The Infamous Proust QuestionnaireI found this on the web, through an article about Cookie monster on NPR.
The implication here is somehow that this questionnaire and the Proust's answers are somehow "exceptional", except - they're not, in any way exceptional. I don't understand.
First off - the only exceptional thing I can see is that he's given a questionnaire at a party, which likely means they're going to be read aloud at some point during the evening. What i'd like to see is some of the other people's answers, but because only one of the people at the party became famous - Proust- we're stuck never seeing anyone else's response. It's more a warning to the rest of us, really. Become famous or never be heard from - even the opinions you wrote down at a party in a dopey questionnaire where some woman's idiotic 13 year-old thought he was being clever and all growed-up, you won't ever be heard from again. His answers will be held up for all time, but your answer will be lost to the mists of time and space. If you're not destined to be famous, you might as well have just gotten drunk and vomited on the questionnaire, which would only have wound up as a footnote to Proust's story anyway.
In both questionnaires he's obtuse and churlish. In both he's clearly trying to please his host, likely older women. In the first he answers nearly every one with a slant toward pleasing his momma, which at 13 is only slightly surprising, unless his mother brought him to the party, which is likely. There is nothing out of place about many of his choices - Mozart, Pericles, et al., it's not as if he said "the Rolling Stones", he's completely a creature of his time, what else would he answer? Pliny the Younger is a little weird, but I'm sure he just read about him in the past year of his life, so that wouldn't be odd at all.
In the second questionnaire - he's clearly trying to get laid. He's 20. When asked his favorite flower - he answers "Hers" which he might as well have pointed to his girlfiriend's pants. Under what his favorite occupation is he put "loving", which is different from a 20 year old - how? Steve Bunche would have answered the same damn thing.
I see nothing exceptional here - just a horny 20 year old who listens to the pop music of the day, dutifully reads his books (or at least names authors of books, which is no great skill) and at 13 is at pains to mention his momma, which would likely make an impression on the older women at the party, which is just playing to the crowd. And by older women, we're probably talking about chicks in their early to mid- 30's, which is an awesome target demographic at any party, in my opinion.
Ugh. What is wrong with people?