The Proust Questionnaire is a questionnaire about one’s personality. Its name and modern popularity as a form of interview is owed to the responses given by the French writer Marcel Proust.
Proust Questionnaire – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- What is your idea of perfect happiness? The beach on a sunny, 82-degree day. Sun on my skin. The steady lull of the tide’s push and pull as the soundtrack.
- What is your greatest fear? Sexual assault. Sex is the one act that lets me suspend my neuroses and be present. I can’t fathom what losing that freedom would do to my psyche.
- What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Chronic uncertainty. My talent for rumination makes me a pretty good writer, but it also makes for a tangled mind.
- What is the trait you most deplore in others? Blind idealism bugs the shit out of me. I understand no one ever led a revolution by accepting the world as it is, but incessant whining about one’s dreams and fantasies isn’t revolutionary.
- Which living person do you most admire? If online culture has taught me anything, it’s to be wary of admiring people in their totality, but there are folks with admirable traits, talents, or trajectories. [Short answer: Beyonce.]
- What is your greatest extravagance? Time.
- What is your current state of mind? Transient. A lot of “that’s over, soooo what’s next?”
- What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Virtue, itself. Denying our shadows and rationalizing to maintain righteous self-images puts us at odds with reality. The world is beautiful and ugly. Can’t have one without the other.
- On what occasion do you lie? I’m a writer. When am I not lying?
- What do you most dislike about your appearance? My feet have tormented me since I was thirteen years old. My ankle-to-foot ratio sometimes gives the illusion I’m walking on skis.
- Which living person do you most despise? I’ve been in an intense love-hate relationship with myself since I failed the Kindergarten entrance exam at four years old. (I could read, count to fifty and tell time. I could not–however–run in a figure eight pattern around cones without falling.)
- What is the quality you most like in a man? I enjoy men whose manhood doesn’t rely on an ability to control me. I’ve attracted my share of “let me show you I can tame you” types. The men who’ve rendered me speechless never tried.
- What is the quality you most like in a woman? I love a bold, cocky woman. Humility is for nuns.
- Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “Like” and “I think.” “I think” is hard to shake, because, again, I am chronically uncertain.
- What or who is the greatest love of your life? Writing. I’ve yet to find another lover who provides such peace, ecstasy and understanding. It helps that writing lets me come and go as I please.
- When and where were you happiest? Summer of 2008. In the aftermath of a suicide attempt and being fired from a job, I was reborn. Every day felt like a second chance to create the life I wanted.
- Which talent would you most like to have? I wish I could sing. Like confidently cover Tamia’s “You Put a Move on My Heart” kind of singing.
The entire questionnaire is thirty-five questions. I’ll post 18 – 35 later this week.