Questions for Everyone

To Be Thought about and Discussed

By Eli Siegel

    1. Do I feel the same alone as I do with other people?
    2. Have I thought that no one knew me or cared for me?
    3. Have I sometimes felt that I hated everything?
    4. Do I think I am two persons or one person?
    5. Would I be afraid to know everything about myself?
    6. Do I think that my family is apart from the rest of the world?
    7. Have I suddenly wanted other people to feel bad? or to be unlucky?
    8. Have I sometimes felt I didn’t care for anything?
    9. Does something in me want to be unhappy?
    10. Do I feel more important when I’m unhappy?
    11. In listening to someone, do I listen with all of myself? Do I find myself suddenly not listening to someone?
    12. Can I put together where I’m for myself and against myself?
    13. Again, do I sometimes feel I don’t care for anything?
    14. Do I get angry suddenly, without apparent reason?
    15. Do I try not to be suspicious, and yet cannot stop from being suspicious?
    16. Am I afraid of something I don’t know?
    17. Am I against myself often?
    18. Do I hate what I cared for a short time ago?
    19. Do things often seem to have no meaning?
    20. Do I feel that other people make me less?
    21. Do I really know what would make me happy?
    22. Do I like to hide?
    23. Do I get pleasure despising people?
    24. Am I glad I was born?
    25. Have I thought sometimes I was far away from everything?
    26. Do I tell lies, even when I don’t want to?
    27. Do I like myself and what is not myself at the same time; or do I want to?

     

    Appeared in The New Yorker, Oct. 1949