The Proust Questionnaire, Little & Luxe Edition


I have to be honest – I’m not a huge magazine reader. Often, they are filled with irrelevant information, shoddy research, and just plain awful writing. As an English M.A. student, the above criteria are quite important to me when judging what I’m reading. That said, there are a select few magazines which I really enjoy, and of these magazines, Vanity Fair is probably my favourite. It has such a varied range of articles, from fun and quirky, to hard-hitting political pieces, to focused editorials on art, literature, and culture. All in all, a diverse and interesting reading experience.

One of my favourite VF features, though, is the “Proust Questionnaire.” In case you’re not a big VF reader and haven’t heard of the Proust Questionnaire, it is basically a personality questionnaire made popular by Marcel Proust’s responses to a similar questionnaire he once answered in his youth.

As Little & Luxe is still getting started, I thought it would be fun to do a little questionnairing ourselves! So in honour of both Proust and Vanity Fair, I give you the Proust Questionnaire: Little & Luxe Edition.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Absolute contentment.

What is your greatest fear?
Dystopias à la 1984, Brave New World, or Fahrenheit 451.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Jack Kerouac.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Overindulgence (hence the pursuit for little luxuries).

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Discriminatory practices, lack of critical thought.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Tiramisu, at the moment (soooo good). 

What is your favorite journey?
The creative one.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

On what occasion do you lie?
When I’m protecting the interests of a surprise gift or party.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?

Depends on the day.

Which living person do you most despise?

I’m not quite that courageous.

What is your greatest regret?

Not having been a better person in times when I could have.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Creativity; Engagement with Art; My family.

When and where were you happiest?
Arriving home after an extended time away.

Which talent would you most like to have?
A stronger capacity for self-control. Also, to be a mediocre cellist.

What is your current state of mind?

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Perhaps a tad more emotional control.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Perseverance through works of continental philosophy and cultural theory. Getting through them is not easy.

What is your most treasured possession?
My (hopefully still growing) critical thinking abilities.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Where would you like to live?
Somewhere green and by the water.

What is your most marked characteristic?
My laugh, maybe. Or maybe my (sometimes unfortunate) compulsion to always speak what’s on my mind.

What do you most value in your friends?

Who are your favorite writers?
Truman Capote, Oscar Wilde, Jack Kerouac, Emily Bronte.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Meursault, from Camus’ L’étranger; Holly Golightly, from Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Who are your heroes in real life?
I’m not quite sure. Maybe Bill Maher.

What is it that you most dislike?
Willful ignorance, and the purposeful manipulation of ignorance.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
I wouldn’t want to come back. But if I did, I would hope to come back as myself, but perhaps a tad more wise. That would be nice.

How would you like to die?

What is your motto?
“If you can do something about it right now, then do it. If you can’t, then let it be.”

To end this post, a few Proust Questionnaires from Vanity Fair that I really enjoyed:

Alan Arkin

 Bill Maher

Helen Mirren

Robert DeNiro 

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