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Banburyshire Info have resurrected the Proust Questionnaire and have invited Jo Robinson to answer some of the Proust Questions.

Businesswomen Jo Robinson, ponders her meanings of life.

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: Jo Robinson
Date questions answered: 21st March 2016
Age: 43
Village / Town / City you live in: Farnborough, Banbury
Occupation: Owner of The Kitchen, Farnborough and Indulgence Boutique Catering

Business Women Jo Robinson, ponders her meanings of life.

The questions include Marcel Proust’s answers

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery

Proust: To be separated from Mama

Jo Robinson: Dry January and dieting at the same time

Where would you like to live?

Proust: In the country of the Ideal, or, rather, of my ideal

Jo Robinson: By the sea, somewhere sunny, probably in the Med that has fabulous food and drink

What is your idea of earthly happiness?

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

Jo Robinson: Sharing a table of delicious food and drink with my family (some of them!) and friends ….. a pattern emerges!

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?

Proust: To a life deprived of the works of genius

Jo Robinson: to be deprived of laughter

Who are your favourite heroes of fiction?

Proust: Those of romance and poetry, those who are the expression of an ideal rather than an imitation of the real

Jo Robinson: Those that are strong leaders with empathy

Who are your favourite characters in history?

Proust: A mixture of Socrates, Pericles, Mahomet, Pliny the Younger and Augustin Thierry

Jo Robinson: Henry VIII, Queen Victoria and Coco Chanel

Who are your favourite heroines in real life?

Proust: A woman of genius leading an ordinary life

Jo Robinson: Women who successfully juggle working life whilst raising a family and manage to still look gorgeous! And my lovely Mum.

Who are your favourite heroines of fiction?

Proust: Those who are more than women without ceasing to be womanly; everything that is tender, poetic, pure and in every way beautiful

Jo Robinson: There are too many to mention but most recently Sunny in The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez

Your favourite painter?

Proust: Meissonier

Jo Robinson: All of the Impressionists but especially Degas.

Your favourite musician?

Proust: Mozart

Jo Robinson: Oh wow! I can’t mention one – I love all genres of music but most love to hear my daughter singing and playing the flute.

The quality you most admire in a man?

Proust: Intelligence, moral sense

Jo Robinson: Strength of character, ambition and bravery with an ability to have a lot of fun – infact, perfectly sums up my husband!

The quality you most admire in a woman?

Proust: Gentleness, naturalness, intelligence

Jo Robinson: Kindness, loyalty, honesty and the ability to let her hair down!

Your favourite virtue?

Proust: All virtues that are not limited to a sect: the universal virtues

Jo Robinson: Loyalty

Your favourite occupation?

Proust: Reading, dreaming, and writing verse

Jo Robinson: Eating and drinking in the sunshine – no surprise there!

Who would you have liked to be?

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.

Jo Robinson: I would like to have been an adviser to Prime Ministers – I think they make lousy decisions at times and are surrounded by sycophants with no concept of the real world.

Jo has recently appeared on the Banburyshire Show

A beguiling interview with North West Banburyshire correspondent Peter Evan Jones. You can hear what Jo said (on podcasts) via this link The Banburyshire Show 5th May 2016


Local people answer the Proust Questionnaire;

You can find more here – Local people answering the Proust Questionnaire


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