Sunday, March 8, 2020

Proust Questionnaire: Mersiha Bruncevic

Mersiha Bruncevic is a writer and literary scholar. She wrote a PhD thesis on the representation of sleep and dreams in Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time. Her work has appeared in The London Magazine, 3:AM, Tablet Magazine, Review 31, The Literary Encyclopedia and other publications. Originally from Sweden, Mersiha studied and worked in London before moving to France, she currently splits her time between Paris and Gothenburg.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being in good health.

2. What is your greatest fear?


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

There are quite a few traits I’m not thrilled about but I wouldn’t go so far as to say deplore.

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

I’m not a fan of petty.

5. Which living person do you most admire?

Maya Gabeira (surfer) and Kimi Werner (freediver).

6. What is your greatest extravagance?

Good food.

7. What is your current state of mind?

Pretty calm and a lot of inspiration going on at the moment.

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Telling it like it is.

9. On what occasion do you lie?

When I can’t be bothered with the truth.

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Some days everything, other days nothing.

11. Which living person do you most despise?

I don’t despise anyone.

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

Capacity for forgiveness.

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

Capacity for forgiveness.

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“But” “sort of” “really”.

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

The sea.

16. When and where were you happiest?

Paris at night.

17. Which talent would you most like to have?

Freediving, I would love to be a natural born freediver.

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

I’m tall-ish, I could be less tall.

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

The first time I read Proust, I read all of In Search of Lost Time in three months, in French. My brain was fried by the end of it but it was amazing. That experience changed everything.

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

Marco Polo.

21. Where would you most like to live?

A little house by the sea.

22. What is your most treasured possession?

A picture of Proust’s bedroom.

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

Academic peer-reviews.

24. What is your favorite occupation?


25. What is your most marked characteristic?

I lose track of time.

26. What do you most value in your friends?

They like to have a really good time.

27. Who are your favorite writers?

Marcel Proust.

28. Who is your hero of fiction?

Marcel Proust’s hero-narrator.

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

I wasn’t sure, so I did a test online to see which historical figure I would be and it said Shakespeare. I am not going to disagree with

30. Who are your heroes in real life?

Anybody who doesn’t care that the odds are against them.

31. What are your favorite names?


32. What is it that you most dislike?

Self pity.

33. What is your greatest regret?

Things I should have said before it was too late.

34. How would you like to die?

I’m actually quite happy to go “gentle into that good night”. There is something beautiful about “the dying of the light”.

35. What is your motto?

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

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