Sunday, March 30, 2008

Can you repeat the question?

What do Vanity Fair, Quincy Jones, Ellen Degeneres, Deepish Thoughts, and American Express have in common?

Marcel Proust. Duh.

I just got a copy of The Proust Questionnaire, a slim blue book with a survey popularized by the French writer and designed to measure the thoughts and desires of its respondents. It's where the idea for the current AmEx campaign came from, as well as the interviews in the back of Vanity Fair each month. The book has Proust's answers from different times in his life, answers from other writers and celebrities, and blank pages so you can record your own responses.

Here's a snippet of my interview with Rob:

Me: Your chief characteristic?

Rob: Smelly.

Me: What?

Rob: What’s the question?

Me: What is your chief characteristic?

Rob: Ohhh. I thought you said cheese characteristic. I don’t have one. I’m well-rounded.


Colleen Snell said...

Don't forget James Lipton is a proud user of the Proust questionnaire...and those celebrities could use a little creativity in their answers sometimes.

Nina said...

Doesn't that make being "well-rounded" his chief characteristic? Even if Rob doesn't acknowledge it as his "chief characteristic", I congratulate him. "Well-rounded" is definitely better than "smelly". . . On a side note, after "Little Miss Sunshine" I have to admit that I just can't embrace Proust as perhaps I once would have. . .