Oscar Wilde’s Questionnaire

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My canadian twitter friend @justinohearn (who incidentally researches the rather interesting subject of Victorian porn & lit) last month posted the following questionnaire originally posted by Oscar Wilde in An American Confession in 1877. And as everybody’s favourite subject for discussion is themselves I thought I’d give it a go too….for my own benefit really but perhaps you’re interested in my answers too! I’m a bit strange in that I rather like these sort of things and I love reading other’s responses, which I suppose could be interpreted as just being nosy or, as I rather see it, being genuinely interested in what my friends & acquaintances would answer. So if you feel inclined to do it please add your answers in the comments below!

Your Favourite:  you’ll notice that sometimes I can’t chose just one answer, sorry!

  1. Colour?  red, periwinkle blue, teal
  2. Flower?  pastel coloured roses & peonies, tulips, blossoms
  3. Tree?  conifers and deciduous trees with brilliant autumn colour
  4. Object in nature?  snow-capped mountains and beautiful shorelines
  5. Hour in the day?  any hour when I’m not being rushed
  6. Season of the year?  there is beauty in all seasons but I do hate extreme heat
  7. Perfume?  my scent is usually rose
  8. Gem? most gemstones & semi-precious stones are beautiful in their own way
  9. Style of beauty?  I do love Art Deco. Fashion icons: Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, & Brigitte Bardot
  10. Names, male and female?  Male – don’t have one, Female – Evangeline (my eldest daughter’s name)
  11. Painters?  Many from the renaissance, rococo, & impressionism periods
  12. Musicians?  long diverse list: from baroque & classical, to jazz (eg. armstrong, peterson, sinatra, connick jr) and more modern artists like Chris Isaak, Billy Joel, Coldplay, Adele, Duffy, Amy Winehouse, Nick Cave, Temper Trap, Black Keys, …… as well as some pop & Abba and more left-field things like the Gipsy Kings and french jazz (eg. E.C Barlow, C.Chamberland)
  13. Piece of sculpture?  Rodin’s The Kiss
  14. Poets?  I don’t know enough to give proper answer
  15. Poetesses?  ditto
  16. Prose authors? I haven’t read enough fiction to give definitive answer. I mainly read non-fiction
  17. Character in Romance?  pass
  18. Character in History?  yet to discover my favourite
  19. Book to take up for an hour? whatever I’m currently reading, usually a history book
  20. What book (not religious) would you part with last?  whichever one has blank pages in it for me to write in
  21. What epoch would you choose to have lived in?  would love to visit many but first choice is the italian renaissance
  22. Where would you like to live?  if not Sydney or Melbourne, then North-East USA or a village in England or France
  23. What is your favourite amusement?  I’m easily amused so there could be loads!
  24. What is your favourite occupation?  still waiting for it – hopefully research &/or writing
  25. What trait of character do you most admire in man? integrity, intelligence, thoughtfulness, warm-hearted, trustworthy, openness, quietly jovial
  26. What trait of character do you most admire in woman? integrity, sincerity, reliability, good listener, openness, intelligence, quietly jovial
  27. What trait of character do you most detest in each? inconsiderate, rude, loud, cruel, conceit, willful ignorance, insincerity
  28. If not yourself, who would you rather be?  A more organised, patient, faster-working version of myself
  29. What is your idea of happiness?  the free pursuit of intellectual stimulation (to quote @justinohearn) and travel
  30. What is your idea of misery?  Stuck in a gravely mentally-ill mind, doing mind-numbing work, with no family & friends nearby
  31. What is your bete noir? People pretending to be something they aren’t as they are in denial about their insecurities
  32. What is your dream? To write popular history books and a few novels & screenplays, to produce some historical programs, and to travel whenever I want
  33. What is your favourite game? I quite like board games & silly games. Balderdash possibly my fav
  34. What do you believe to be your distinguishing characteristic? unceasing curiosity with time to only pursue a fraction of what interests me
  35. If married, what do you believe to be the distinguishing characteristic of your better-half? his quiet passion and intensity for his work and also his genuine interest in everyone
  36. What is the sublimest passion of which human nature is capable?  (blushing) um, er…. music :-)
  37. What are the sweetest words in the world? a tie between ‘I’ve missed you so much’ & ‘you are so interesting’
  38. What are the saddest words? ‘I’m lonely’ and ‘nothing’
  39. What is your aim in life? to overcome my insecurities and to produce intellectually interesting work for the public
  40. What is your motto? ‘Do unto others….’ and ‘be interesting and interested’

I’d love to read some of your answers in the comments below!

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