Friday, August 20, 2010

My Own Proust Questionnaire

Tired of receiving forwarded email "personality tests," in 2008 I made up my own version, inspired by the famous "Proust Questionnaire." Although not invented by him, this type of get-to-know-you parlour game has come to be associated with Proust because he answered a set of similar questions in writing at a party he attended in 1890, when he was still in his teens.

Such questionnaires are intended to reveal a deeper level of the personality of the one answering the questions. Following are questions that I think reveal a lot about someone--or at least what is interesting.
Feel free to answer, re-post or send to friends.

1. What is the most important thing you have to do today?
2. Do you know the day of the week and the time of your birth? What is it?
3. What is your Zodiac sign? Do you think you fit the traditional characteristics of that sign?
4. What is your ethnic heritage? Can you trace your family tree back? How far?
5. What is your earliest memory?
6. What is your blood type? How did you find out?
7. Do you have any scars? What and how did you get them?
8. Have you ever broken a bone? How?
9. If you could change something about your physical appearance, what would it be?
10. If your mother were an animal, what do YOU think she would be?
11. If your father were an animal, what do YOU think he would be?
12. What is (are) your comfort food(s)?
13. At what age did you learn to swim? How did it happen and who taught you? Do you recall it fondly?
14. Can you open your eyes under water? If you can’t would you like to be able to?
15. What book are you reading right now? Do you like it?
16. Name up to 3 books that have had a great influence on you and/or changed your life.
17. Name up to 3 films that have had a great influence on you and/or changed your life.
18. What film can you watch over and over again?
19. Name up to 3 artists (living or dead) whose work you are strongly drawn to.
20. Who are your favorite heroes/heroines of fiction?
21. Who are your heroes/heroines in real life?
22. What cologne or perfume do you wear?
23. Name a singer whose voice makes you swoon.
24. Do you play an instrument? How long have you played it?
25. Poker or Tarot cards?
26. Pool or ocean?
27. Jungian or Freudian?
28. Sun or rain?
29. North or south?
30. Name a compliment someone gave you that made you blush.
31. When you fly in an airplane, you leave the earth for a while. Guess how long you have been “off-world” in an airplane (hours or days).
32. Out of your five senses, which one(s) do you think is (are) the strongest?
33. Although neither of these are “preferable,” if you had to lose either your sight or your hearing, which would you choose to lose?
34. Regardless of size or circumstance, what animal would you own as a pet if you could?
35. What famous view or monument would you like to be able to see from your bedroom window?
36. How many languages do you speak?
37. What language do you WISH you could speak?
38. Under what circumstances do you become impatient?
39. Does a photo of you naked exist?
40. Do you have a phobia? What is it?
41. Are your dreams important to you? Do you recall them? Do you keep a dream journal?
42. Name a recurring dream or nightmare.
43. Where is the most unusual place you have ever fallen asleep?
44. Do you think there’s life on other planets?
45. What in your life are you most proud of?
46. What emotion do you tend to hide the most?
47. Do you have a motto? What is it?
48. What was your last mystical experience?
49. What, to your mind, would be the greatest of misfortunes?
50. When and where was the happiest you have yet been in your life?
51. How would you like to die?
52. Do you want to be buried or cremated?
53. What do you want to have happen at your funeral/memorial (people, place, music, etc.)?
54. Do you believe in God? Describe God.
55. How do you picture the end of the world?

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