|All about the histoire and the questionnaire, click here to find the book.|
Contrary to popular belief, it was not Marcel Proust who imagined the famous exercise which through a series of very specific questions, is supposed to cunningly reveal hidden aspects of one’s personality. Rather, it was Proust who took the “examination” — responding in English, it’s interesting to note — by handwriting answers in a “confession album” belonging to his great friend Antoinette.
The questionnaire was known, at the end of the nineteenth century, as a sort of diary or album to capture one’s thoughts, feelings, desires, hopes, etc. and was, apparently, extremely popular with English families.
Proust agreed to answer the questions in 1890. In the original, there were “confession” questions and “confidence” questions. Below are a few of the questions and his responses to both, as far as I can discover the answers were identical for confessions and confidences. (You’ll note at times the fine nuances in the distinctions.)
Confidence: What is the principal aspect of your personality?
Response: “The need to be loved, more precisely to be caressed and spoiled much more than the need to be admired.
Confession:What are your favorite qualities in a man?
Confidence: What is the quality you desire in a man?
Response: Feminine charms.
|Ah, ha. . .|
Confession: What are your favorite qualities in a woman?
Confidence: What is the quality you desire in a woman?
Response: Manly virtues and frankness in friendship.
Confession/Confidence: What is your main fault?
Response: Not knowing, not being able to “want”.
Confession/Confidence: What is your favorite color? Your favorite flower?
Response: Beauty is not in colors, but in their harmony. My favorite flower is all of them.
|Throughout history the swallow has represented hope, honor, renewal, faith and love.|
Confession/Confidence: What is your favorite bird?
Response: The swallow.
Confession: What is the natural talent with which you would like to be gifted?
Confidence: What is the gift of nature that you would like to have?
Response: Willpower and seductiveness.
More tomorrow, and then how about we play the game? What do you think?
I’ll choose a few questions, you respond and then I’ll do the same. You can even choose the questions if you would like — you may invent some as most of the magazines have done if you prefer.