The Interrogative Mood: Questions with Suying Yang

The following questions are taken from Padgett Powell’s The Interrogative Mood.

Suying

Was there ever enough time?
 .
No. There was never enough time for what I wanted to do.
 .
What are the top three things in your life you wish you had not done, or done differently from the way you did them?
 .
I can only think of one thing, that is: giving up my first love.
 .
Whose death, recent or not, do you most lament?
 .
My father’s.
What to your ear is the best-sounding language?
Italian.
 .
Can you list the things you are afraid of,  or is it easier to list the things you are not afraid of, or are you afraid of nothing, or are you essentially afraid of everything?
 .
Ghosts, snakes, rats, large animals, mice, robbers, perverts, and the list can go on.
 .
If you could be instantly fluent in a language you do not now speak, what language would it be?
Italian.
 .
What for you are the characteristics that make a person extremely likable?
Cheerfulness.
 .
Should the imminent extinction of a plant or animal be fought against or should it be regarded as an evolutionary punch that must be rolled with?
Yes.
 .
Do you want something said of you, or nothing said of you, when you go?
Something said of me.
 .
What are three basic things you need to be content in life?
People you love and people who love you and books to read.
 .
Is there a location or locale on earth you consistently think of as preferable to the one you are usually in?
Yes.
 .
Is there one enterprise or course of action you wish you had undertaken as a younger person but that you feel is bootless to try to pursue now?
 .
No.
Would you rather see a bay at high or low tide?
 .
High tide.
 .
Does the word thumb impress you as somehow having a power or meaning beyond what it denotatively should have—I guess I mean, does it spook you a little, or sound totemic or talismanic, or maybe pornographic?
 .
Yes. It makes me think of unmerciful  power.
Do you appreciate that an oyster has, among its other organs, a heart?
Does an oyster have a heart?
 .
Are boys meaner than girls, or vice versa?
 .
Boys are meaner than girls.
 .
Would you like to send a love letter to anyone?
 .
Not now.
 .
Do you sometimes wish to sit quiet and alone and without a thing to do but sit there, or does this strike you as insupportably idle?
 .
Yes.
.
At what age would you say your character was set—that is, when do you think you were you?  
.
It seems to me the first part of the question is about when my character was set and the second part is about when I became aware of my character. The former, probably right after my birth. The second I would say when I was 20.
.
Is there anything you’d like to ask me?
 .
How will the answers be interpreted?
 .
Tammy Ho: Lovingly! With strong affection.

:::::

Suying Y

Suying Yang is Associate Professor at the Department of English Language and Literature.  [“Interrogative”]

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