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Proust questionnaire

by on July 31, 2017

The Proust Questionnaire is a questionnaire about one’s personality. Its name and modern popularity as a form of interview is owed to the responses given by the French writer Marcel Proust.[1]

At the end of the nineteenth century, when Proust was still in his teens, he answered a questionnaire in an English-language confession album belonging to his friend Antoinette, daughter of future French President Félix Faure, titled “An Album to Record Thoughts, Feelings, etc.” At that time, it was popular among English families to answer such a list of questions that revealed the tastes and aspirations of the taker.

Proust answered always with enthusiasm. The original manuscript of his answers of 1890, at the time of his volunteer internship or some little time afterwards, titled “by Marcel Proust himself,” was found in 1924. It was auctioned on May 27, 2003 for the sum of €102,000.

The television host Bernard Pivot, seeing an opportunity for a writer to reveal at the same time aspects of his work and his personality, traditionally subjected his guests to the Proust questionnaire at the end of the French broadcast Apostrophes.

Inspired by Bernard Pivot, James Lipton, the host of the TV program Inside the Actors Studio, gives an adapted version of the Proust Questionnaire to his guests. Lipton has often incorrectly characterized the questionnaire itself as an invention of Pivot.

A similar questionnaire is regularly seen on the back page of Vanity Fair magazine, answered by various celebrities. In October 2009, Vanity Fair launched an interactive version of the questionnaire, that compares individual answers to those of various luminaries.[2]

Another version of the questionnaire, as answered by various Canadian authors, is a regular feature on the radio program The Next Chapter.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proust_Questionnaire

 

  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Dressed up for cocktails and lunch with any of the girls: Elizabeth, Rebecca or Vanessa

 

  1. What is your greatest fear?

That I won’t even get another chance at a good ending.

 

  1. What is the trait you most like in yourself?

Straightforwardness

 

  1. What do you most like about your appearance?

My dragonfly tattoo

 

  1. What is your favourite smell?

Jasmine

 

  1. What is your favourite word?

Perendinate

 

  1. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Very early morning reading in bed with coffee and cat

 

  1. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Fuck

 

  1. How do you relax?

Book, cat, wine & music; and as s often as I can, holidays & time out of London

 

  1. What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

To be pain free consistently

 

  1. What keeps you awake at night?

It varies, but there’s usually something that wakes me up in the early hours

 

  1. What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

I will survive

 

  1. What is your greatest extravagance?

Fresh coffee

 

  1. What is your favourite fantasy?

Happily ever after

 

  1. What is your greatest regret?

Not being referred to a Therapeutic Community earlier

 

  1. What would your motto be?

I Am The Director Of My Life

 

  1. How would you like to be remembered?

As a trier

.

D Rosier July 2017

Blank questionnaire in Word here: Proust questionnaire worksheet

 

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2 Comments
  1. Proust Survey What is your idea of perfect happiness? Performing at a gig!

    What is your greatest fear? Death of my partner or other family member

    What is the trait you most like in yourself? An element of self-discipline

    What do you most like about your appearance? It would be a narcissistic response. No comment

    What is your favourite smell? Sage

    What is your favourite word? Fecund

    What or who is the greatest love of your life? Liz

    Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Ascertain, O shut up!

    How do you relax? Reading, practising/playing music

    What single thing would improve the quality of your life? The elixir of youth

    What keeps you awake at night? Thinking about people who I’ve upset via discussion

    What is the most important lesson life has taught you? Age and experience do not bring wisdom, but what is learnt from experience might.

    What is your greatest extravagance?

    Buying musical instruments

    What is your favourite fantasy? A world based on equality and justice

    What is your greatest regret? It’s all been experience. I’m still learning

    What would your motto be? Never be complacent or judgemental

    How would you like to be remembered? As a decent person. 2

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