Questionnaire de Proust


At the end of the nineteenth century, when Proust was still in his teens, he answered a questionnaire in an English-language Confession album belonging to his friend Antoinette, daughter of the future President Félix Faure, entitled “An Album to Record Thoughts, Feelings, etc.” At that time, it was a fad among English families to answer such a list of questions that revealed the tastes and aspirations of the taker.


What is the chief aspect of your personality?

Spontaneity and commitment.

What are your favourite qualities in a man?

Generosity, trust

What are the qualities you appreciate

most in a woman?

Being themselves.

What are the qualities you appreciate

most in your friends?

Honesty, fidelity.

What is your main fault?

Impatience and intolerance with myself and others.

What is your favourite occupation? Being a mother.
What is your idea of happiness?

Being able to identify it  to live it with more intensity.


What is your idea of misery?

To lose a close one.

If not a pianist, what would you like to be?

This was never an option.
Where would you like to live? In Russia, if it were not a « dictature » any longer.
What is your favourite colour? Blue.
What is your favourite flower? Freesia and lily-of –the-valley.
Who are your favourite prose authors? Dostoyevsky, Kundera
Who is your favourite poet? Marina Tsvetaeva.
Who is your favourite hero in fiction? Prince Myshkin in Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot.
Who is your favourite heroin in fiction? Thais.

Who is your hero or heroin in real life?

Anna Franck.
Who are your favourite composers? Schumann, Rachmaninov, Janáček.
What are your favourite names?  Anastasia, Esther.

What natural talent would you like

to be gifted with?

Being able to improvise whether in music or in my life.

How would you like to die?

In my sleep.
What is your present state of mind?

I am starting to accept myself as I am

and others as they are.

For what fault do you have more indulgence?  For the one I can understand.
What is your favourite motto?

« You become responsible, forever, for the
one you have tamed.» 

(Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince)