“As long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost …” Marcel Proust

what a moment! my favourite 19thc author, zola, photograhs proust and dreyfus.


at the precocious age of 13 the boy, who grew to be the man you see below, and quoted in the title, marcel proust, answered a set of questions popular in the press of the time. he returned to the questions several times in his life. we now refer to them as the ‘marcel proust questionnaire’. vanity fair asks them of a celebrity  each month, several tv journalists have used them in interviews. they are best answered quickly, if you have to over think a response, it is probably more honest not to answer. returning to them after a few years, it is interesting to find out if ones responses change. mine did.


“All our final decisions are made in a state of mind that is not going to last.”


Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust  10 July 1871 – 18 November 1922. Modernist,French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental À la recherche du temps perdu published in seven parts between 1913 and 1927. 



ask yourself, be honest, be spontaneous. not having an answer is not a fail, this is not an exam.


  • What is your most marked characteristic?
  • What is the quality you most like in a man?
  • What is the quality you most like in a woman?
  • What do you most value in your friends?
  • What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
  • What is your favorite occupation?
  • What is your idea of perfect happiness?
  • What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
  • In which country would you like to live?
  • Who are your favorite writers?
  • Who are your favorite poets?
  • Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
  • Who is your favorite heroine of fiction?
  • Who are your favorite composers?
  • Who are your favorite painters?
  • What are your favorite names?
  • What is it that you most dislike?
  • Which talent would you most like to have?
  • How would you like to die?
  • What is your current state of mind?
  • What is your motto?
answer the questions, copy paste and post them in reply, if you like.
i will answer them later, for the first time since the late 1990’s.
for proust’s 1890 responses click the VF link
you can pose the questions via vanity fair’s interactive facebook questionnaire in the link below!
http://tempsperdu.com/index.html learn about his work
collection of responses
http://www.brainyquote.com speaks for itself.