The Proust Questionnaire is a questionnaire about one’s personality. Its name and modern popularity as a form of interview is owed to the responses given by the French writer Marcel Proust.
At the end of the nineteenth century, when Proust was still in his teens, he answered a questionnaire in an English-language confession album belonging to his friend Antoinette, daughter of future French President Félix Faure, titled “An Album to Record Thoughts, Feelings, etc.” At that time, it was popular among English families to answer such a list of questions that revealed the tastes and aspirations of the taker.
Proust answered always with enthusiasm. The original manuscript of his answers of 1890, at the time of his volunteer internship or some little time afterwards, titled “by Marcel Proust himself,” was found in 1924. It was auctioned on May 27, 2003 for the sum of €102,000.
The French television host Bernard Pivot, seeing an opportunity for a writer to reveal at the same time aspects of his work and his personality, traditionally subjected his guests to the Proust questionnaire at the end of the French broadcast Apostrophes.
Inspired by Bernard Pivot, James Lipton, the host of the TV program Inside the Actors Studio, gives an adapted version of the Proust Questionnaire to his guests. Lipton has often incorrectly characterized the questionnaire itself as an invention of Pivot.
A similar questionnaire is regularly seen on the back page of Vanity Fair magazine, answered by various celebrities. In October 2009, Vanity Fair launched an interactive version of the questionnaire, that compares individual answers to those of various luminaries.
Another version of the questionnaire, as answered by various Canadian authors, is a regular feature on the radio program The Next Chapter.
For the benefits of this quick-fire question podcast, we have simplified it even further and we make no claims that it reveals the true personality of the person – especially as the questions are asked in English to a non-native person.
Listen to Sue interview Chris about his recent trip to India and especially about what surprised him.
During his travels in India, Chris went to Bangalore in the south and then to Rajasthan in the north, to The Taj Mahal in Agra, Fatihpur Sikri, Bundi, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Delhi and Jaipur, to name but a few of the fabulous places he visited.
What do you think would be the most surprising aspects of travelling in India?
To be fair, he was asked with little or no time to think about it, so maybe, if we did it again, as we most probably will do, the bucket list would probably be very fifferent than this one.
It is quite an interesting exercise to redo a bucket list, as in fact, it almost forces people to really think about what they would lreally like to do – hence a bucket list is created almost by accident.
Everyone is talking about Bucket Lists ! But just what is a Bucket List ?
What should be top of your Bucket List? Quite simply it’s a wish list of things you would like to do ! These “things” can involve travel, culture, sport and even personal development. In fact anything that you dream of doing !
The standard internet Bucket List usually contains 100 activities…… that’s mind boggling ! So try this quiz which will guide you in the right direction to make a list best suited to your personality, and also give you an opportunity to learn some new vocabulary along the way…..but, hey, isn’t that already on your Bucket List ? 🙂
SPEAKING: As a language learner these expressions could be useful:
I’ve already done that ….. I did it 3 years ago.
I could never do that….I would be afraid, I would be bored.
That sounds fascinating, exciting, amazing, wonderful, terrifying, boring, mundane.
LISTENING: Don’t forget to practice your listening skills too.
Click here to listen to Chris and Sue discussing their Buckets List.
Click here to hear what Etienne has to say about his Bucket List.
Click here here to hear what Henri, a new English learner, dreams of doing and see how Chris helps him to express his ideas.
But first, start here with the quiz.
What should be on your bucket list?
Are you sporty, cultural, an adrenalin addict, a romantic, a fun person, a
traveller or do you prefer to stay in your comfort zone?
This quiz may inspire you start ticking off items on your own personal