Thursday, May 19, 2022

Proust Questionnaire: Taylor Napolsky

I first ran into Taylor Napolsky's writing at Expat Press. He is a talented, dedicated writer; a most generous, happy-go-lucky soul. You can also find his work in MORIA, Lunate, and other journals. His new novel is called Economic Despair and everybody should check it out. You can also follow him on twitter.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Making all my money from writing stuff I want—not b.s. articles I don't care about—and having enough money to live comfortably, and buy clothes.

2. What is your greatest fear?

I hate that it's spiders, but it's spiders.

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

Umm, I can't think like that.... I am getting over these traits! I'm determined.

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

Talking and talking and never listening. For sure it's that.

5. Which living person do you most admire?

Kanye, naturally. I guess it's just "Ye" now....

6. What is your greatest extravagance?

Buying trail mix. It's too pricey for me, but it's the perfect snack.

7. What is your current state of mind?

"Nothing bothers me." That's what I'm always trying to get to.

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Philanthropy. I'll just leave it at that.

9. On what occasion do you lie?

It's more like when do I not lie. Call me young Simba because I am the lying king.

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Hair loss duh

11. Which living person do you most despise?

Probably this movie exec guy named Toby Emmerich.

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


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

Again, smarts!

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Not in writing but in speaking: I say "You know what I mean?" constantly. Like, agree with me, please.

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

I'll go with "what." My Brilliant Friend on HBO Max.

16. When and where were you happiest?

High school when I was the star athlete. Kidding.

I spent some time in my twenties just going to clubs and drinking too many Red Bull vodkas every weekend; it was really fun, so I'd say that. I'm pretty happy now too though.

17. Which talent would you most like to have?

Like a "snap my fingers and I have it" talent? Extreme Spanish skills. Also just being good at learning languages in general would be cool.

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

I'd take more charm and charisma, all the way. You can never get enough of that.

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

It's a combo of all the writing work I've completed, and also, low key high key, getting asked to do this questionnaire.

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

That baby thing at the end of 2001. Let's fuckin go.

21. Where would you most like to live?

Seattle, but I could fuck with Miami too I think.

22. What is your most treasured possession?

My laptop, because it's so damn expensive and nice, and the battery lasts an age.

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


24. What is your favorite occupation?

Well I wrote a whole list of activities, but then noticed it's only asking for one occupation, so reading comes first. That's it.

25. What is your most marked characteristic?

I'm a maniac, (in a good way), and always trying to be more of one.

26. What do you most value in your friends?

Being able to be real with them. The more real I can be, the more satisfying.

27. Who are your favorite writers?

I have to start with Morrison (I'm not talking about that Doors singer, either). Also Sayaka Murata (Convenience Store Woman is my book). And Shakespeare. Alejandro Zambra rocks my world. I'm not listing my very favorite though.

28. Who is your hero of fiction?

Hamlet is the most beautiful in all dimensions.

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Sojourner Truth. She went so hard for what she believed in.

30. Who are your heroes in real life?

Michael B. Jordan, Otessa Moshfegh and RosalĂ­a!

31. What are your favorite names?

I mostly don't think about names like that. I'll try though: Lakeith; Alana; Sergio; Naomi. That's about all I have. Judging by these ones I landed on, I suppose I like longer-syllabled names.

32. What is it that you most dislike?

People's obnoxious opinions on Twitter that I just have to tolerate, mostly, because why waste my time arguing.

33. What is your greatest regret?

One time I kind of cut ties with someone just because it seemed like the cool, trendy thing to do at the moment. It was dumb. It's all good though, because they seemed chill about it, and also I learned the lesson: Never the fuck will I do that again.

34. How would you like to die?

Old. Extremely old.

35. What is your motto?

Nothing bothers me and be a maniac.

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