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Local people answer the Proust Questionnaire

Holistic therapist Lesley Nell, 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: Lesley Nell
Date questions answered: 9th March 2016
Age: 60 +
Village / Town / City you live in: Shotteswell

Occupation: Retired teacher, now a holistic therapist. Green Shoots Health

Holistic therapist Lesley Nell 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

Lesley Nell: To be separated from my family – husband, son, daughter-in-law and gorgeous grandson

Where would you like to live?

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

Lesley Nell: Nearer to our son and his family, but spending some of the winter months in warmer climes.

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

Lesley Nell: Living near my family, in a pretty area, in regular contact with my friends, being able to enjoy social occasions together, take part in my favourite leisure activities, travelling to interesting places, enjoying the beauty of the UK and to be able to use my skills in volunteering roles.

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?

Proust: To a life deprived of the works of genius

Lesley Nell: Day dreaming, reading

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

Lesley Nell: Those who can turn an ugly situation into a positive outcome.

Who are your favourite characters in history?

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

Lesley Nell: Emmeline Pankhurst, Jane Austen, Marie Curie to name a few notable women.

Who are your favourite heroines in real life?

Proust: A woman of genius leading an ordinary life

Lesley Nell: Women who pioneer change or see a gap in the community and do something about it.

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

Lesley Nell: I agree with Proust

Your favourite painter?

Proust: Meissonier

Lesley Nell: Turner

Your favourite musician?

Proust: Mozart

Lesley Nell: Evelyn Glennie

The quality you most admire in a man?

Proust: Intelligence, moral sense

Lesley Nell: Intelligence, compassion, good sense of humour and integrity

The quality you most admire in a woman?

Proust: Gentleness, naturalness, intelligence

Lesley Nell: A sense of how they wish to use their talents to benefit humanity

Your favourite virtue?

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

Lesley Nell: Patience

Your favourite occupation?

Proust: Reading, dreaming, and writing verse

Lesley Nell: Walking in the sunshine in a beautiful place, reading, being with my grandson

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.

Lesley Nell: Beatrix Potter


Local people answer the Proust Questionnaire;

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


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