Immortalitatis in pulchritudo.
Immortalitatis in pulchritudo.
« One fine April evening, I decided to consult the Marcel Proust questionnaire (as it was known in the English parlours of the XIX century). The version I used differed somewhat from both the classic questionnaire and from the questions my friends (and indeed I myself) had posed before.»
  1. Which three quotes best sum up your life?
— «If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need» (Marcus Tullius Cicero)
«The wind cannot be tamed» (Erich Maria Remarque)
« In all music is Bach, and is in each of us is God» (Joseph Alexandrovich Brodsky)
2. In which city would you like to die?
— Saint Petersburg.
3. Do you fear loneliness?
— I fear being left without it.
4. With which adversary have you been struggling all your life?
— Time. And it always seems to be winning.
5. Which is your favourite garden?
— St Petersburg's Taurian Garden, in May.
6. Which is your favourite park?
— St Petersburg's Pavlovsk Park, in March and September.
7. Which is your favourite colour spectrum?
— For a long time, it was the centre piece of the Bosch triptych. Now, it is Morocco in February, red ochre, silver, emerald, and a fusion of creams – witnessing them is a dazzling experience.
8. What is your deepest disappointment?
— That the Aeaea Islands do not exist.
9. What is your favourite musical composition?
— Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D-major, Rakhmaninov's Concerto No. 2, Shubert's Evening Serenade, John Williams's score for Schindler's List.
10. Which are your favourite artists?
— Leonardo da Vinci, Jan van Eyck, Jeronim Bosch van Aeken, Arkhip Kuindzhi.
11. Which are your favourite poets?
— Joseph Brodsky, Marina Tsvetaeva, Kira Levina, Vera Polozkova.
12. Which character traits interfere in your life?
— Mainly indecisiveness. Also, imagination.
13. What is your main weakness?
— Previously I would have said despondency and pride. Now, mainly the latter.
14. Which famous women's lives inspire you and offer answers to your inner questions?
— Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Yyuliya Menshova, Svetlana Surganova, Irina Kakamada.
15. Which famous men's lives inspire you and offer answers to your inner questions?
— Joseph Brodsky, Lev Tolstoy.
16. Who are your favourite literary heroes?
— Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Eyre, Jean Valjean, Jay Gatsby.
17. What is the hardest thing for you to observe?
— My daily routine.
18. What is your greatest fear?
— Old age.
19. What never ceases to amaze you?
— The love of friends and how cut tulips grow in a vase.
20. What does unhappiness mean to you?
— To stop learning.
21. What does happiness mean to you?
— To be wholly useful to the world in accordance with God's plan while surrounded by kindred spirits.
22. What could you not live without?
— Humour and herb tea.
23. What is your favourite holiday?
— Christmas.
24. What is your favourite flower?
— Peony.
25. Which is your favourite month?
— May. The blossoming woods just blow my mind.
26. Is there anything that you look at with disdain?
— Routine. But I've learned to avoid it, and thus my relationship with it has improved significantly. Also, dependence on sleep and food; it is so tedious in its unavoidability.
27. What skill would you like to master?
— Flying a Cessna. This has been my most tempting idea of the last 10 years.
28. What would you fear to lose?
— Rhythm.
29. Your main creative tools?
— My sense of taste and courage of thought; everything else comes second.
30. What inspires you?
— Phenomenal memory and pitch-perfect hearing.
31. To whom would you be merciless if possible?
— To people who throw rubbish out of their car windows and to those who are cruel to animals.
32. Which professional task would you like to complete?
— A triangular object; I have never fully comprehended this shape.
33. What does God mean to you?
— Me and an infinite number of universes. Assuming an extrapolated definition of the premise, naturally