The Proust Questionnaire

It’s been ages since I last answered a set of questions that are supposed to reveal something about my personality. Too lofty an aspiration for a kid’s slam book for sure, which is just as well. My grade school friends would have been ill-advised to take the words I scribbled in the notebooks they passed around as gospel. I’ve put in far too many ‘TMTM’s’ in them anyway; I wager you could even swap the names of the girls in those notebooks, and it wouldn’t make much difference.

I have heard of the Proust Questionnaire before, but I never got around to filling it out. Thinking about oneself like that can be a rather ponderous exercise that I typically avoid. I read about it again tonight on Man Repeller and thought suddenly that yes, if anything, this could be fun. I took the online version on the Vanity Fair website a while ago and found that my answers resemble that of Joan Didion’s the closest, which is great. And what the heck, I’m an adult now (or at least I try to be), and I can handle dishing out some honest answers right here.

Your favorite virtue.

I have two — courage and generosity. I melt in the glow of those who have them in abundance.

Your favorite qualities in a man.

Tenderness, kindness, and strength of character

Your favorite qualities in a woman.

Her fragility, her strength, and her power when she learns to wield it well

Your favorite occupation.

That of people who create (mostly in an artistic sense). One that involves working with words and design.

Your chief characteristic.

My affinity for stories

Your idea of happiness.

To be loved, to love, and to lack in no good thing

Your idea of misery.

Isolation and being stuck in the limbo of self-doubt and insecurity

Your favorite color and flower.

I would say blue, but I don’t have a lot of blue things. Seeing yellow makes me happy though. I don’t know enough about flowers to have a favorite. I would say ‘rose of sharon’, but you won’t really believe that, would you?

If not yourself, who would you be?

Someone who is truly good at something I truly love to do/be. Or probably a movie/theater actor — a sort of dream, if you must know.

Where would you like to live?


Your favorite prose authors.

Kazuo Ishiguro, Milan Kundera, Haruki Murakami

Your favorite poets.

Sylvia Plath — something about her and her work frightens and resonates with me.

Your favorite painters and composers.

Impressionists and Surrealists. No favorite composer (at least I’m honest).

Your favorite heroes in real life.


Your favorite heroines in real life.


Your favorite heroes in fiction.

Batman and Heathcliff

Your favorite heroines in fiction.

Catwoman, Elizabeth Bennet, [edit] and Holly Golightly (how can I forget!)

Your favorite food and drink.

Bitter dark chocolate. Beer and white wine.

Your favorite names.

I am very much bent on naming one of my future daughters Alexis.

Your pet aversion.

Dishonesty and hypocrisy

What characters in history do you most dislike?

Hitler and co., I guess

What is your present state of mind?

Meandering but obstinately hopeful

For what fault have you most toleration?


Your favorite motto.

RIght now, it would have to be ‘Keep Moving Forward’.

How you would die if the option were yours.

A very happy, very old woman

Go try it yourself! I would love to read your answers. 🙂



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