Proust’s questionnaire

There are two surviving sets of answers to the confession album questions by Proust: the first, from 1885 or 1886, is to an English confessions album, although his answers are in French. The second, from 1891 or 1892, is from a French album, Les confidences de salon (“Drawing room confessions”), which contains translations of the original questions, lacking some that were in the English version and adding others.

Beware. The questionnaire has three columns.

Confessionsquestions Confidencesquestions Proust’s answers 1890
Your favorite virtue The principal aspect of my personality The need to be loved; more precisely, the need to be caressed and spoiled much more than the need to be admired
Your favorite qualities in a man. The quality that I desire in a man. Feminine charm
Your favorite qualities in a woman. The quality that I desire in a woman. Manly virtues, and the union of friendship.
Your chief characteristic —- —-
What you appreciate the most in your friends What I appreciate most about my friends. To have tenderness for me, if their personage is exquisite enough to render quite high the price of their tenderness
Your main fault My main fault Not knowing, not being able to “want”.
Your favourite occupation. My favorite occupation. Loving.
Your idea of happiness My dream of happiness. I am afraid it be not great enough, I dare not speak it, I am afraid of destroying it by speaking it.
Your idea of misery. What would be my greatest misfortune? Not to have known my mother or my grandmother.
If not yourself, who would you be? What I should like to be. Myself, as the people whom I admire would like me to be.
Where would you like to live? The country where I should like to live. A country where certain things that I should like would come true as though by magic, and where tenderness would always be reciprocated
Your favourite colour and flower. My favourite colour. The beauty is not in the colours, but in their harmony.
—- The flower that I like. Hers/His – and after, all of them.[3]
—- My favorite bird. The swallow.
Your favorite prose authors. My favorite prose authors. Currently, Anatole Franceand Pierre Loti.
Your favorite poets. My favorite poets. Baudelaire and Alfred de Vigny.
Your favorite heroes in fiction. My heroes in fiction. Hamlet.
Your favorite heroines in fiction. My favorite heroines in fiction. Bérénice.
Your favorite painters and composers. My favorite composers. BeethovenWagnerSchumann.

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