My Answers To Marcel Proust’s Questions

I’ve decided to answer Proust’s tricky (and curious) questionnaire.

  1. What do you mean by perfect happiness? – Being All.
  2. What are you most afraid of? – Everything I was afraid of has already happened.
  3. What character trait do you dislike most about yourself? – Workaholism – I take on too much and get exhausted from time to time.
  4. What character quality do you dislike most in others? – Weakness of character and meanness.
  5. Which living person do you adore? – Myself.
  6. What is your biggest eccentricity? – I like to dance naked in front of a mirror, imagining myself as some ancient Bacchante, ballerina or warrior queen. I like to spend a long, thoughtful time scratching my cat’s belly with a metal comb and watch him twitch his paws.
  7. What state of mind are you in now? – Peace, bliss.
  8. Which human quality do you consider to be greatly exaggerated? – All of them.
  9. On what occasions do you lie? – All conversations people have, with few exceptions, are lies. People lie even when they are silent. That is the way our society works. But if you lie, it is better to do it beautifully, masterfully, to make it fun, buzzing and funny.
  10. What don’t you like about your appearance? – Fatigue.
  11. Which living person do you contempt? – Contempt is a feeling of superiority that gradually disappears in the pure mind. As, indeed, do all feelings.
  12. What is your favourite quality in a man? – When he looks at me with amorous eyes.
  13. What quality do you like best in a woman? – Gentleness, flow, love, simplicity.
  14. What words or phrases do you use too often? – I think.
  15. What or who is the greatest love of your life? – My man.
  16. When and where were you happiest? – Today.
  17. What talents would you like to have? – I have all of them, just some I haven’t discovered yet.
  18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? – My weight and my passion.
  19. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? – Going beyond everything.
  20. If you died and came back as a person or a thing, what would it be? – I would never die.
  21. Where would you most like to live? – Here and now.
  22. What is your most valuable possession? – My time.
  23. What is the bottom line of unhappiness for you? – Ignorance and the unhappiness of the people around you.
  24. What is your favourite thing to do? – Being.
  25. What is your most noticeable characteristic? – Fire.
  26. What do you value most in your friends? – Their freedom.
  27. What are your favourite writers? – Haruki Murakami, Julio Cortázar, World Tales, Silence.
  28. Who is your fictitious hero? – Me.
  29. Which historical figure would you identify with? – Jeanne d’Arc.
  30. What are your real-life heroes? – Jesus Christ and his love.
  31. What are your favourite names? – Louis and Louise.
  32. What do you dislike the most? – Evil being chosen.
  33. What is your biggest regret? – That I didn’t realise it sooner.
  34. What is your motto? – Like Jeanne d’Arc- “qui m’aime, me suive! “who loves me, follow me!”

Olga de Benoist (@OlgadeBenoist) is a Paris-based author, photographer & blogger. She is the author of the book "The Age of Rain" ("Время дождя" (RU) or "O Choro da Chuva" (BR)), a collection of short stories about Paris, its music, dreamers, lovers & the rain. She also works on the art project "People & The City".

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