Proust Questionnaire

March 21, 2009

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.

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 President Felix Faure, entitled “An Album to Record Thoughts, Feelings, etc.” At that time, it was a fad among English families to answer such a list of questions that revealed the tastes and aspirations of the taker.

(from Wikipedia)

Here is the Proust Questionnaire, with our answers in-place of Proust’s:

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
The inability to step outside one’s self

Where would you like to live?
The Northwest coast

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
That place where pure terror meets exalted joy

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
Sensualist and comfort monger

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Harry Haller, Henry Chinaski, Mersault, the Old Man

Who are your favorite characters in history?
Nietzsche, Beethoven, John H. Gregory

Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
Mother and any being that strives for something larger than their simple self.

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
Eve, Mary Magdalene, Nancy Drew, Elizabeth Bennet.

Your favorite painter?
Rothko

Your favorite musician?
Ludwig van Beethoven

The quality you most admire in a man?
Intellectual dexterity and integrity

The quality you most admire in a woman?
Grace

Your favorite virtue?
Love

Your favorite occupation?
Of mine: Writing. Not mine: Playboy

Who would you have liked to be?
Her greatest love

Your most marked characteristic?
The stirring of my passions

The quality you most like in a man?
Gentleness

The quality you most like in a woman?
Intuition

What do you most value in your friends?
Ability to listen

What is your principle defect?
Impatience

What is your dream of happiness?
To love as hard as I can

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
Visual blindness

What would you like to be?
Particle Physicist. Cosmologist.

In what country would you like to live?
Italy

What is your favorite color?
Green

What is your favorite flower?
Whatever hers is. Or, stargazer lilies.

What is your favorite bird?
Any bird of prey.

Who are your favorite prose writers?
Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, Goethe

Who are your favoite poets?
Bukowski, Rilke, Neruda

What are your favorite names?
Jack, Henry

What is it you most dislike?
Uncritical thinkers

What historical figures do you most despise?
Any Socialist or Communist. Currently: Barack Obama, John McCain.

What event in military history do you most admire?
The American Revolution and the next Civil War.

What reform do you most admire?
America’s Declaration of Independence

What natural gift would you most like to possess?
Photographic memory

How would you like to die?
Sexual Asphyxiation

What is your present state of mind?
Aching

What is your motto?
Anything less than passionate is unacceptable.

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