Louis Aragon 1961

Louis Aragon – The Proust Questionnaire

Source: Livres de France, January 1961;
Translated: by Mitch Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2007

Made famous by Marcel Proust, this questionnaire has been a staple of the French literary scene for the better part of a century.

What, for you, is the depths of misery?


Where would you like to live?


Of what faults are you indulgent?

If I’m indulgent towards something that passes for a fault that’s only because I don’t consider it one.

Who are your favorite heroes in novels?

Gil Blas, Julien Sorel, Mme Arnoux, Michel Vigaud, Pavel Korchagin

Who is your favorite historical character?

Saint Just

Your heroines in real life?

Elsa [Triolet – his wife]

Your favorite painter?


Your favorite musician?


Your favorite quality in a man?


Your favorite quality in a woman?

That which makes her superior to a man.

Your favorite virtue?

Favored over what? In who? In general or in me? You make me want to say “discretion.”

Your favorite occupation?


What would you have liked to be?

Anyone else.

What is my principal character trait?

I leave it to you (I suppose you’re talking about my character, and not yours, and so on)

What I appreciate the most in my friends?

I have no friends; there are only those I love.

My principal defect?

I don’t know which one to prefer.

My dream of happiness?

The dream of happiness.

What would be my greatest unhappiness?

Be quiet.

What would I like to be?

Strong enough to change the world with my hands.

My favorite color?

The sky, and we know why.

The flower I love?

The rose, foolishly.

My favorite bird?

The one that flies.

My favorite prose authors?

Chretien de Troyes, Peire Vidal, Petrarch, Racine, Dryden,Keats, Pushkin, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, Hugo, Rimbaid, Charles Cros, henry Bataille, Mayakovsky, Eluard, etc.

My heroes in real life?

Babeuf, Dimitrov

My heroines in history?

Danielle Casanova.

My favorite names?

Elsa, Elsa, Elsa.

What I hate above all?


Historical characters I hate the most?

There are many.

The military act I admire the most?


The reform I admire the most?

I don’t understand what you’re talking about.

The natural gift I would like to have?

Making myself understood.

How I would like to die?


The present state of my spirit?

A state in a state.

My motto?

You must be fooling...