Delight of delights, this week we are pleased to be featuring the multi-talented Kevin Killian’s answers to our redacted Proust Questionnaire. See here:
Introduction to Kevin Killian
Kevin Killian has written two novels, Shy (1989) and Arctic Summer (1997), a book of memoirs, Bedrooms Have Windows (1990), and three books of stories, Little Men (1996), I Cry Like a Baby (2001) and Impossible Princess (2009). He has also written two books of poetry, Argento Series (2001), and Action Kylie (2008). With Lew Ellingham, Killian has written often on the life and work of the American poet Jack Spicer [1925-65] and with Peter Gizzi has edited My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer (2008) for Wesleyan University Press. For the San Francisco Poets Theater Killian has written thirty plays, including Stone Marmalade (1996, with Leslie Scalapino), The American Objectivists (2001, with Brian Kim Stefans), and Often (also 2001, with Barbara Guest). New projects include Screen Tests, an edition of Killian's film writing, and a new novel Spreadeagle which Alyson Books will publish one of these days.
Kevin Killian Answers the Proust Questionnaire
Your favorite virtue.
Your favorite qualities in a man.
Your favorite qualities in a woman.
Your chief characteristic.
What you appreciate the most in your friends.
Looking the other way.
Your main fault.
I can’t stand to have anyone upset with me.
Your favorite occupation.
Your idea of happiness.
Not for the public to know!
Your idea of misery.
To have lived without meeting Dodie Bellamy.
If not yourself, who would you be?
Where would you like to live?
Your favorite prose authors.
Outside of my friends: Agatha Christie, John Cowper Powys, Faulkner, Proust, Charlotte Armstrong, James Purdy
Your favorite poets.
Outside of my friends: Shakespeare, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Jack Spicer, Victor Hugo, Langston Hughes, Mina Loy,Ted Berrigan.
Your favorite heroes in fiction.
Sherlock Holmes, Holden Caulfield, Mr. Knightley, Dr. Matthew O’Connor, Oddjob, Clay (Less Than Zero), “Lord Jim,” Eric Ashley (in Michael Campbell’s Lord Dismiss Us)
Your favorite heroines in fiction.
Cymbeline, Imogen, Miranda, Alice, Scout, Emma, Gwendolen Harleth, Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Dalloway, Janie Crawford, Maria Wyeth, Veronica (Mary Gaitskill), Erica Kane
Your favorite painters and composers.
Outside of my friends, Seurat, Tintoretto, Pollock, Joan Mitchell, Florine Stettheimer, Warhol, Sturtevant, Sarah Lucas; Puccini, Mozart, R. Strauss, Brian Wilson, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Michael Brown, Arthur Lee, Jimi Hendrix, Laura Nyro, too many to name in each category
Your heroes in “real life.”
Not too many! Writers mainly, Robert Gluck, Dodie Bellamy, Dennis Cooper, Sarah Schulman, Samuel Delany, Eileen Myles, Raymond Pettibon, Kota Ezawa, Derek McCormack, Thom Wolf....
What characters in history do you most dislike?
Stalin, Nixon, Mao, Hitler, St. Paul.... On a different scale, Robert Frost, W H Auden, Darwin, Lewis Carroll, Rilke, many more
Your favorite names.
I wanted to have twins Ricky and Raquel, and we would call them Rick and Rack. I also thought Brando Killian would be a nice name for my son or daughter. But that didn’t happen.
What do you hate the most?
The unrelenting ignorance I see in the world and I can see in my own soul.
What military event do you admire the most?
Is this a trick question? I suppose the liberation of Hitler’s death camps, if that was a military event.
What reform do you admire the most?
Civil rights legislation of the 1960s and 1970s.
The natural talent you’d like to be gifted with.
Either drawing or playing the guitar.
How do you wish to die?
“In the saddle” would be nice, though embarrassing for my partner.
What is your present state of mind?
Thanks to Welbutrin, hopeful.
For what fault do you have the most toleration?
Your favorite motto.
“Try anything once. Then keep trying it until you like it. Then never stop.”