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Local people answer the Proust Questionnaire

Judy Mansfield 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: Judy Mansfield
Date the questions were answered: 24 February 2016
Age: 57
Village / Town / City you live in: Long Itchington, Warwickshire
Occupation: Civil Celebrant

Judy Mansfield answers the Proust Questionnaire

The questions include Marcel Proust’s answers

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Proust: To be separated from Mama

Judy Mansfield: Loneliness

Where would you like to live?

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

Judy Mansfield: Having moved so much in my life, I’m pretty much a ‘wherever I lay my hat’ person, making my home wherever I am – although I do have a secret hankering for Shropshire, where I grew up.

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

Judy Mansfield: A clear conscience, a sense of a job well done, good friends

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?

Proust: To a life deprived of the works of genius

Judy Mansfield: I puzzled over what this meant! What does it mean?? I guess my answer is ‘not understanding the question’! Seriously, I am easily hurt, and never seem to get the knack of toughening up….

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

Judy Mansfield: Atticus Finch

Who are your favourite characters in history?

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

Judy Mansfield: Winston Churchill – a leader of his time, despite his faults. He is also an excellent writer; clear and precise.

Who are your favourite heroines in real life?

Proust: A woman of genius leading an ordinary life

Judy Mansfield: Women who have made a difference: Jeanne d’Arc and Malala Yousafzai

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

Judy Mansfield: Minnie the Minx . Amelie

Your favourite painter?

Proust: Meissonier

Judy Mansfield: I love art. Especially Turner and Monet. Impressionists do it for me. And in complete contrast, I like Margaret Loxton, Beryl Cook and Jilly Ballantyne

Your favourite musician?

Proust: Mozart

Judy Mansfield: Im so lucky to hear beautiful music in my job. I love Beethoven and I am learning to like Rutter, since I joined a choir. Any thing by the 3 tenors… I love André Rieu, and I adore a piece composed, surprisingly, by the actor Antony Hopkins called ‘And the Waltz Goes On’

The quality you most admire in a man?

Proust: Intelligence, moral sense

Judy Mansfield: Kindness, Compassion

The quality you most admire in a woman?

Proust: Gentleness, naturalness, intelligence

Judy Mansfield: Kindness, Compassion – no difference between men and women in my answer

Your favourite virtue?

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

Judy Mansfield: Integrity

Your favourite occupation?

Proust: Reading, dreaming, and writing verse

Judy Mansfield: Writing, walking, wine.

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.

Judy Mansfield: Exactly who I am. Although if you had asked me that when I was younger, I would have answered very differently. We gain acceptance of ourselves as we get older, I think.
If I had to choose someone, it would be someone like Hitler – and I would have ensured he was kind and gentle, and made different choices.

Local people answer the Proust Questionnaire.

Thank you Judy.

Judy is an award winning Civil Celebrant. You can find out what that means right here on Judy’s website www.cherish-ceremonies.co.uk/

 


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