The Proust Questionnaire, with Mansa Trotman
Mansa Trotman's debut collection of poetry is The Space That Connects Us (TSAR Publications). Also a spoken word artist, Mansa has previously published a chapbook of poetry as well.
In her answers to the Proust Questionnaire, Mansa tells Open Book about the importance of shoes, the appeal of a lavender bedroom and the desire to whistle.
The Proust Questionnaire was not invented by Marcel Proust, but it was a much loved game by the French author and many of his contemporaries. The idea behind the questionnaire is that the answers are supposed to reveal the respondent's "true" nature.
What is your dream of happiness?
Unlimited free shoes.
Where would you like to live?
Barbados by the beach with birds chirping and waves crashing.
What qualities do you admire most in a man?
What qualities do you admire most in a woman?
What is your chief characteristic?
What is your principal fault?
What is your greatest extravagance?
Shoes...lots and lots of shoes.
What faults in others are you most tolerant of?
What do you value most about your friends?
What characteristic do you dislike most in others?
What characteristic do you dislike most in yourself?
I can sometimes be a doormat.
What is your favourite occupation?
What would you like to be?
What is your favourite colour?
The colour purple.
What is your favourite flower?
White calla lily.
What is your favourite bird?
What historical figure do you admire the most?
Mary Prince (19c Abolitionist).
What character in history do you most dislike?
Who are your favourite prose authors?
Who are your favourite poets?
Ntozake Shange, Jemeni.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My mother, my aunt Jennette, my father.
Who is your favourite painter?
The one who painted my bedroom lavender.
Who is your favourite musician?
What is your favourite food?
What is your favourite drink?
Trinidadian Orange Juice (it comes sweetened in a tin).
What are your favourite names?
What is it you most dislike?
What natural talent would you most like to possess?
The ability to whistle.
How do you want to die?
Surrounded by my shoes.
What is your current state of mind?
Excited for the release of my book of poems.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
What is your motto?
I have two: “When fear knocks let faith answer” and “Do you just do it out of my way”.
Check out all the Proust Questionnaire interviews in our archives.