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Darth Vader answers the Proust Questionnaire

Plus other famous characters from fiction

A couple years ago, a friend of mine joked about how a vampire might answer the Proust Questionnaire. It stuck with me that it would be fun to imagine how other fictional characters might answer the list of questions, which you may remember was often asked of celebrities by Vanity Fair magazine and the show Inside the Actor’s Studio.

I’ve had that on the back burner for a while as a potential newsletter topic, but every time I started writing it, I hit a rut. It turned out that I had no interest in actually writing such a thing, only in reading it.

Then ChatGPT came along. I thought I’d see how well it could impersonate different characters from fiction answering the Proust Questionnaire and found it surprisingly entertaining!

So at the risk of feeling incredibly lazy for giving you a newsletter written substantially by A.I., I thought I’d share with you some selected answers from ChatGPT impersonating various characters from fiction answering the Proust Questionnaire.

Darth Vader

What is your idea of perfect happiness?Having unlimited power and ruling the galaxy with my son.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?My anger and my weakness.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?Their defiance, cowardice, and treachery.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?Mercy.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?My scars, my limbs, and my mask.

Which living person do you most despise?Obi-Wan Kenobi, he betrayed me and left me to die.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?Padmé Amidala, she was a beautiful and courageous senator.

When and where were you happiest?On Naboo, when I married Padmé.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?Becoming a Sith Lord and destroying the Jedi Order.

What is your favorite occupation?Hunting down rebels, crushing planets, and enforcing my will.

What is your most marked characteristic?My voice and my breathing.

Who are your favorite writers?I do not read, I write my own destiny.

Who is your hero of fiction?None, I am the only hero of my saga.

Who are your heroes in real life?None, I have no allies.

How would you like to die?In a glorious way, killing my enemies or saving my son.

Homer Simpson

What is your idea of perfect happiness?Eating donuts, drinking beer, and watching TV.

What is your greatest fear?Running out of donuts, beer, or TV.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?My baldness, my fatness, and my yellow skin.

Which living person do you most despise?My boss, Mr. Burns, he is a greedy and evil old man.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?My wife, Marge, she is a sweet and patient woman.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?A donut, a beer, or a TV.

What is your favorite occupation?Being a safety inspector or a astronaut.

What is it that you most dislike?Flanders, broccoli, and taxes.

What is your motto?Woo-hoo!

Clark Kent

What is your idea of perfect happiness?Saving the world, being with Lois, and visiting my parents.

What is your greatest fear?Losing my powers, hurting someone, or failing to protect the innocent.

What is your greatest extravagance?Flying around the world or buying a new suit.

On what occasion do you lie?When I have to hide my identity or my feelings.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?”Great Scott” and “Up, up, and away”.

When and where were you happiest?In Smallville, when I was a kid and discovered my powers.

Which talent would you most like to have?The ability to sing or play an instrument.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?Defeating General Zod and saving the Earth.

Where would you most like to live?In Metropolis, or on Krypton if it still existed.

How would you like to die?In a noble way, sacrificing myself for a greater cause.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?A bird, a plane, or Superman.

Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation

What is your idea of perfect happiness?Being able to experience and express human emotions.

Which living person do you most admire?Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

What is your current state of mind?Curious and analytical.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?Faith.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?Nothing. I am satisfied with my appearance.

Which living person do you most despise?Lore, my evil brother.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?“I do not understand.”

When and where were you happiest?When I played the violin with Sherlock Holmes on the holodeck.

Which talent would you most like to have?The ability to dream.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?I would like to have a sense of humor.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?I would like to come back as a human.

What is your most treasured possession?My emotion chip.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?Being deactivated or isolated.

What is your most marked characteristic?My android nature.

The Grinch

What is the trait you most deplore in others?The trait I most deplore in others, you see,Is their love for Christmas, it's not for me.The Whos and their presents and all of that fuss,It's enough to make me want to cuss.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?My idea of perfect happiness is quite plain,It's having silence and no noise or refrain.No carols or laughter or noisy cheer,Just me and my thoughts, that's all I hold dear.

Which living person do you most admire?As the Grinch, there's no one I admire,For I hate all the noise and the holiday fire.But if I had to pick just one to be fair,I suppose it would have to be my dear dog Max, with his furry hair.

What is your current state of mind?My current state of mind, you may find,Is that I'm angry and bitter and feeling unkind.I can't stand the carols and lights and the cheer,It's all just too much for me, my dear.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?I don't dislike anything about my appearance, my dear,For I'm the Grinch, and I have nothing to fear.I'm tall and green, with a scowl on my face,And that's just the way I like it, in any case.

Which living person do you most despise?As the Grinch, I despise all those I see,Who love Christmas and the holiday spree.But if I had to pick just one to despise,It would be that Cindy Lou Who, with her innocent eyes.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?The greatest love of my life, I must confess,Is not a person, but my hatred of Christmas.I love to hate it with all of my might,And ruin it for all, both day and night.

Dracula

What is your idea of perfect happiness?Having eternal life and power over all creatures of the night.

What is your greatest fear?The sun, the cross, and the stake.

Which living person do you most admire?No one, I am superior to all living beings.

What is your greatest extravagance?My castle, my coffins, and my brides.

What is your current state of mind?Hungry and bored.

On what occasion do you lie?Whenever it suits my purposes.

Which living person do you most despise?Van Helsing, he is a meddlesome fool.

When and where were you happiest?In Transylvania, before I became a vampire.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?Nothing, I am perfect as I am.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?I cannot die, I am immortal.

Where would you most like to live?Anywhere I can find fresh blood and loyal servants.

Who are your favorite writers?I do not read, I write my own history.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?Vlad the Impaler, he was my ancestor and my inspiration.

Who are your heroes in real life?None, I have no equals.

How would you like to die?I would not.

Those were pretty good! I have a bunch more of them, but I find there are diminishing returns. Like with so many things with ChatGPT, it’s far too easy to enter a brief prompt and get an interesting response, and the more you do it the more you see the seams. They would probably have been funnier and more creative if a person wrote them, but still I thought they were fun to read.

Next issue: I, an actual person, will do the vast majority of the writing. Stay tuned!

Until then, thanks for reading as always!

David

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