The 21st century Proust Questionnaire. Updated.

 Given our current state, yesterday I threw out the Proust Questionnaire to the blogosphere. It seemed like an interesting study in the human condition, especially now. But some of the questions, though applicable to Proust’s times, were not as timely or current to todays times. So I updated them. Here are the questions. Anyone for authenticity?

Would you prefer to rent or own a home?

What  electronic device makes you happy?

What can’t you live without?

Who’s your favorite movie character?

Who’s your hero?

What moment in your lifetime stands out the most?

Name a woman you most admire.

Can you name a famous painter? If so, who?

Who is your favorite band or singer?

What qualities should a man possess?

What about a woman? what qualities should she possess?

What do you like about yourself?

What job would you love to have?

If you could be anything, what would you be?

What makes you different from others?

What common trait do all of your friends have?

What do you need to improve about yourself?

What is your biggest regret?

What pisses you off the most?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

What’s your favorite food?

What’s your favorite website?

What is always in your fridge?

What’s the best book you ever read?

What magazine could you read anytime?

What famous woman in history most sticks out for you?

Who’s your favorite actor?

Who’s your favorite actress?

Do you hate anyone?

What skill would you like to have?

What is your fondest memory?

How would you like to die?

What is your current state of mind?

Self-discovery has never been in more need. I think today, our transparent self needs to get in touch with the people who are having a hard time being “real”. Not only does this extend beyond social media, but I see it permeating everything these days. It’s about disclosure and what we are articulating or trying to say. It’s about having conversations. You should send this to the people that are in dire need of having or participating in conversations. Lets talk, lets exchange, lets share. and then lets compare answers.

The Proust Questionnaire-Do you know you?

You know, one of the cool things about social media is that it really does require us to be transparent. I don’t care how tired some might feel that term is being used, it’s the truth. But really, how transparent is one supposed to be? Or rather, how well do you know you? of course you want to know more about others so that you can develop that kindred trust. But just who is the person behind the green curtain?

Take for instance the Proust Questionnaire. In the back pages of Vanity Fair each month, readers can find The Proust Questionnaire, a closely related set of questions posed to famous subjects about their lives, thoughts, values and experience. I love reading this. It’s always one of my favorite things to read in VF. So I decided to take it myself. Rather than try to really sit down and “think” about each answer, which would be sorta cheating I think, I decided to just let the stream of consciousness fly. So now you’ll know even more about what makes me tick, though as you’ll see-I’m a simpleton.


Where would you like to live?  Initially I would have said Santorini (honeymoon), but I might opt for Positano(incredible food with a view) 

What is your idea of earthly happiness?  A beach, my family and no worries except what else can we do thats fun for tomorrow?

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?  Trusting my naivete

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction? Any character created by John Irving

Who are your favorite characters in history?  The people who have taken it upon themselves to shape the world for better, for good and for peace.

Who are your favorite heroines in real life? Does Jackie O count?

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?  Sorry,  I got nothing here.

Your favorite painter?  Oh Boy, to name a few- I love Chagal, Calder, Picasso, Peter Dean, Basquiat,  Van Gogh, Monet,  and Rauschenberg.

Your favorite musician?  There’s not enough room here-but will go with Ben Harper, Seal, and Stevie Ray Vaughn, Martin Sexton, John Butler, and Erika Badhu.

The quality you most admire in a man?  Loyalty and Character

The quality you most admire in a woman? A sense of  beauty and self and a love for children

Your favorite virtue?  Nobility and humility

Your favorite occupation?  Music, and competing and learning 

Who would you have liked to be? I would have liked to have been a 1950’s pro baseball player or 1940’s jazz musician.

Your most marked characteristic? The ability to laugh and natural curiosity

What do you most value in your friends?  Their understanding and their loyalty

What is your principle defect?  Expecting too much from others and judging others too quickly

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes? To not have produced 2 really cool kids and meeting my wife.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?  My children dying before me.

What would you like to be?  A jazz pianist or a blues guitarist

What is your favorite color?  Olive green

What is your favorite flower?  Sunflower

What is your favorite bird? I dont really have one but maybe the bald eagle.

Who are your favorite prose writers?  Ummm geez-I’ve been reading too many business books lately.

Who are your favorite poets? I havent read poetry since college

Who are your heroes in real life? The brothers of the sacred heart for helping me to become the man I am, and anyone with a selfless heart.

Who are your favorite heroines of history? Mother Theresa

What are your favorite names?   Clive Throckmorton

What is it you most dislike?  Anyone that hurts a child in anyway.

What historical figures do you most despise?  Hitler, Stalin, and any leader that feels that war is the only answer.

What event in military history do you most admire? The forming of our country/Revolutionary War.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?  Intelligence

How would you like to die?  In my sleep

What is your present state of mind? Anxious, concerned, worried ,optimistic, hopeful, doubtful.

What is your motto? You never know, and lets see what happens tomorrow.


 So take the questionnaire and see how well you know yourself-who knows you might surprise yourself or others.