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The weird questionnaire

Linked from Jeff Vandermeer.

Éric Poindron’s Étrange (*) Questionnaire

(*) Bizarre, extraordinary, singular, surprising. Le Robert Dictionary

1 – Write the first sentence of a novel, short story, or book of the weird yet to be written.
In the Insect House, Matilda was reattaching the legs to the ants.

2 – Without looking at your watch: what time is it?

3 – Look at your watch. What time is it?

4 – How do you explain this — or these — discrepancy(ies) in time?
That's what clocks are for.

5 – Do you believe in meteorological predictions?
I accept their likelihood.

6 – Do you believe in astrological predictions?

7 – Do you gaze at the sky and stars by night?

8 – What do you think of the sky and stars by night?

9 – What were you looking at before starting this questionnaire?

10 – What do cathedrals, churches, mosques, shrines, synagogues, and other religious monuments inspire in you?

11 – What would you have “seen” if you’d been blind?
I don't know.

12 – What would you want to see if you were blind?
The sun.

13 – Are you afraid?
Only of dentists.

14 – What of?
The metal things they put in your mouth.
15 – What is the last weird film you’ve seen?

16 – Whom are you afraid of?
No one in particular.

17 – Have you ever been lost?
Yes. When I was a kid I got lost in a supermarket, so I went to the Police Station.

18 – Do you believe in ghosts?

19 – What is a ghost?
Dead spirits.

20 – At this very moment, what sound(s) can you here, apart from the computer?
The Might Boosh and Paula going to bed.

21 – What is the most terrifying sound you’ve ever heard – for example, “the night was like the cry of a wolf”?
A fog horn, close up behind me at a football match.

22 – Have you done something weird today or in the last few days?
I played a computer game and pretended to be a man in diamond armour.

23 – Have you ever been to confession?
No. I was never confirmed.

24 – You’re at confession, so confess the unspeakable.

25 –Without cheating: what is a “cabinet of curiosities”?
A collection of interesting things. Ein Wunderkammer, of things that fascinated the owner.

26 –Do you believe in redemption?

27 – Have you dreamed tonight?

28 – Do you remember your dreams?
Not very often

29 – What was your last dream?
I don't know

30 – What does fog make you think of?

31 – Do you believe in animals that don’t exist?

32 – What do you see on the walls of the room where you are?
A painting by my dead step-father of the countryside in SW France. There's a rabbit, a dog, a horse and a deer, cows a goat and a farmer.

33 – If you became a magician, what would be the first thing you’d do?

34 – What is a madman?
Someone who doesn't fit in, often in an unhappy way.

35 – Are you mad?
I'm not unhappy.

36 – Do you believe in the existence of secret societies?

37 – What was the last weird book you read?
Fancies and Goodnights by John Collier

38 – Would you like to live in a castle?
A bit draughty but plenty of space for books.

39 – Have you seen something weird today?
An invocation to Master of the Great White Lodge

40 – What is the weirdest film you’ve ever seen?
The Falls by Peter Greenaway

41 – Would you like to live in an abandoned train station?
My Mum lives in one. It was quite nice.

42 – Can you see the future?
To a certain extent. It's what maths is for.

43 – Have you considered living abroad?
I have lived abroad, but not through choice.

44 – Where?

45 – Why?
That's where my parents went

46 – What is the weirdest film you’ve ever owned?
The Falls by Peter Greenaway

47 – Would you liked to have lived in a vicarage?
My first residence was a vicarage.

48 – What is the weirdest book you’ve ever read?
That one about the oil conspiracy and sand. [This one:
Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials by Reza Negarestani]

49 – Which do you like better, globes or hourglasses?

50 – Which do you like better, antique magnifying glasses or bladed weapons?
Magnifying glasses

51 – What, in all likelihood, lies in the depths of Loch Ness?
Dirty water.

52 – Do you like taxidermied animals?
Not particularly.

53 – Do you like walking in the rain?

54 – What goes on in tunnels?
Births and rebirths.

55 – What do you look at when you look away from this questionnaire?
The painting on the wall.

56 – What does this famous line inspire in you: “And when he had crossed the bridge, the phantoms came to meet him.”?
Loss of hope.

57 – Without cheating: where is that famous line from?
I thought it was from something Gothic, Dracula maybe.

58 – Do you like walking in graveyards or the woods by night?

58 – Write the last line of a novel, short story, or book of the weird yet to be written.
In the house, the Queen was reattaching Matilda's legs.

59 – Without looking at your watch: what time is it?

60 – Look at your watch. What time is it?


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 14th, 2011 10:22 am (UTC)
curiously limp questionnaire. I'm always looking for what inspired any piece of writing - here it seems the questioner has a particularly gothic sense of the weird. Makes me want to play along, answer the question "what do you fear?" with "being buried alive" (when the real answer is "Alzheimer's").

"31 – Do you believe in animals that don’t exist?" kinda begs the question.
Dec. 14th, 2011 09:24 pm (UTC)
"Do you believe in animals that don't exist?"

Yes, lots of them, including the dodo, the woolly mammoth and at least 20 types of dinosaurs and pterosaurs (although not the enormous herbivore thing with the snaky neck, since that whole Diplodocus/Brontosaurus/Apatosaurus debacle). I would be willing to believe in thousands more on presentation of quite flimsy evidence.
Dec. 14th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)
You're right, it was a disappointing thing to do. I hadn't read it all before I started it.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )