How Proust Can Change Your Life

by Alain de Botton

Honestly I know very little of Proust’s work, just that he wrote sentences a mile long, so I am certainly not reading it because I am a fan. I do, however, find the book interestingly written enough that for someone unfamiliar with Proust and his work.

As I read on, I was thinking that maybe as the author and Proust himself suggested, an author’s book can be more interesting than the real person as it is a distillation of his best idea; and I certainly began to feel that I won’t particularly want to meet Proust himself. While he has keen insight of nature and mankind, his writings give me much to muse about, his personality doesn’t sound too pleasing. So I was somewhat surprised that Proust friends speak so highly of him, and I found it endearing that he could devote full attention to whoever he is speaking to and never consider people too lowly for conversation. Most people can certainly benefit from his example.

As an introvert booklover, I also find most amusing Proust’s comment that he considers book superior companion to human friends. If a book is boring, you can give a loud yawn, slap the book shut and shove it back onto the shelf without any guilt or apology.

Published in: on October 1, 2008 at 2:35 am  Leave a Comment  

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