Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Today, Gwyneth guides us to gifts for The Thinker

Still not done with your holiday shopping. Tsk, tsk.

What’s no doubt dragging your shopping down is figuring out what to get for the thinkers in your life. Fortunately, Gwyneth’s Goop has a guide aimed specifically at the thinker (a.k.a., “the creatives and philosophers”). As something of a minor-league creative and philosopher myself, I think I’m in a reasonably strong position to review the gifts on the gift guide.

For your creative philosopher, or your philosophical creative, a CP/PC who plays acoustic guitar, there’s a completely reasonable $8 guitar pick. And for the creative philosopher, or philosophical creative, a CP/PC who’s actually willing to look into the crystal ball – something I’m not yet able to do; metaphorically speaking, I’m still in bed with the covers over my head and may not come out for another four years - there’s a glass orb with brass base for just $39.

I think I have a confession to make. In addition to not yet having been able to plow my way through Finnegan’s Wake (I swear, it is on my bucket list, even if it kills me), I haven’t been able to get more than 100 pages into Remembrance of Things Past/In Search of Lost Time. But it seems there’s a quicker way to get your Proust on, and that’s with The Proust Questionnaire ($50).

Marcel Proust's questionnaire is legendary and popular to this day…full of brilliant questions that ingeniously reveal the true personality of any subject. This gorgeous edition features Marcel Proust's own handwritten replies to the questionnaire, along with answers from a list of iconic cultural figures, from Brigitte Bardot to Marisa Berenson to Richard Meier. Bonus: Blank versions of the questionnaire are included at the end, which makes this an especially fabulous, interactive gift.

The questionnaire, which I am too much of a Philistine to have ever heard of this legendary and popular personality quiz, asks questions like what you idea of happiness is, what your idea of misery is, your favorite fictional character, etc. Not that I give a hoot what Proust had to say about any of this, but it sounds like fun. Inquiring minds do like to think about themselves.

Oh, there are all sorts of other wondrous things in the Thinker Gift Guide, including a collection of the works of James Joyce that does NOT include Finnegan’s. (Talk about tsk-een, tsk-een.)

But the item that I coveted the most was a one week writers retreat in Iceland this April. Only $2,583…

Hmmmm. (Note to Santa: how about it? I’ll take back every mean thing I ever thought about Gwyneth Paltrow.)

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