How to understand this blog

Friday, August 12, 2011

the Proust questionnaire

According to Vanity Fair (the magazine, not the novel):

The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.

So, here I go. Opening myself up like a book to you.

 What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A wild location, sitting in front of a big window in a comfy armchair, a really gripping novel, a block of chocolate, really good coffee, a warm fire.

2.  What is your greatest fear?

Disappointing people.

3.  What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Over-analysing things.

4.  What is the trait you most deplore in others?

A lack of loyalty.

5.  Which living person do you most admire?

My dad.

6.  What is your greatest extravagance?


7.  What is your current state of mind?

A little bit frustrated with myself for being lazy this week.

8.  What do you consider the most overrated virtue?


9.  On what occasion do you lie?

When I'm uncomfortable! I tend to overcompensate.

10.  What do you most dislike about your appearance?

To be honest? I'd like to lose some weight!

11.  Which living person do you most despise?

... It took me a really long time to think of someone. I'm not sure I feel comfortable saying that about anyone. I do feel disgusted by Clayton Weatherston. A man from New Zealand who stabbed his ex-girlfriend 216 times and then tried to use the defence of provocation in court.

12.  What is the quality you most like in a man?

Physical: His voice and the way he speaks.
More abstract: Being understanding, having compassion.

13.  What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Good conversation, and not judgmental.

14.  Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

"Ummm.... yeah." My flatmate pointed out that I do this all the time, when I'm trying to remember what I was going to say and don't succeed. Now I can't stop noticing that I do it!

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


16.  When and where were you happiest?

All the Christmas Days of my childhood - having all my siblings around (which was not normal), food, receiving presents, giving presents, long summery days, laxity about bedtimes, etc...

17.  Which talent would you most like to have?

Dancing. I have the misfortune of complete uncoordinatable feet. (Yes, I know that is not a word.)

18.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would like to be more confident.

19.  What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Hmm. Finishing my MA, I suppose.

20.  If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

A bird of some kind.

21.  Where would you most like to live?

In the mountains by a lake.

22.  What is your most treasured possession?

The freedom to think and believe what I think and believe. The independence of my mind from manipulation or control. (Not that I believe I am entirely free of this, but I love that I don't have to think what the magazines tell me, or what the ads tell me, or what anyone tells me.) My equality with everyone around me, so that I can never grovel below someone or lord it over someone.

23.  What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?


24.  What is your favorite occupation?

Organising events, because this involves creativity/finding original ideas/brainstorming but also pleasant mindless work.

25.  What is your most marked characteristic?

... A tendency to want to discover things for myself rather than be told about them.

26.  What do you most value in your friends?

Time and effort.

27.  Who are your favorite writers?

Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Roald Dahl, Arthur Conan Doyle

28.  Who is your hero of fiction?

Jane Eyre

29.  Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Sophie Scholl

30.  Who are your heroes in real life?

My siblings

31.  What are your favorite names?


32.  What is it that you most dislike?

Cruelty, hypocrisy and selfishness

33.  What is your greatest regret?

Taking Calculus in my last year of high school.

34.  How would you like to die?

Not too old. Heroically! :)

35.  What is your motto?

I don't particularly like mottos, unless they're funny. They tend to over-simplify things. But at this particular moment in time I do like this:

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. - Colossians 3:12-14


Stacy said...

Very cool. I may steal your questionnaire.

WV: hirlygat

heidikins said...

I love this. I would have a hard time answering completely honestly and then posting online for friends and strangers to read. Kudos to you for doing this!


WV: eughshi

Allie said...

Stacy: Borrow away!

Heidi: Actually, sometimes I find it easier to be honest into the anonymous void of the internet!

chandra said...

Spot on with the questions, ! loved every bit!