101 Luminaries Ponder Love, Death, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life
The Proust Questionnaire is a set of questions answered by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that an individual’s answers reveal his true nature, and often used by modern interviewers.
Proust answered the questionnaire in a confession album–a form of popular parlor game played by guests in high society gatherings—much like Truth or Dare! The album belonged to his friend Antoinette, daughter of future French President Félix Faure, titled “An Album to Record Thoughts, Feelings, etc.”
Other historical figures who have answered confession albums are Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx, Arthur Conan Doyle, Stéphane Mallarmé, and Paul Cézanne.
A similar questionnaire is regularly seen on the back page of Vanity Fair magazine, answered by various celebrities. In October 2009, Vanity Fair launched an interactive version of the questionnaire, that compares individual answers to those of various luminaries – an intimate look into the inner lives of our most prominent cultural figures such as Jane Goodall, Allen Ginsberg, Hedy Lamarr, Gore Vidal, Julia Child, and Joan Didion.
The probing set of questions originated as a 19th-century parlor game popularized by contemporaries of Marcel Proust. Illustrated by Risko, Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire Edited by Graydon Carter and Illustrated by Risko, brings together the responses of 101 of the most vibrant personalities of our time.
Celebrities in the book encompass actors, writers, directors, television personalities, fashion designers, artists, politicians and philosophers and include Sting, Jane Goodall, Bette Midler, Lauren Bacall, Salman Rushdie, Norman Mailer, Martin Scorsese, Shirley MacLaine, Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, David Mamet, Martin Scorsese, Karl Rove and Deepak Chopra.
David Bowie’s answers to the question: “What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?” was “Living in fear.”
Playboy founder Hugh Hefner wrote the depth of misery is “unrequited love,” while comedian Conan O’Brien responded the quality he likes best in a woman is “a lust for mediocrity.”
Singer Johnny Cash’s favorite journey was “the last mile home,” while Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards reported his greatest achievement is “waking up.”
Actor Dennis Hopper wrote he’d like to die with his boots on, then reported his motto is, “Never wear boots.”
The answers, collected in a book, are fascinating, revealing, candid, hilarious, and endlessly fascinating.
The Orenda Social Club is offering great solutions for you to make new friends, grow your social connections, and find love with no pressure by using social profiles based on the Marcel Proust Questionnaire. Once you create a confidential profile and become a member, you will be added to the list of social events where you can meet other members in person.
This questionnaire is one of the best-known interviews used in the media today. It is thoughtful, fun, concise, and does a good job showcasing someone’s personality.
For those who would like to take a chance at the questionnaire, fill out a form and compare the answers.
It’s a great way to get to know yourself and others. Have fun!