Raul Ramos Takes On Proust. YOU get a FREE América Libre Book!

A long-time resident o the U.S. Midwest, Cuban-born Raul Ramos y Sanchez is a founding partner of BRC Marketing, established in 1992 with offices in Ohio and California. Besides developing a documentary for public television, Two Americas: The Legacy of our Hemisphere, he is the host of MyImmigrationStory.com-an online forum for the U.S. immigrant community. Ramos began writing AMERICA LIBRE, in 2004 with the input of scholars from Latin America, Spain, and the United States. The book’s sequel, El Nuevo Alamo, is being written as you read.

A long-time resident to the U.S. Midwest, Cuban-born Raul Ramos y Sanchez is a founding partner of BRC Marketing, established in 1992, with offices in Ohio and California. Besides developing a documentary for public television, Two Americas: The Legacy of our Hemisphere, he hosts MyImmigrationStory.com - an online forum for the U.S. immigrant community. Ramos began writing AMERICA LIBRE, in 2004 with the input of scholars from Latin America, Spain, and the United States. The book’s sequel, El Nuevo Alamo, is being written as you read.

What does psychology have to do with a writer’s vision, with creating whole worlds out of nothing but ink stains on a page? Are there bits and pieces of an author’s personality and life experience in his characters? What kind of a sick, twisted mind could possibly come up with a world so unimaginably apocalyptic yet so nerve-wrenchingly-possible-to-make-you-lose-sleep, like Raul Ramos did in his award-winning novel América Libre?

While I will not attempt to answer these questions in this blog –I’ll leave that to the theorists out there – I did have them in mind when I invited my dear friend and ‘cousin by ink’, Raúl Ramos y Sánchez to make a BronzeWord blog-tour stop with us and answer the now-infamous Proust questionnaire.

Keep reading for his answers and for the chance to win a FREE copy of his book, América Libre!

If the questionnaire’s original purpose remains true, you may actually get a glimpse of Raul’s soul. As exhilarating [and disturbing] as that may sound, it’s definitely second only to the comforting delight that comes when you allow the source of the creative process to dwell in obscurity forever…

THE PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE, by Raúl Ramos y Sánchez.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I am as close to perfect happiness right now as I ever will be. That was true yesterday, and every day before that. I think the same will hold true tomorrow, and every day after that.

2. What is your greatest fear?
I really try not to dwell on fears. Fear makes you miss so much of life.

3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Vanity.

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

Click on the image to buy the book!

Click on the image to buy the book!

Arrogance.

5. Which living person do you most admire?
Barack Obama.

6. What is your greatest extravagance?
I pay to have my yard mowed and maintained.

7. What is your current state of mind?
Striving for equilibrium.

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Piety.

9. On what occasion do you lie?
To avoid hurting other people’s feelings.

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?

The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in "Confessions" a parlor game popularized (not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist.

The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in the "Confession Album", a parlor game popularized (not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist. Photo CC 2008 by N. P. Holmes - Wikimedia Commons.

Skinny calves.

11. Which living person do you most despise?
I try not to despise anyone. But Karl Rove tests my principles.

12. What is the quality you most like in a man?
Openness.

13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Openness.

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“I, me, my.”

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Whenever I give thanks for the good things in my life, my wife is always at the top of the list.

16. When and where were you happiest?
Right now, while writing this.

17. Which talent would you most like to have?
A pleasing singing voice. You can teach yourself almost any musical instrument. But a voice, you must be born with.

18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
To be less stubborn.

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I am waiting to see what that will be.

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Well, I have no doubt about the “if.” But I’m not at all sure about what I would come back as.

21. Where would you most like to live?
In a world without national boundaries.

22. What is your most treasured possession?
My memories.

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Someone who thinks the world revolves around them.

24. What is your favorite occupation?
Anything creative.

25. What is your most marked characteristic?
Blandness.

26. What do you most value in your friends?
Trust.

27. Who are your favorite writers?
Walter Mosley [author of “Devil in a Blue Dress“] and Leon Uris [author of “Exodus”, “Topaz” and “The Haj”]

28. Who is your hero of fiction?
Valentine Michael Smith [from the book “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert Heinlein]

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Hmmm. Voltaire, I guess—although I realize how pretentious that sounds.

30. Who are your heroes in real life?
My mom.

31. What are your favorite names?
I like the sound of Sylvia and Isabel.

32. What is it that you most dislike?
Crowds, especially silent ones.

33. What is your greatest regret?
Having to waste time sleeping.

34. How would you like to die?
OK, I’ll be glad to sleep on that day.

35. What is your motto?
Surround yourself with good people.

###

Thanks for stopping by, Raúl. To see what all the buzz on AMÉRICA LIBRE is about, visit Raúl Ramos’ author website at www.raulramos.com. You may also follow him on Twitter or become his friend on Facebook.

The BronzeWord BlogTour lives at authorslatino.com

CONTEST RULES: For the chance to win a FREE copy of AMÉRICA LIBRE, simply make a comment in the comment box below.

Please include your e-mail address.

The lucky winner will be picked at random and notified by e-mail next Monday, August 24.

[All text ©2009 Elianne Ramos]

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10 thoughts on “Raul Ramos Takes On Proust. YOU get a FREE América Libre Book!

  1. Gracias for stopping by, Victor! Always good to hear from our fellow “cousin by ink.” For those who don’t know, Victor Manuel Ramos is the host of the Orlando Sentinel’s Hispanosphere blog, a vibrant forum for commentary on Latino issues.

  2. Oh, I just love baring my soul, Carolyn! (Actually, looking at some of my answers makes me cringe a little. But that’s a sign of good questions.) Thanks for stopping by. I’m looking forward to being on your blog “Carolyn in Carolina” on Friday and holding the final drawing for the MyAmericaLibre Photo Contest — along with giving away another signed copy of AMERICA LIBRE.

  3. I like it! It also reminds me of the questionnaires from the interviews at the Actor’s Studios. I always think of what would my answers be. Nice to see we have few things in common.

    Interesting you don’t like crowds. Then you don’t go to many parties, do you?

    We’ll be following what you do next…!

  4. Hi Kelly,

    Elianne is beautiful. James Lipton, not so much. Other than that, yes, it does feel a bit like Inside the Actor’s Studio.

    Glad to know I have things in common with a “glass three-quarters full” person!

    Actually I like parties. It’s quiet, sullen crowds I don’t like. Like when you’re waiting in line, getting on a bus or plane. That sort of thing.

    Good luck in the drawing!

    • Hello, Raul and Kelly [and thanks to all who have replied]!
      I love the Actor’s Studio too! Actually, Mr. Lipton lifted the idea from this questionnaire. He has even used the questionnaire as is while interviewing some of his guests and has been quoted on record mistakenly attributing its origin to Proust… [for the real origin, read the sidebar 😉

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