Talking Proust: Anthony Aukskalnis

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Jeff Gilden

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“In the 1880s, long before he claimed his status as one of the greatest authors of all time, teenage  Marcel Proust  (July 10, 1871–November 18, 1922) filled out an English-language questionnaire given to him by his friend Antoinette, the daughter of France’s then-president, as part of her “confession album” — a Victorian version of today’s popular personality tests, designed to reveal the answerer’s tastes, aspirations, and sensibility in a series of simple questions. Proust’s original manuscript, titled ‘by Marcel Proust himself,’ wasn’t discovered until 1924, two years after his death. Decades later, the French television host Bernard Pivot, whose work inspired James Lipton’s Inside the Actor’s Studio, saw in the questionnaire an excellent lubricant for his interviews and began administering it to his guests in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1993, Vanity Fair resurrected the tradition and started publishing various public figures’ answers to the Proust Questionnaire on the last page of each issue.”  –  Brain Pickings

Anthony Aukskalnis , Preclinical Talent Acquisition Consultant, sat down with Biotech Partners’ creative team to share his own answers to Proust’s famous questionnaire.  

What do you like most about your job? Being called Rookie.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? My own ice rink.

What is your most marked characteristic? Dumbest smart guy I know.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Marrying the love of my life.

What is your greatest fear? Being late for a hockey game.

What historical figure do you most identify with? Mario Lemieux.

Which living person do you most admire? My dad.

Who are your heroes in real life?  The Hulk .

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

What is the trait you most deplore in others? When they don’t pass the puck.

What is your favorite journey? The road to the (Stanley) Cup .

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? The flow.

Which word or phrases do you most overuse? It’s like playing cards with my brother’s kids for God’s sake.

What is your greatest regret? Responding to this questionnaire.

What is your current state of mind? Hungry.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? If my mom played hockey.

What is your most treasured possession? My gear.

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

Where would you like to live? Center ice.

What is your favorite occupation? Golf. Just kidding — hockey.

What is the quality you most like in a man? Forehand toe drag.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? Wears my jersey in the stands.

What are your favorite names?  Wayne, Mario .

What is your motto? “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” — The Great One

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