Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Proust Questionnaire

I present to all of you the prestigious Proust Questionnaire. This smattering of questions has helped me out of a creative slump or two. I've used it to jump start poems and for free-write exercises. But I think it works best as a "get to know you" between the writer and character. How would your character respond?

The Infamous "Proust" Questionnaire

In the back pages of Vanity Fair each month, readers find The Proust Questionnaire, a series of questions posed to famous subjects about their lives, thoughts, values, and experience. The young Marcel was asked to fill out questionnaires at two social events: one when he was 13, another when he was 20. (Curious about Proust's responses?) Proust did not invent this party game; he is simply the most extraordinary person to respond to it.

1. What is your greatest fear?
2. What is your current state of mind?
3. What is your favorite occupation (way of spending time)?
4. What historical figure do you most identify with?
5. Which living person do you most admire?
6. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
7. Who are your real-life heroes?
8. What is your most treasured possession?
9. When and where were you happiest?
10. What is your most obvious characteristic?
11. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
12. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
13. What is your greatest extravagance?
14. What is your favorite journey?
15. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
16. What do you consider the most over-rated virtue?
17. On what occasion do you lie?
18. Which words or phrases do you most over-use?
19. Id you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
20. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
21. Where would you like to live?
22. What is the quality you most admire in a man?
23. What is the quality you most admire in a woman?
24. What is it you most dislike?
25. What do you value most in your friends?
26. How would you like to die?
27. If you were to die and come back as a person or an animal, what do you think you would be?
28. If you could choose an object to come back as, what would you choose?
29. What is your motto (words you live by or that mean a lot to you)?
30. Who had been the greatest influence on you?

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