Proust’s Questionnaire

What is your idea of happiness?

A moving feast, beginning every morning with the sight of my wife reading her newspaper on her computer and the knowledge that no bad news about my children will interfere with writing my 500 words that day.

What is your greatest fear?

That any of my six children could die before me.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?


What is the trait you most deplore in others?


Which living person do you most admire?

My daughter Aglika.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Sipping Chinese tea in fine China with an expensive cigar.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Political correctness.

On what occasion do you lie?

I am afraid of lying.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?

That it doesn’t disclose my inner qualities.

Which living person do you most despise?

Everyone who is not intelligent enough (or willingly resists) to understand and accept evolution and human progress.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“Thank you.”

Who or what is the greatest love of your life?

My third wife Roumyana – and, in a belated realization, my native country Bulgaria.

When and where were you happiest?

At the second wedding of Aglika, in July 2003, San Francisco. (It turned to be short-lasting, and I’m sure it will be outdone by many other moments in our life ahead.)

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

My country of birth.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

That I became a writer in English in my 50-ies, given that English is the fourth foreign language I have learned.

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


Where would you like to live?

Spain, Italy or Southern France, next to the sea.

Where would you like to die?

In Spain, ashes spread over the sea.

What is your most treasured possession?

My self-love.

What is your favorite occupation?


What is your most marked characteristic?


What do you most value in your friends?

Intelligence and candor.

Who are your favorite writers?

Proust, Dostoyevsky, Graham Green, Vladimir Zarev

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

The one I can identify with … so, there are many, but the closest match is the writer Logan Mountstuart from William Boyd’s Any Human Heart (2002)

Who are your heroes in real life?

Board surfers, car racers, computer geeks, fashion photographers , all creative individuals sensitive to daylight and music.

What is it that you most dislike?

American pop culture.

What is your greatest regret?

I wouldn’t be an optimist, if I had regrets. But I have learned from my errors.

How would you like to die?

Having left everything in order, surrounded by my children and grandchildren.

What is your motto?

“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and he repairs the evil. The only sin is pride.”

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