Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire

ProustFor many years Vanity Fair has included a feature called the “Proust Questionnaire” each month in its magazine.  It is named after author Marcel Proust who supposedly answered a questionnaire of this sort at some point in his life.  The range of well-known people chosen to answer it is very broad, and the answers they give are quite diverse – silly, serious, evasive, funny, insightful, you name it.

The thoughts of some of the most notable questionnaire respondents are collected in a book titled Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire: 101 Luminaries Ponder Love, Death, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life.  Below are some questions and answers from the book and from more recent Vanity Fair offerings.  I have no idea why I’ve chosen the quotes I’ve chosen.  If you see a pattern, you’re smarter than I am (though that wouldn’t take much, so don’t brag about it).

You can take the Proust Questionnaire here and find out who you are most like among the notables who have also taken the questionnaire.

What is your most treasured possession?
My hands. They guide everywhere I go, and they allow me to play the piano and other instruments, which has been my lifeline since an early age. – Ray Charles, Musician

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Frank Sinatra. He did it his way. – Jackie Collins, Writer

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
People who are proud of their ignorance. – Tina Fey, Comedian and Writer

What is  your idea of perfect happiness?
My idea of perfect happiness is a healthy family, peace between nations, and all the critics die. – David Mamet, Playwright and Director

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
One ride is enough for me. – Bobby Short, Musician

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
The only fiction I read is the newspapers. – Robert De Niro, Actor

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“It takes a lot of money to look this cheap.” – Dolly Parton, Singer, Actress, and Songwriter

Which living person do you most despise?
That bitch knows who she is. – Lena Dunham, Actress and Writer

What is your motto?
“It’s better to be interested than interesting.” – Jane Fonda, Actress

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
The second husband of my wife. – Kirk Douglas, Actor

Who are your favorite writers?
Raymond Carver and Roald Dahl. – Robert Altman, Director

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Blindly following. – Harry Belafonte, Entertainer and Civil Rights Activist

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
EscoffierJulia Child, Chef and Author

Who are your heroes in real life?
Children. In the words of a great Indian poet, “Every child that is born is proof that God has not yet given up on human beings.” – Deepak Chopra, Author and Spiritual Guide

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My inability to resist a questionnaire. – Nora Ephron, Author, Screenwriter, and Director

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Books. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s