When Marcel met Graham

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Posted on November 30, 2017

French author Marcel Proust is famous for his gentle remembrance of things past, his eponymous character-revealing questionnaire… and his love of madeleine cookies.

GRAHAM FRASER is an award-winning political journalist and Canada’s longest-serving Commissioner of Official Languages (2006-2016).

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Sitting in an Adirondack chair on a dock by a lake.

What is your greatest fear?
Missing a deadline. Over a decade after leaving journalism, I still have nightmares about it.

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

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Rudeness.

Which living person do you most admire?
My two sons, for their independence and courage.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Expensive coffee.

What is your current state of mind?
Extremely positive.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Tidiness.

On what occasion do you lie?
When an excess of candour would be hurtful.

What is the quality you most like in a person?
A sense of humour.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“On the other hand…”

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My wife. Marrying her 49 years ago was the best decision I ever made.

When and where were you happiest?
Behind the wheel of a sailboat in the British Virgin Islands.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Hand-eye co-ordination.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would have athletic ability.

What is your most treasured possession?
A Karsh portrait of my father.

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