Proust Questionnaire

I found this online and decided to do it and put it up here. In italics, an explanation of the Questionnaire and the questions; plain text is my answers. The Questionnaire does not focus on one’s relationship with God. All of my answers should be considered in context – I am a Christian.

In the 1880s, long before he claimed his status as one of the greatest authors of all time, teenage Marcel Proust (July 10, 1871–November 18, 1922) filled out an English-language questionnaire given to him by his friend Antoinette, the daughter of France’s then-president, as part of her “confession album” — a Victorian version of today’s popular personality tests, designed to reveal the answerer’s tastes, aspirations, and sensibility in a series of simple questions. Proust’s original manuscript, titled “by Marcel Proust himself,” wasn’t discovered until 1924, two years after his death. Decades later, the French television host Bernard Pivot, whose work inspired James Lipton’s Inside the Actor’s Studio, saw in the questionnaire an excellent lubricant for his interviews and began administering it to his guests in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1993, Vanity Fair resurrected the tradition and started publishing various public figures’ answers to the Proust Questionnaire on the last page of each issue.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Reunification with God.

What is your most marked characteristic?

A peculiar blend of good-natured cynicism and cantankerous optimism.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I have participated in the life of a child.

What is your greatest fear?

Being found out.

What historical figure do you most identify with?

An obscure one who prefers to remain that way.

Which living person do you most admire?

An obscure one who prefers to remain that way.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Anyone who sacrifices their privileges for their principles.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

The feeling that I should accomplish something.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?


What is your favorite journey?

Gently down the stream.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?


Which word or phrases do you most overuse?


What is your greatest regret?

Having regrets.

What is your current state of mind?


If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

Who they are.

What is your most treasured possession?

A battered brown leather hat. 

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Late-stage alcoholism combined with major depression.

Where would you like to live?

In my house, but it’s paid for.

What is your favorite occupation?


What is the quality you most like in a man?


What is the quality you most like in a woman?


What are your favorite names?

Virginia, Hyacinth, Methuselah.

What is your motto?

“It’ll be alright.”


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