire? 

The courage that Rosa Parks displayed in refusing to give up her seat on that bus is staggering.

What social movement do you most admire? 

It would have to be Feminism, which continues to strive for necessary equality.

What is your present state of mind? 

Tired but happy – and about to read some more James Salter, which is a good thing.

Which fault in others do you most easily tolerate? 

Lateness. Several of my best friends are a ridiculously unpunctual lot – but I still love them.

Which fault in yourself do you most easily tolerate? 

My ability to be easily distracted. I blame the internet.

(SK)

Proust Questionnaire 7: Peter Murphy

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Peter Murphy is a journalist and writer, whose latest book, Shall We Gather at the River was published by Faber, earlier this year. His first novel John the Revelator, published in 2009, was nominated for the 2011 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, among others prizes, and he is also a founder member of The Revelator Orchestra. He appears with Paul Lynch this evening at Smock Alley (6pm)

What is your idea of happiness? 

The Stooges’ Funhouse album played loud.

Where would you most like to live? 

The house I’m about to move into, mainly because I’ve been living out of a rucksack for five weeks following my previous house’s thatched roof catching fire.

What is your favourite virtue?

Not chastity anyway.

What are your favourite qualities in a man? 

Wit. Horse-sense.

What are your favourite qualities in a woman? 

Buttocks.

What do you most value in your friends?  

The chat.

What is your biggest weakness?

Hoarding books.

What do you enjoy doing most? 

Finding out about stuff.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My partner says my walk. I’m not sure what she means.

What is your idea of misery? 

Working in a fluorescent-lit cube for a guy who says things like ‘ahead of the curve’.

If not yourself, who would you like to be? 

My dog Judy.

What is your favourite colour and flower? 

Burgundy. Sunflower.

What is your favourite bird?

Heron.

Who are your favourite writers? 

Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stephenson, Flannery O’Connor, Lester Bangs, Flann O’Brien, Nick Tosches, William Shakespeare, Herman Melville, Greil Marcus, JG Ballard, Ray Bradbury, Hunter S Thompson, Bob Dylan.

Who are your favourite poets? 

William Blake, Federico Garcia Lorca, Arthur Rimbaud, Dylan Thomas

Who are your favourite artists? 

Frances Bacon, Marc Chagall, Jackson Pollock, Joe Cole, Carlos Ezquerra.

Who are your favourite musicians? 

Robert Johnson, Arvo Part, Miles Davis, Nina Simone, John Coltrane, The Doors, Hank Williams, Charles Mingus, Motorhead, The Gun Club, Neil Young & Crazy Horse.

Who are your favourite heroes and heroines in fiction? 

Riddley Walker, Ide Richilieu from The Man Who Fell In Love With the Moon by Tom Spanbauer, Doc Cochran from Deadwood, Compo from Last of the Summer Wine.

Who are the heroes and heroines in your life? 

My partner Paula, my brother John, my sister Imelda, my pal Sean, my fairy godmother Marianne and my daughters Meg, Hannah and Grace.

Who are your favourite heroes and heroines in history?

Ned Kelly, Grace O’Malley

What is your favourite food and drink? 

Burrito/coffee

What are your favourite names?

Estrella. Esther. Esmarelda. Zelda. Enoch.

What do you most dislike? 

The kind of people who say ‘going forward’.

Which historical figures do you most dislike? 

All the fascist bastards.

What event in history do you most admire?

The building of the pyramids.

What social movement do you most admire?

Burlesque artists.

What natural gift would you most like to possess? 

The ability to play ‘Highway to Hell’ on electric guitar.

How would you like to die? 

After, rather than before, the completion of a book.

What is your present state of mind?

All over the shop.

What is your biggest pet peeve? 

Rip-off merchants. The way the game is rigged so’s we all have to have a bank account.

Which fault in others do you most easily tolerate? 

Those I don’t possess.

Which fault in yourself do you most easily tolerate? 

Misanthropy.

What is your motto?

“Do not act as if thou wert going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over thee. While thou livest, while it is in thy power, be good.” – Marcus Aurelius

(SK)