Of course I know about Proust's Questionnaire since I was 14 years old, I just did not know it's associated with him.
There were some memories albums (read: notebooks) we used to circulate in our 8th grade to all our classmates. Kids would answer a number of questions, some stolen from bellow, I assume, some added as per our personal interests. The most fun section, since we were all kids facing the scary prospect of adolescence, feeling the first unquestionably romantic heartbeats, writing the first (bad) poems (mine were not love sonnets, but hate rhymes: I hate you for this and that, and I hope you will die, or I will die, or somebody will die...), were the last ones. In order.
One question per page:
1. Hi (following by a list of hi-backs)
2. Your name:
3. Your age: ....
from here on, you had to follow a specific hand writing associated with a number in the list, the source of your interest, and see what he/she is like. Obviously nobody cared what's the girl with big glasses or the boy with freckles favorite anything.
4. Favorite flower
5. Favorite car...
blah blah blah...
Painful exercise of replying to questions about shoes, style, actress, movies, books, writers, poets, foods, a dissection of your preferences, written in color pencils, in pink, in blue, in black, underlined, embellished, big, small, cursive, detailed, in a hurry, bored, in iambic verse, using your creativity to stand out, until the last and most important pages:
569. Are you in love?
570. With whom? (the really smart-asses would say: "yes, with a girl/boy", not dignifying your genuine curiosity with a straight-foreword answer; or, if you wanted to make an impression: "with somebody from college" - that would be smart+bad-ass. The courageous ones will get almost too adventurous: George (Maria) from 8A (8th grade, class A.) And then poor George(Maria) will pay for the creepy honesty of answerer #27 until the last day of his/her class, being mocked and pocked by their intellectually and emotionally underdeveloped peers.
Everyone had one page at the end of the notebook to write whatever they had in mind, usually something translatable in "Roses are red, Violets are ...well...violet", Picassonian drawings, quotes and references, and the mandatory secret (usually a girl exclusive exercise) in the lower-right corner, carefully sealed with duck-tape or hot pink wax, something dumb, sometimes not even a mystery, other times just a not-so-shy lips stamp wearing the color of mom's lipstick. Guys would not mess up with the corners, for having secrets was seen very unmanly.
I don't know if this was exclusively Romanian, but if that's so, I can make the following claim:
We invented Facebook. Period.
But, outside the Facebook age, we were not the only one filling out "My fav X" type of questionnaires, and seeing Proust's amused my Friday afternoon, reason for which I share:
(1)Cristina and (2)Proust