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 writerMarcel 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.
The television host Bernard Pivot, seeing an opportunity for a writer to reveal at the same time aspects of his work and his personality, traditionally submitted his guests to the Proust questionnaire at the end of the French broadcast Apostrophes. Inspired by Bernard Pivot, James Lipton, the host of the TV program Inside the Actors Studio, gives an adapted version of the Proust Questionnaire to his guests. Lipton has often incorrectly characterized the questionnaire itself as an invention of Marcel Proust. A similar questionnaire is regularly seen on the back page of Vanity Fair magazine, answered by various celebrities.
So I will give some of my answers to the Proust Questionnaire:
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Sitting or laying in the middle of my garden on a sunny day.
What is your favorite journey? Trips to other places in the world.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Righteousness
Which living person do you most despise? There is no one…anymore.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “Tired” “Totally” “Literally” “Girlfriend” “Homegirl”
What Is your greatest regret? I try NOT to have regrets but I wish I treated a few people nicer in my past.
Which talent would you most like to have? I wish I could draw well.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? My weight. I’m working on it.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? The ability to do the work on myself. AND surviving and thriving all these years.
What is your most treasured possession? My friends and selected family members..and Scrabble the dog.
What is your favorite occupation? Teaching
What is your most marked characteristic? Being a little too cautious and nervous, yet I’m fearless and ambitious.
What is the quality you like most in a man? Being comfortable in his skin emotionally and physically.
What is the quality you like most in a woman? Inner strength.
What do you most value in friends? Unconditional support…and laughter.
What is it that you most dislike? Unneccessary cruelty in all forms.
How would you like to be remembered? I would just like to be remembered period. How i’m remembered is up to each person.
What is your motto? “Just watch me, I’m James Lott, Jr.