Stumbled upon this from over a year ago (May 5, 2011) and thought I’d re-share. I would probably answer most of these similarly today…we’ll see what happens a year from now.
The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. I bought this book during my visit to Baltimore last month - it’s a compilation of 101 Proust Questionnaires answered by celebrities, musicians and other pop culture icons from Ray Charles to Billy Crystal to George Carlin on the last page of every Vanity Fair issue. I’ve found it an endlessly entertaining, candid and hilarious read (David Bowie’s biggest fear: “Converting kilometers to miles”) and answered the questions myself on a bout of late night self-indulgence and introspection, as I am wont to do.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Eating an extravagant meal with lots of friends and laughter.
What is your greatest fear?
Watching my loved ones suffer.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Which living person do you most admire?
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I’m much too trusting of people. I always want to believe the best in everyone and it’s bitten me in the ass on more than one occasion.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
What is your greatest extravagance?
Vintage clothing and sparkly things.
What is your favorite journey?
Being on tour.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
This past March, in Austin at SXSW 2011 when my phone died and I had to find my way back to the apartment we were staying in from memory, maneuvering our little rental car in crazy traffic and with infrequent road signs. I still have no idea how I did it.
On what occasion do you lie?
When asked about people’s clothing choices or body image.
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I wish my hair would grow faster so I can swish it around while I play guitar. [edit - check!]
Which living person do you most despise?
I try not to waste the energy on people I dislike - they disappear. But if I had to choose, it’d be the stinky cab driver who picked Megan and I up from Williamsburg to take us to our gig in Queens, bitched about how far it was and that he was unfamiliar with the area, then yelled at me to leave him alone when I tried to direct him with my GPS and when I called him out on reading the newspaper while he was driving.
Who or what is the greatest love of your life?
When and where were you happiest?
Right now, at this particular phase in my life - being young and healthy in the cultural capital of the world and being able to make music with people I love.
Which talent would you most like to have?
To be a quick wit.
What is your current state of mind?
What is it that you most dislike?
People who wait for things to happen instead of doing something about it. That and digging through my purse for my keys at the end of a long day.
if you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Loneliness, boredom, or a combination of the two.
What is your favorite occupation?
Artist of any kind - aural, visual, tactile.
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?
Loyalty, humor, and good listenership.
Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Who are your heroes in real life?
Prince, Freddie Mercury, MLK Jr.
How would you like to die?
Ready and with no regrets.
What is your motto?
“God helps those who help themselves.”
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