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In 1890, long before he claimed his status as one of the greatest authors of all time Marcel Proust, still a teenager, took a questionnaire similar to this one, answering the questions with frank sincerity.
Banburyshire Info have resurrected the concept, and have started publishing answers from various local people with some questions from the Proust Questionnaire – designed to reveal the answerer’s tastes, aspirations, and sensibility.
Name: Michael Dale
Date questions answered: 20/04/2016
Village / Town / City you live in: Banbury
Occupation: Author of The Adventures of Clara Bow / Writer / Improvement & Development Officer
The questions include Marcel Proust’s answers
Proust: To be separated from Mama
Michael Dale: Being stuck in traffic! Or loneliness. Being stuck in traffic alone. Seriously it’s loneliness.
Proust: In the country of the Ideal, or, rather, of my ideal
Michael Dale: The place where, upon my return from any journey, my heart beams when I see the first sign that I am nearly back home.
Proust: To live in contact with those I love, with the beauties of nature, with a quantity of books and music, and to have, within easy distance, a French theater
Michael Dale: Spending my days writing, my nights relaxing in front of a movie, eating good food, keeping fit and healthy, and spending all my free time with my wife traveling to places near and far.
Proust: To a life deprived of the works of genius
Michael Dale: Idling my life away watching films
Proust: Those of romance and poetry, those who are the expression of an ideal rather than an imitation of the real
Michael Dale: Indiana Jones, Alan Quartermain, Tintin, and every-man (or woman!) characters thrust into an amazing adventure.
Proust: A mixture of Socrates, Pericles, Mahomet, Pliny the Younger and Augustin Thierry
Michael Dale: Nikola Tesla, Siddhartha Gautama, Xuanzang.
Proust: A woman of genius leading an ordinary life
Michael Dale: Rosa Parks, Elizabeth I, Muriel Dale (my Gran, who will be 107 this year!)
Proust: Those who are more than women without ceasing to be womanly; everything that is tender, poetic, pure and in every way beautiful
Michael Dale: Clara Bow! (though she was also a real person of course!) Ellen Ripley, Sarah Connor.
Michael Dale: The unknown artists who have created countless anonymous works throughout history. I have long admired a Japanese folding screen at the Ashmolean. Who the artist is nobody knows, and I’m sure many such items were churned out over the years, the creator’s forever forgotten, yet their work lives on, still admired to this day. In my eyes their art is worth no less than that of an artist whose name has become famous.
Michael Dale: John Williams, because through his film scores he has done more to inspire and move me than any other musician. E.T.! Jaws! Star Wars! Jurassic Park! Schindler’s List! Superman! Indiana Jones!
Proust: Intelligence, moral sense
Michael Dale: I have to agree with Proust and say intelligence. I’ll add modesty if I may!
Proust: Gentleness, naturalness, intelligence
Michael Dale: The same answer as for a man.
Proust: All virtues that are not limited to a sect: the universal virtues
Michael Dale: Honesty. I believe most of life’s complications are caused either because we are dishonest with ourselves or with others.
Proust: Reading, dreaming, and writing verse
Michael Dale: Writing novels and screenplays
Proust: Since the question does not arise, I prefer not to answer it. All the same, I should very much have liked to be Pliny the Younger.
Michael Dale: I haven’t finished being myself yet, and who knows how my life will ultimately compare to those I admire. At a push I would admit to being jealous of Steven Spielberg’s life and achievements within one of my favourite media. But if I was him, I couldn’t have been me and enjoyed his output. On a completely different note Archimedes achieved so much it’s hard to say I wouldn’t want to have been him. Though I’d have to die at the hands of a Roman Soldier, so I wouldn’t look forward to that.
You can find more here – Local people answer the Proust Questionnaire
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