Thursday, March 19, 2020

Proust Questionnaire: Anthony Dragonetti

Anthony Dragonetti's 
first book Confidence Man is described by his publisher, Expat Press, as the "anti-memoir." You can read through his engaging book reviews at Neutral Spaces. He also runs Sludge and he's an editor at Surfaces.   

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Sitting completely still in a state of contentment with no inner monologue. This is currently impossible.

2. What is your greatest fear?

The above will never be possible.

3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

My hair trigger temper. I’ve gotten better. Not good enough yet.

4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?


5. Which living person do you most admire?

I wouldn’t say I admire people.

6. What is your greatest extravagance?

I don’t really throw money around, but I guess if I do go big it’s over food. I’ll pay for a really nice meal or even just something like good cheese.

7. What is your current state of mind?

They’re debating whether to give a shelter in place order for New York City during a global pandemic. I feel fine.

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Ambition. It often looks gross.

9. On what occasion do you lie?

To spare someone’s feelings.

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?

My currently blotchy, multi-colored skin that requires a medication I can’t afford. It’s a completely cosmetic issue with no bearing on my health and it drives me insane.

11. Which living person do you most despise?

I don’t think about anyone enough to despise them.

12. What is the quality you most like in a man?

Being hot.

13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Being hot.

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

I usually ctrl + f for “just” which I won’t be doing here. Go back and see how many I used.

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

I love Jen.

16. When and where were you happiest?

New Orleans last November. First vacation of my adult life with someone I love very much.

17. Which talent would you most like to have?

It’d be nice if I could paint. Maybe someday I will.

18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I wish I had more years of feeling invincible. I got bitter too young.

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?


20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

I’d probably come back as a chair so I could have ass in my face all day.

21. Where would you most like to live?

New York City, which I do.

22. What is your most treasured possession?

Probably a Playbill for Songs for Drella signed by Lou Reed. It was a very special gift.

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

The intersection of overwhelming apathy and the anxiety of knowing what needs to get done without doing any of it because you are overwhelmed by the apathy.

24. What is your favorite occupation?

Writing. Apparently I’m supposed to hate doing it but that seems pretty stupid to me considering I’m not exactly getting rich off of it. I would have to like it.

25. What is your most marked characteristic?

My humor has been described as dry.

26. What do you most value in your friends?

Being genuine. I’m an old man now. There can only be genuine friends at this point.

27. Who are your favorite writers?

Dennis Cooper, Fleur Jaeggy, Thomas Bernhard, Lydia Davis, Kafka, Jerzy Kosinski just for Steps. I like the terse stuff as you can see. William Burroughs and Kathy Acker satisfy particular moods for me.

28. Who is your hero of fiction?

Beckett. He’s a giant and I’ll always be in his shadow. An actual genius.

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

William Henry Harrison. I’d drop dead a month into the job, too.

30. Who are your heroes in real life?

Lou Reed. Tremendous influence on every aspect of my life.

31. What are your favorite names?

Dragonetti. It does all the heavy lifting for me.

32. What is it that you most dislike?

Stupidity, again.

33. What is your greatest regret?

That I didn’t start allowing myself to live sooner. Have to make up for it now.

34. How would you like to die?

Something funny and dumb I would hope. Like a pratfall. But when I’m old and I’ve had enough of all this.

35. What is your motto?

Don’t ever let them tell you being a dumbass online doesn’t pay off.

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