David Bowie's Answers To This Personality Test Prove He Was Truly Amazing

by Anna Menta
TriStar Pictures

There is a tendency to over-idolize public figures in the wakes of their deaths, but I really do not believe this is the case with David Bowie — he was truly one of the greats.

If the thousands of people celebrating his influence and sharing their deep grief over his death on Sunday haven't convinced you of this, perhaps a more intimate insight into his mind will.

In an issue of Vanity Fair from 1998, David Bowie answered a series of personality questions, known as the Proust Questionnaire, designed by French writer Marcel Proust.

Bowie's answers range from witty one-liners to profound poetry. Here are some stand-out answers from the questionnaire, but you can read the full version here.

David Bowie was happy with a book in hand...

What is your idea of perfect happiness?


...perhaps explaining why he considered this the best quality in a man.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

The ability to return books.

His favorite women, on the other hand, possessed a very specific kind of talent.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

The ability to burp on command.

His greatest regret? Missing out on a groovy fashion trend. Might have dodged a bullet there, David.

What is your greatest regret?

That I never wore bellbottoms.

His answer to this question about historical figures is just priceless.

What historical figure do you most identify with?

Santa Claus.

Being wiser than most of us, he eloquently summed up "misery" in three words.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Living in fear.

And his greatest fear is so legit. I would like to apologize to David and all Brits for America still not using the metric system.

What is your greatest fear?

Converting kilometers to miles.

New Yorkers will sympathize with his relationship to his long-time home.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

While in New York, tolerance.

Outside New York, intolerance.

But, his answer to this question may have been the most profound of them all.

What is your favorite journey?

The road of artistic excess.

RIP, David Bowie. May your next journey be even more incredible than the one you left behind with us.

Citations: David Bowie Answers the Famous Proust Questionnaire (Brain Pickings)