Proust QuestionnaireFebruary 16, 2012
When I pick up a magazine I typically start by flipping to the last page. Content is quickly accessible that way and it usually draws me in for more reading.
Vanity Fair features the Proust Questionnaire on its back page and I love reading what famous or notable people answer. For instance, I tore out and saved the page featuring Wynton Marsalis’ answers and I smiled when I read his answer to “What or who is the greatest love of your life?” He said, “The Blues. (It cost a lot to find her and much more to maintain our relationship.)” True that! I love blues music, too, and he had other interesting answers that made me consider the various ways we find inspiration.
After reading several years of answers from other people, I thought about how I would answer these questions. “When and where were you happiest?” “What is your greatest fear?” “What is your idea of perfect happiness?” “What do you consider your greatest achievement?” “What is it you most dislike?” “Who are your heroes in life?” There are more questions like this and they really make me think about how I see myself and consider the influences in my life.
Marcel Proust used this questionnaire at parties when friends gathered together and it’s fun to think of people answering these fundamental questions more than a century on. Read here how Marcel Proust answered the Questionnaire in 1892.
You can answer the basic Proust Questionnaire at Vanity Fair here. I’d love to hear what question you thought was significant and how you answered if you care to share it in the comments.
The last question on the list is “What is your motto?” I recall something Auntie Mame said in the movie Mame, “Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.” Perhaps that best explains my love of travel. I want to fill up on adventure and add a healthy sprinkling of love in everything.