How Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain de Botton

proust

The word ‘literature review’ will send most former students’ eyes rolling toward the back of their heads. But, as I discovered with philosopher Alain de Botton’s How Proust Can Change Your Life, the number one international bestselling literature review (and so much more) of Marcel Proust’s work, In Search of Lost Time, these things needn’t be mindbogglingly dull after all.

Alain de Botton’s superb, crisp and thoughtful approach to writing makes Marcel Proust’s 4,000+ page, seven-volume novel something I might want to read (over the course of a few years).

Botton breaks down Proust’s work (and life) into nine lessons: how to love life today, how to ready for yourself, how to take your time, how to suffer successfully, how to express your emotions, how to be a good friend, how to open your eyes, how to be happy in love, and how to put books down.

This set of lessons not only paints a brilliant portrait of a man I knew little about before picking up this book, but also provides a manual for thoughtful living.

[Picador, 1997]

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