Owen Marshall quizzed by the Press

Publication: CPL Date: 28 Dec 1999 Page: 5

Headline: To arms, in defence of my wine

Author: MARSHALL Owen


Section: FEATURES Sub Section: GENERAL

Caption(s): No racket: Owen Marshall reckons Bjorn Borg's up there with Gorbachev and the candid literary talent of John Cheever.;Janet Frame: Mr Marshall's pick for New Zealander of the century.;Owen Marshall

Edition: 2 Words: 414 Source: Copyright:

Hope, OWEN MARSHALL says, is his most treasured possession. The writer _ today's guest for the millennium quiz _ reckons that, in principle, he would sacrifice his life for immortality.

1. What is your favourite vice? ... Privacy.

2. What is your favourite invention? ... The English language.

3. Which talent would you most like to have? ... The ability to recognise the essential.

4. What is your most treasured possession? ... Hope.

5. What do you consider your greatest achievement? ... Becoming the father of two cherished daughters who, thankfully, take after their mother.

6. Given a completely free day, what would you do? ... Become anxious about squandering it.

7. What is your greatest fear? ... Alzheimer's disease.

8. What is your greatest regret? ... That for so long I was impressed by convention.

9. What is your favourite journey/ place? ... My favourite journey is through the Mackenzie Country and on into Central Otago. My favourite place is the village of St Agues in the mountains behind the Cote d'Azur.

10. Name three people, dead or alive, you most admire? ... John Cheever for candid literary talent; Mikhail Gorbachev for political courage; Bjorn Borg, who took tennis to another level of skill.

11. How would you like to die? ... By acclamation.

12. Who do you consider to be the New Zealander of the century? ... Janet Frame.

13. What would you like to be doing five years from now? ... Appearing again in The Christchurch Press.

14. Who in the world would you most like to meet? ... A generous benefactor.

15. What do you intend to do on New Year's Eve? ... Survive.

16. Who would you nominate for the first presidency of the Republic of New Zealand? ... The last woman standing.

17. What would you sacrifice your life for, if anything? ... Immortality, but in principle only.

18. If you could personally have witnessed one event in history, what would you want to have seen? ... The stand of the Spartans at Thermopylae.

19. Which piece of New Zealand legislation would you most like to see repealed/enacted on January 1, 2000? ... The passing of legislation allowing voluntary euthanasia, a right at present suppressed.

20. Under what circumstances, if any, would you take up arms? ... In defence of my wine cellar.

21. What do you consider the greatest challenge we face in the new millennium? ... Curbing the intellectually debilitating influence of television.


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