Vanity Fair has used the Proust Questionnaire in every issue since July 1993, asking various celebrities (from Karl Rove to Ellen DeGeneres) to answer assorted character questions. The Questionnaire gets its namesake from the commonplace 19th century parlor game that included similar questions, a game which author Marcel Proust was famously fond of. Questions can be answered in any way the taker sees fit.
For some examples, please click here.
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
2. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
3. What is your greatest extravagance?
Sometimes, when I’m solo puffing, I’ll rip greens…and nothing else.
4. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
5. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
There is a Star Wars gangster rap song where they manage to fit the Rancor into the rhyme:
“Jabba you ain’t nothing but a fat-ass slug,
fake gold chains, you sorry ass thug.
Sitting in your palace with your blue-headed whore
—trapdoor, to the Rancor.”
I don’t bust it often, but when I do, it’s instantly overused.
6. When and where were you happiest?
Tromping up and down mountains, passing a bag of wine and a bubbler back and forth between friends.
7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My lack of wizardry.
8. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My current state of being.
9. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
A mother fucking Spirit Bear (Google it).
10. Where would you most like to live?
11. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Solipsism—the notion that you are the only real person and everyone and everything is your fabrication.
12. Who are your favorite writers?
Hermann Hesse, Nietzsche, Terence McKenna, Frank Herbert, Tolkien.
13. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Socrates—a lovable pain in the ass of the establishment.
14. What is your greatest regret?
I still haven’t convinced my parents to get high with me, and god knows they need it.
15. What is your motto?
“Wu Wei” which is “Action through inaction.”