Proust Questionnaire Sean

O’Brien, poet

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Sitting on the settee reading, with my partner, and the cat and dog.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Ming the Merciless.

Which living person do you most admire?

Darth Vader.

Which is the trait you most deplore in yourself?


What is your greatest extravagance?


What is your favourite journey?

To Galway, obviously.

On what occasion do you lie?

Who, me?

Which living person do you most despise?

I try not to, but their surnames begin with B.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My partner.

When and where were you happiest?

At me desk, filling in this questionnaire.

Which talent would you most like to have?

To be a musician.

What is your current state of mind?


What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Getting to 2009.

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

I wouldn’t mind being a river.

What is your most treasured possession?

My workroom.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Having nothing to read.

What is your favourite occupation?

Writing and reading.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Not droning on about football when they don’t understand it.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?


Who are your favourite writers?

Too many to name. Auden, Graham Greene, Derek Mahon among them.

What is your motto?

You’re a long time dead.

Sean will read along with Carol Ann Duffy and Don Paterson in the Town Hall Theatre on Saturday at 8.30pm as part of the Cúirt International Festival of Literature. Tickets are available from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 - 569777.

Kernan Andrews



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