Today it’s easy to know what’s on your friends’ minds just by looking at FB and Twitter and What’sApp. But, back in the 19th century in England, people collected their friends’ ideas in an autograph book. Instead of having blank pages for recording thoughts and poetry, these books had a series of questions. A person’s answers to the questions revealed their ideas, aspirations and deeper personality traits.
One of the most famous of these is the Proust Questionnaire. The French writer and essayist Marcel Proust recorded his answers, in English, in a friend’s book. This book was auctioned for €102,000 in 2003.
Use of these books and questions has survived to the present day. In Holland and Germany they are called Friendship books. The magazine Vanity Fair uses a rendition of the Proust Questionnaire to interview celebrities. We thought we’d use a mini-version to interview our own celebrities, like HR Managers, students and teachers, starting with Peter Gardiner, Director and Head of HR at Go English:
What’s your favorite virtue?
What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
Tolerance of my obnoxiousness
What is your main fault?
What is your idea of happiness?
To sleep for a thousand years
What is your idea of misery?
In jail with James (my business partner)
Who is your hero?
Who is the historical figure you most admire?
What is the natural talent you would like to have?
To play the piano
What is the trait you most detest in others?
What achievement of your own are you most proud of?
My children, Emma and Dani
How do you want to die?
Out of the blue
What is your motto?
He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day
What do you think?
Who would you like to see interviewed next?