Modern Drama Editor R. Darren Gobert Answers the Proust Questionnaire

December 11, 2017

Proust Questionnaire

R. Darren Gobert is the author of The Mind-Body Stage (Stanford University Press), The Theatre of Caryl Churchill (Bloomsbury), and numerous articles on modern and contemporary drama, dramatic and performance theory, and the philosophy of theatre. His honours include best-book prizes from the Canadian Association for Theatre Research and the American Society for Theatre Research, the John Charles Polanyi Prize for Literature, and both the Dean’s Award (2007) and President’s University-Wide Award for Outstanding Teaching (2016) at York University, where he teaches in English and Theatre & Performance Studies. He is also appointed to the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto, where he edits Modern Drama.

Q: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A: When the right subject finds the right verb.

Q: What is your greatest fear?

A: Running out of ideas.

Q: What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

A: Impatience.

Q: What is the trait you most deplore in others?

A: Lack of consideration.

Q: Which living person do you most admire?

A: Mary Norris.

Q: What is your greatest extravagance?

A: Travel!

Q: What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

A: “Productivity”.

Q: When and where were you happiest?

A: Whenever I see a perfect, final proof.

Q: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

A: My introversion.

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A: Whatever piece of writing I have just finished, for a few minutes before I revert to nitpicking.

Q: What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

A: Reading, say, the New York Times and seeing “less” when “fewer” is meant.

Q: What is your most marked characteristic?

A: Attention to detail.

Q: What do you most value in your friends?

A: A sense of humour.

Q: Who are your favorite writers?

A: Too many to list, but currently I’m dazzled by Selma Lagerlöf.

Q: What is it that you most dislike?

A: Indifference to good writing (which is distinct from difficulty writing well).

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