I think the back page says a lot about a magazine. It’s usually the first thing I read when I buy one. Vanity Fair features the Proust Questionnaire, in which “luminaries” (their words, not mine) answer various questions about their thoughts on life. The practice of giving little personal quizzes was common practice in the late 1800s, the Proust name became associated with them when Marcel Proust published his answers in the book “by Marcel Proust himself” in 1890. Here, I’ve answered a handful of his original questions, because even if Vanity Fair won’t have me (yet), I like to think of myself as a luminary. You can answer the questions yourself here.
- What event in military history do you most admire?
I think the role nurses played in the civil war is incredibly admirable.
- What do you most value in your friends?
- Who would you have liked to be?
One of the great philosophers.
- What would you like to be?
An intellectual person.
- What is your favorite bird?
- What is your motto?
Everyone deserves respect.
- The quality you most admire in a woman?
Grace and quick wit.
- Your favorite painter?
Jan van Eyck
- How would you like to die?
- What is your favorite flower?
The tiger lily
- What is your present state of mind?
Distracted, as I often am when I try to blog and watch TV at the same time.
- Your favorite virtue?
- What natural gift would you most like to possess?
I’d like to be better composed. Getting flustered doesn’t garner faith in you from others.
- What is your favorite color?
- Who are your favorite characters in history?
Elizabeth Bathory, John F. Kennedy, Marlene Dietrich, Caligula, Christian Dior, Martin Luther King, Jr.
- What historical figures do you most despise?
John Wayne Gacy, Georges Rutaganda, Thomas Edison
- The quality you most admire in a man?
Intelligence and a certain sensitivity in their character.
- What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
- Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Liz Lemon for success in the face of weirdness, Albus Dumbledore for his grace and Burt Cooper for…existing.
- What is it you most dislike?
What I dislike most is a hard question to answer. The lack of empathy in the world is disheartening.
These types of questionnaires remind Minnie of LiveJournal in the 2000’s.