While I was digging through old photographs and keepsakes, Gentle Reader, and looking for the photo for Post the Sixtieth, I came across an utterly absurd piece of nostalgia. As you may know, the Romantic Poets are my heroes, with all their laudanum, pet bears, and deflowering-future-wives-on-future-wife’s-mother’s-graves, etc. Therefore, I’m going to reproduce the test here. If I can figure out who to credit for it, I will.
I should note that we used to take this questionnaire for fun, frequently. We also used it as a party game once or twice.
If you’re unfamiliar with the difference between Romanticism and Classicism, you may find an excellent explanation here, as I can’t be bothered to explain it.
The test follows. Keep track of your answers, because they’ll be worth points that determine your R-C Quotient, which would be super-important, except that it isn’t. It’s fun! I promise!
Your Romanticist-Classicist Quotient (R-C Q): A Test
1. When things go wrong, and you feel angry and confused, what do you customarily conclude?
a. It’s probably my fault. b. Someone up there doesn’t like me.
c. I’ll have to do better next time.
d. Damn the Fates!
e. Why don’t those stupid so-and-so’s get things straightened out?
f. So it goes.
2. What kind of learning-classroom situation do you find most congenial?
a. A clear, logical tight structure of lectures from which one can record clear, exact notes.
b. A great deal of discussion and sharing of ideas and feelings.
c. A teacher who sets high standards and insists that students meet them.
d. A teacher who springs surprised and interesting new ideas.
e. A teacher who hands out a detailed syllabus on the first day of class and follows it to the letter.
f. A class in which the teacher stays in the background allowing students to meet the material directly.
3. Which of the following statements do you find most acceptable?
a. The lower classes need our help to improve themselves.
b. People are people whatever their background.
c. Very few people successfully overcome a poor background.
d. You meet interesting people on trolley cars.
e. One should choose one’s friends from one’s own social class.
f. Poor people are nice to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live with one.
g. Higher capacities of the human spirit are always able to overcome economic or educational deficiencies.
4. Which of the following statements do you find most acceptable?
a. Sex is a means by which one can overcome alienation and self-consciousness.
b. Sex is overrated.
c. Sex is fun.
d. Sex is funny.
e. Sex is dangerous.
f. Sex is biological.
g. Sexual attraction is a healthy dialectic between individuals.
h. Sexual union with the right person can be a high achievement of the human spirit.
i. Sex is a means of expressing the deeper powers of the spirit.
j. Relations between the sexes is one of the more interesting games people play.
5. In your nightmares, how do you imagine Hell (or, if you imagine Hell, how is it)?
a. A tropical jungle thick with vines and creepers.
b. A small room filled with people talking closely and intensely.
c. A frozen tundra stretching to the horizon.
d. A pit full of mud.
e. A balloon drifting higher into the blue sky.
f. A sandy desert.
6. At this moment the condition of your bureau, dressing table, or desk is:
a. Top neat, drawers tidy.
b. Top neat, drawers untidy.
c. Drawers tidy, top cluttered.
d. Drawers untidy, top cluttered.
7. If someone gave you $500 and required you to spend it all at once, which of the following would you spend it on?
a. An expensive antique pot.
b. A night of dinner, theater, and nightclubs.
c. A set of Sierra Club photographs.
d. An autographed letter by T.S. Eliot.
e. A day at the racetrack.
f. A new living room rug.
g. A grove of fruit trees for the birds to sing in.
h. A fence around your house.
i. A gift for your parents.
8. Guilt is:
a. Useful to correct and improve human conduct.
b. A necessary deterrent to socially unacceptable actions by individuals.
c. Part of a slave mentality.
e. A psychological weapon used by authority figures to limit the freedom and self-expression of individuals.
f. A condition common to humanity, and of little concern.
g. Something to be overcome by good works.
h. What people deserve for their disobedience.
9. Space travel is:
a. A supreme fulfillment of man’s destiny.
b. A triumph of beautiful technology, accurate and precise.
c. An amusing but idle entertainment.
d. An escape from genuine problems on Earth.
e. A foolish flight to sterility and nothingness.
f. A search for God in the right place.
g. A search for God in the wrong place.
10. History is:
a. A record of the decline of Western civilization.
b. A record of progress, achievement, and developing consciousness.
c. A record of symbolic and mythical modes of expression.
d. A scientific collection of factual data about the past.
e. The return to consciousness of repressed materials.
f. Relative to the age in which it is written.
h. A collection of useful lessons without knowledge of which we are doomed to repeat history’s mistakes.
i. A collection of instructive examples showing the dangers of egotism and rebellion.
11. The primary impulse leading a painter to paint an attractive nude is:
a. A tribute to his/her mistress’s/lover’s beauty or handsomeness.
b. An interest in curves, angles, planes, and color textures.
c. The desire to incorporate beauty in a work of art.
d. Erotic and Libidinous.
e. An expression of emotion to be discarded when finished.
12. The best poetry is that which:
a. Imitates or describes the external world of nature.
b. Follows the forms that tradition dictates.
c. Influences the reader to become a better person by describing models of excellence.
d. Expresses most fully the soul of the poet.
e. Contains the clearest structure.
f. Contains a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.
g. Has oft been said, but ne’er so well expressed.
If you’re unfamiliar with the composers and artists about to be listed, well, you have a Google, haven’t you? Alternatively, you may skip the next two questions, and score your total out of 170, rather than 190. Yo.
13. Your favorite composer from the following list is:
a. Brahms. b. Sibelius.
j. Richard Strauss.
14. Your favorite painter from the following list is:
a. Turner. b. Renoir.
15. What is your favorite season?
a. Spring. b. Summer.
16. If you were to live in another country, what would be your choice?
a. India. b. Canada.
17. Your favorite spectator sport from the following list is:
a. (American) Football. b. Baseball.
c. Ice Hockey.
d. Gymnastics or diving.
The next two deal with sexual attraction, and are included as written. Pick one of the two to answer that best suits you. Sorry.
18. Male Version: The most admirable kind of woman is one who:
a. Is a good cook. b. Is quiet, modest, and unassuming.
c. Sometimes swears and tells risqué jokes.
d. Is a nurse or a secretary.
e. Can sometimes win at poker.
f. Can adjust a carburetor.
g. Wears her hair long and a little disheveled.
h. Is a cute gal who can be a pal.
19. Female Version: The most admirable kind of man is one who:
a. Is robust, athletic, and manly. b. Writes poetry.
c. Sings sweet love songs.
d. Knows how much to tip the waiter.
e. Takes charge.
f. Has very good manners.
g. Is not afraid to show how he feels.
h. Is small, wiry, and intense.
20. Nature is:
a. Beautifully designed. b. Full of raw energy.
c. Nice in the garden.
d. Nice in the woods and forests.
a. 0 b. 2
a. 0 b. 8
a. 2 b. 8
a. 8 b. 2
a. 0 b. 0
a. 3 b. 0
a. 1 b. 9
a. 1 b. 1
a. 0 b. 3
a. 2 b. 8
a. 8 b. 0
a. 0 b. 0
a. 6 b. 8
a. 0 b. 5
a. 8 b. 2
a. 0 b. 10
a. 3 b. 1
a. 1 b. 7
a. 0 b. 10
Assuming that you’re still with us, add up your points. 0 is supernally Classical, and 190 is perfectly Romantic. You almost certainly fall somewhere in-between, and it really doesn’t matter at all. Congratulations, whatever you got! You win!
Personally, I scored 137/190, which makes me rather Romantic. Post your scores in the comments, the two of you who actually did this!