The Proust Questionnaire

Before I actually start reading In Search of Lost Time, I thought it would be fun to do a Proustylicious activity: answering the Proust Questionnaire about myself! I got this questionnaire from this blog, but it’s derived from the magazine Vanity Fair (which interviews famous people with it). Vanity Fair got the basis of the questions from two separate questionnaires that Proust completed, but he actually didn’t create them. He just made them famous.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Living without worry or fear.

What is your greatest fear?
Seeing loved ones too depressed to live with joy.

What historical figure do you most identify with?
Ruth, from the Bible. She was living in a weird country and trying to speak a second language.

Which living person do you most admire?
J.K. Rowling? This is tough.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

What trait do you most deplore in others?
Lying due to laziness or because it’s culturally acceptable.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Buying expensive cappuccinos at Eataly.

On what occasion do you lie?
When I am wasting time and are ashamed to admit it.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My bad complexion.

What is your favorite journey?
Going anywhere for the second time. The second time has just as much adventure as the first, but with less chance of going wrong.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Of the seven heavenly virtues, I guess chastity. If you have the other six, chastity will be there naturally anyways.

Which living person do you most despise?
I don’t want to burn bridges.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

What is your greatest regret?
I wish I had gone slower in university and had more time to do other things.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

When and where were you happiest?
I’m always very happy when I’m on vacation.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish I was a talented musician. I think I would have an exciting life if I were.

What is your current state of mind?
Mildly irritated.

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

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
We would have more interests in common.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what would it be?
An indoor/outdoor cat. They really have the good life.

What do your consider your greatest achievement?
Graduating from university. I’ve done a lot of things I’m proud of, but that one took the most effort, time, and money.

What is your most treasured possession?
My journals or my owl necklace.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Being unable to imagine yourself as worthy of anything.

What is your most marked characteristic?
The way I talk. People often tell me that my voice is memorable, and I speak Portuguese with a unique accent.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

What is the quality you most admire in a woman?

What do you most value in your friends?
I know I’m not a convenient friend to have, but I really value that they put up with me.

Who are your favourite writers?
Jane Austen, Ruth Ozeki (from what I’ve read), C.S. Lewis.

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Susan Cain? Former mentors. People who don’t give up working on a life-long project.

What are your favourite names?
I like names with an imperial ring: Roman, Marcus, Sophia, Harriet, Margaret

What is it that you most dislike?
When my plans are frustrated.

How would you like to die?
Suddenly, at the same time as my partner.

What is your motto?
We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

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