The Proustian self-introspection.
[By The Delhi Proustians]
The Proust Questionnaire represents a form of interview that owes its structure to answers given by French novelist Marcel Proust, the author of In Search of Lost Time, at two birthday parties that he attended at ages 13 and 20 in the late 19th century.
In early 2013, The Delhi Proustians started taking Les confidences de salon (Drawing room confessions) around the city to explore people’s lives, thoughts, values and experiences. The series involves interviews across Delhi and is conducted by writers Manika Dhama and Mayank Austen Soofi.
For the eighteenth installment of Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire, Judith Oriol, who works in the Book Office of the French Embassy, made confessions to Mayank.
Your favorite virtue or the principal aspect of your personality
Observation and listening
Your favorite qualities in a man
Charisma and a touch of feminity
Your favorite qualities in a woman
Independence and unconventionality
Your chief characteristic
To be unpredictable
What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
Their tolerance, their minds open on the entire world, their faithfulness, their freedom, their acceptance of my extravaganza and their stunning talents
Your main fault
Being solitary – and liking it
Your favorite occupation
Reading and travelling
Your idea of happiness
Reading and travelling
Your idea of misery or what would be your greatest misfortune?
Loss and disappearance
If not yourself, who would you be?
A better me
Where would you like to live?
I would love to live simultaneously in different places and wish I could spend my mornings in India, my afternoons in Africa, my evenings in France and my nights in Turkey
Your favourite colour and flower
The range of different purples that you can see on some very rare orchids
Your favorite bird
The one who visits me every morning to check on me in my small Delhi garden
Your favorite prose authors
Marcel Proust, Marguerite Duras and Patrick Modiano
Your favorite poets
Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Francis Ponge and Yves Bonnefoy
Your favorite heroes in fiction
Dorian Grey and all the heroes of Balzac, from the strongest to the most fragile characters, full of humanity despite their failures
Your favorite heroines in fiction
All the women in Marcel Proust’s works
Your favorite composers
Tchaikovsky far before all the others
Your favorite painters
Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard and Gustav Klimt
Your heroes/heroines in real life
My parents, both for different but obvious reasons, and a few writers I admire, had the chance to meet and who happen to be even more impressive as human beings than as writers
What characters in history do you most dislike?
The ones who deserve to be hated but who have had the luck to be forgotten
Your heroines in World history
Simone de Beauvoir
Your favorite food and drink
French, Italian, Japanese and Thaï food – along with French wine
Your favorite names
Salomé, Esther, Joseph, Ana, Lisa. They all come from the past or from my past
What do you hate the most?
When people disappoint me as well as when I disappoint people
The military event you admire the most
The reform you admire the most
The one still to come which will federate people
The natural talent you’d like to be gifted with
A great voice, a Nina Simone‘s voice
How do you wish to die?
What is your present state of mind?
Find intelligent answers to this questionnaire so that I don’t disappoint you
Faults for which you have the most tolerance
The ones caused by suffering
Your motto in life
Don’t do to others what you would not want others to do to you. As old as Confucius