It is an error to suppose that courage means courage in everything. Most people are brave only in the dangers to which they accustom themselves, either in imagination or practice.
- Bulwer-Lytton, English Novelist and Poet (1803-1873)
Let’s get to know each other, shall we?
We’ll do it using the famous personality quiz known as the “Proust Questionnaire.” Its name and modern popularity as a form of interview is owed to the responses given by the French writer Marcel Proust.
At the end of the nineteenth century, when Proust was still in his teens, he answered a questionnaire in an English-language confession album belonging to his friend Antoinette, daughter of future French President Félix Faure, entitled “An Album to Record Thoughts, Feelings, etc.” At that time, it was popular among English families to answer such a list of questions that revealed the tastes and aspirations of the taker.
Proust answered always with enthusiasm. The original manuscript of his answers of 1890, at the time of his volunteer internship or some little time afterwards, titled “by Marcel Proust himself,” was found in 1924. It was auctioned on May 27, 2003 for the sum of €102,000.
Whatever yours and mine may be worth, it should be fun to read each others answers at the very least.
Copy the following 20 questions, paste it in a reply, then start plugging in your answers:
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
2. What is your greatest fear?
3. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
4. Which living person do you most admire?
5. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
6. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
7. What is your greatest extravagance?
8. On what occasion do you lie?
9. What do you dislike most about your appearance?
10. When and where were you happiest?
11. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
12. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
13. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
14. If you died and came back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
15. What is your most treasured possession?
16. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
17. Who are your heroes in real life?
18. What is it that you most dislike?
19. How would you like to die?
20. What is you motto?