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?
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?
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?
51 – What, in all likelihood, lies in the depths of Loch Ness?
52 – Do you like taxidermied animals?
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?