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Alain de Botton combines two unlikely genres--literary biography and self-help manual--in the hilarious and unexpectedly practical How Proust Can Change Your Life.Who would have thought that Marcel Proust, one of the most important writers of our century, could provide us with such a rich source of insight into how best to live life? Proust understood that the essence andAlain de Botton combines two unlikely genres--literary biography and self-help manual--in the hilarious and unexpectedly practical How Proust Can Change Your Life.Who would have thought that Marcel Proust, one of the most important writers of our century, could provide us with such a rich source of insight into how best to live life? Proust understood that the essence and value of life was the sum of its everyday parts. As relevant today as they were at the turn of the century, Proust's life and work are transformed here into a no-nonsense guide to, among other things, enjoying your vacation, reviving a relationship, achieving original and unclichéd articulation, being a good host, recognizing love, and understanding why you should never sleep with someone on a first date. It took de Botton to find the inspirational in Proust's essays, letters and fiction and, perhaps even more surprising, to draw out a vivid and clarifying portrait of the master from between the lines of his work.Here is Proust as we have never seen or read him before: witty, intelligent, pragmatic. He might well change your life....

Title : How Proust Can Change Your Life
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ISBN : 9780679779155
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 208 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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How Proust Can Change Your Life Reviews

  • Matt Evans
    2018-11-01 08:29

    My wife and I fell in love reading this book together (way back in September/October 2002). I don't know what anyone else will think of this book, but I'll never enjoy reading a book more. B and I left a note on Proust's grave when we visited Paris on our honeymoon. He is the (gay) patron saint of our marital union. Here's my best advice: read this book with a loved one.

  • Caroline
    2018-10-30 08:41

    At the risk of horrifying Proust aficionados I must admit that I did not read this book as a precursor to reading Proust, or even as a pleasurable supplement to his writings, but rather I read it instead of reading Proust. I have tried Proust in the past and I have failed.Well, this book has come to my rescue, and I loved it. Not only did Alain de Botten explore and celebrate Proust's foibles and philosophies as a writer - he also gave us a fascinating picture of the man. We warm to Proust, we are charmed by him, and we are intrigued. I think this book has done Proust a great service - making him accessible to those of us who are otherwise barred from his writings. And it is not only a book for blockheads like me. It has been much admired by writers and journalists across the spectrum - so I think it's a book to be enjoyed by everyone.Herewith a horribly condensed list of some of Proust's ideas (I don't know how I have the nerve to do this!) (view spoiler)[1) When we look at people in pictures, or read about them, we connect them to people we already know. For instance he says "One cannot read a novel without ascribing to the heroine the traits of the one we love." We also recognise ourselves in books. This enables us to feel at home everywhere, even in things written or painted four centuries ago. ""We expand the range of places in which we feel at home". This experience of fictional characters gives us a hugely expanded picture of human behaviour. We learn to consider normal, thoughts and feelings that are unmentioned in our immediate environment. 2) Books articulate things that we have experienced but cannot put into words.3) An author can make us conscious of things we were not conscious of before, from the shades of colour in a sky to the hypocrisy of a friend.4) When Proust couldn't sleep he read train timetables - 'these were read and enjoyed as though they were a gripping novel about country life. The mere names of provincial stations provided Proust's imagination with material to elaborate entire worlds.'5) He believed it was the books themselves, not the way authors lived their lives that mattered. Balzac may have been ill-mannered, Stendhal conversationally dull and Baudelaire obsessive, but why should this colour our approach to their works?6) He said that we don't become properly observant unless we experience suffering and distress. For instance only someone who has experienced insomnia will know about sleep. Not everyone learns from suffering, sometime people just develop a carapace or become neurotic, but some people gain wisdom. This would certainly seem to be reflected in Proust's own life.7) He was upset by the misuse of language, like people using pretentious words to try and appear clever. He also felt that many people did not explain things properly, e.g., a friend of his came out of a Beethoven's Choral symphony concert going "poum, poum, poum" and then said "That's a wonderful bit!" Proust laughed and said "But, my dear Lucien, it's not your poum, poum, poum that's going to convey this wonderfulness! It would be better to try and explain it." Or we see the pyramids at Giza and go "That's nice". We ask these sounds or phrases to account for an experience, but their poverty prevents either us or our interlocutors from really understanding what we have lived through. We stay on the outside of our impressions, as if staring through a frosted window, superficially relating to them, yet estranged.He also felt that clichés should not be used. It is not that they contain false ideas, but rather they are superficial articulations of very good ones. Clichés are detrimental insofar as they inspire us to believe that they adequately describe a situation while merely grazing its surface. This matters. The way we speak is ultimately linked to the way we feel - because how we describe the world must at some level reflect how we first experience it.8) Proust was very popular and had many friends. He was renowned for being a sociable and genial host, a good listener, and was incredibly generous with gifts. He was also very thoughtful and polite. Yet in his writings he wrote caustically about friendship. He felt on the one hand that friendship was riddled with white lies and insincere gestures, that people are hampered by a variety of pettinesses, and he felt that talking with people was a futile pastime. On the other hand he acknowledges that he needs people and he needs affection. So in spite of the limitations of friendship he nevertheless relished it. He argued that those with negative views of friendship are actually more thoughtful friends.9) He felt that writing on the other hand, with the endless thinking that creates it, and the endless editing that gets it right - is a fine form of self-expression. Unlike conversation between people, it allows for the blossoming of our deepest selves. 10) He believed that long term relationships led to the people in them becoming bored, and they were enlivened by experiences of jealousy. 11) He thought that books were marvellous vehicles for awakening us to all sort of new ideas and experiences, but they could only go so far. At some point we have to put books down and think for ourselves.12) He thought we had to appreciate the spirit of a writer, rather than practice 'artistic idolatry' and get obsessed with objects and details to do with the writer or their books. Many people visit the town that Proust used to go to for his holidays, and wrote about - Illiers-Combray - but this is the wrong way of lauding Proust. A genuine homage to him would be to look at OUR world through his eyes, not to look at his world through our eyes. (hide spoiler)]I got a lot of pleasure from this book, and Proust has become a much stronger figure for me - which is exactly what I wanted. One gets a very rounded picture of the man. I thought it was a great read.

  • Foad
    2018-10-18 12:15

    می گن سعی کنید زیارت بدون معرفت نکنید، سعی کنید جایگاه مَزور رو بشناسید.به خاطر همین، من هم بلافاصله بعد از تموم کردن جلد اول "در جستجوی" رفتم و این کتاب رو خریدم که پروست خوانی بی معرفت نکنم. بدونم دنبال چه مضامینی باشم و چشمم برای چه نکاتی تیز باشه. قبلاً ریویوهای مثبت زیادی ازش خونده بودم، و یکی دو تا تجربۀ قبلی م از دوباتن تجربه های خوبی بودن. این شد که بی معطلی خریدم و همون روز شروع به خوندنش کردم.پروست بدون خوندن این کتاب هم به خودی خود بی اندازه آموزنده هست، اما خوندن این کتاب (و کتاب های مشابه) باعث می شه آدم توجهش به نکات و مضمون هایی که پروست داره مطرح می کنه بیشتر جلب بشه. کتاب هم راجع به زندگی خود پروست صحبت می کنه و اطلاعات خیلی جالبی می ده، و هم راجع به نظرات پروست. پروست فقط یه داستانگو نیست. علاوه بر داستانگویی (و در ضمن داستانگویی) سعی می کنه دید جدیدی از زندگی رو به روی آدم باز کنه، و نوع نگاه کردن آدم رو تغییر بده. این کتاب اومده و این دیدگاه های جدید پروست رو از رمان درآورده و به صورت مستقل با مثال های جذاب فراوان توضیح داده.حتی اگه قصد خوندن "در جستجوی" رو هم ندارید، باز این کتاب رو توصیه می کنم. این یه کتاب مستقله، و برای فهمیدن و لذت بردن و استفاده کردن ازش، نیازی نیست کتاب "در جستجوی" رو خونده باشید یا قصد داشته باشید بخونید.

  • FeReSHte
    2018-10-21 13:29

    پروست با اون هفت جلد کتاب مشهورش لااقل برای من کلی اسرار آمیز و دست نیافتنی به نظر میاد. به خاطر همینه که تو کتابفروشی ممکنه با خودتون بگین درسته "در جستجوی زمان از دست رفته" رو حالا حالاها نمی تونم بخونم ولی "پروست چگونه می تواند زندگی شما را دگرگون کند" رو که میشه خوندبا خیال راحت میشه اثر پروست رو نخوند و سراغ این کتاب رفت. دوباتن زبان شیرین و روانی داره. هم خلاصه ای از اثر بزرگ پروست رو در اختیار خواننده قرار میده و نکاتش رو با زندگی شخصی امروزی ما انطباق میده و گونه ای عملی و کاربردی بهشون میده و هم به سراغ زیر و بم و جزئی ترین مسائل زندگی پروست میرهدوباتن در نه فصل و با استناد به زندگی شخصی پروست و مطالب برگرفته از آثار عظیم و فراموش ناشدنیش میگه چطور میشه زندگی رو دوست داشت،دوست خوبی بود، عاشق شادی بود، مطالعه ی مفید داشت، رنج کشید و موفق بود و ...کتاب ترجمه ی شیرینی هم داره و خوندنش پیشنهاد میشهبا کلی ذوق و شوق پیش به سوی بقیه آثار آقای دوباتن عزیز ^_^

  • Zanna
    2018-11-07 08:29

    With the gentlest possible mockery, de Botton makes a compelling case for celebrating and learning from an unlikely teacher: Marcel Proust. Here is some of his adviceLive passionately because we might die any timeLook for the familiar in art; be sensitised by it and improve your ability to notice and describe, and thus be at home everywhere; expand understanding of people's emotional depthsLearn from suffering, relish the insight it offers, use it to growBe honest about your feelings and attempt to describe them authentically, striving for an original language that reflects the multidimensional and unique nature of them. Thus enlarge you notion of normality and thus expand. Break with cliche, strive to experience the world authenticallyApproach the news humanly, look beyond compression of stories. Take time and do justiceInsincerity to friends is to some extent necessary, because there is a gap between the negative thoughts we can endure having and those our friends can endure hearingSay the unsayable in unsent letters... or novels!Conversations should be selfless and interested in others; it is haphazard, fleeting and ultimately superficial, so our own selves are better explored in other mediaArt helps us to find beauty; it sensitises us; this is why images close to our lives help us to appreciate the world anew.In Shikasta Doris Lessing's extraterrestrial protagonist describes Proust as a great sociologist and anthropologist, which chimes with de Botton's view. The pressure is on me to actually read Proust, but I just can't bear it, I can't let go of my desperation for writing to go somewhere, with some pace, or at least mesmerise me with eloquence, like Woolf's 'The Waves'.

  • Mevsim Yenice
    2018-11-02 13:33

    Okurken gülümseten, oldukça keyifli bir kitap. Proust okumadan önce okunursa Proust merakınızı, sempatinizi artıracağından eminim.

  • صان
    2018-11-06 07:19

    قلم دوباتن همیشه خوب و گیرا و نکته‌سنجه. توی این کتاب با پروست آشنات می‌کنه و چیز یاد می‌ده بهت. من شاید بیش از هر چیز از نوع نگاه کردن توی این کتاب خوشم اومد. راه درست نگاه کردن رو باید تمرین کرد و یاد گرفت. شاید تنها راه نجات از افسردگی همین باشه (+یکم سیتالوپرام)علاوه بر همه اینها، میل زیادی برای خوندن جستجوی زمان از دست رفته بهم داد. یه روزی همین نزدیکیا می‌خونمش. امید داریم!

  • Daniel
    2018-10-26 07:35

    A few years ago someone pointed out to me that the words "envy" and "jealousy" mean slightly different things; in the first case, the word implies only that you want something someone else has, whereas the second also includes the idea that you have a just claim to the desired object. Having said that, I would say that I am jealous of Alain de Botton rather than envying him; I mean, does this guy say anything deeper than what I spout off after a few glasses of wine? This little book contains such gems as the observation that the problem with cliches is not that they express falsehoods but that they express truths in ways that have been said too often already before. Might one even say hackneyed or overused? (Actually, I don't think I would bother to say this except after many glasses of wine.) Or another insight: often our desires are not nearly as pleasurable if we satisfy them immediately but bring anticipatory joy if we delay gratification. My friend David had a pool, and he used to love to get out and wait in the sun for a few minutes so that he would enjoy the water more when he got back in. Perhaps he should write a book? I have never read Marcel Proust, but I can only hope that his observations are more profound than what this distillation offers.

  • مروان البلوشي
    2018-10-20 15:44

    تكمن جاذبية كتاب "كيف يستطيع مارسيل بروست ان يغير حياتك" في كونه يخلط الفكر العميق بأدق تفاصيل مشاعرنا مع تحرر الكاتب من أي رهبة أو زيف يجبره على التمثيل بأنه مثقف نخبوي يترفع عن النزول لمستوى الناس العاديين. أو ادعاء أنه مصلح تنويري أو اجتماعي او إداري يحمل في جعبته خير البشرية .. وهذه في الحقيقة، ميزة الكاتب آلان دي بوتون. اشتهر آلان دو بوتون في أوروبا الغربية بكونه أحد نجوم الجيل الجديد من الكتاب الذين استطاعوا إرجاع الشباب هناك (جيل MTV والماكدونالدز.....الخ) إلى القراءة الجادة، مستلهمين في ذلك تقاليد قديمة في الثقافة الغربية بدأت مع الكاتب الفرنسي ميشيل دي مونتين في القرن السادس عشر الميلادي.لكن من هو مارسيل بروست الذي يتمحور حوله هذا الكتاب؟ مارسيل بروست هو أحد أهم كتاب الرواية في القرن العشرين (وربما كل العصور). عالم الأدب يتذكر بروست نتيجة لرواية واحدة فقط، وهي بالطبع : البحث عن الزمن الضائع. نقول باختصار أن الرواية تتناول موضوع طبيعة الزمن والوقت وأثره على الناس والحياة وذاكرة من يعيش معهم. أما أسلوبها فهو صعب حقاً، فقد تمتد الجملة الواحدة لفقرات عديدة وربما بضعة صفحات داخل الكتاب ..تخيل؟؟! ولكن ما يغفر لهذا الكتاب هو جماله المطلق، قدرته على القبض على اللحظة الآنية بدون إفلاتها، (بالإضافة لأسباب أخرى) وهذا ما دفع العديدين من الروائيين في الأجيال اللاحقة لقراءة العمل مراراً وتكراراً، وإعلان امتنانهم لمارسيل بروست.أما كتاب آلان دو بوتون، فيتميز بحجمه الصغير، وجمله السهلة والمباشرة. ولأن دو بوتون كاتب ذكي يعيش بيننا في هذا الزمن فهو يعلم تمام العلم بأن كتب التنمية الذاتية والإدارية تلاقي رواجاً كبيراً عند غالبية القراء في كل أنحاء العالم. لذا يقوم بإسقاط أبرز تعاليم (إن صح التعبير) كتب التنمية الذاتية على حياة الكاتب الكبير والصعب والنخبوي والذي لم يفهمه أحد في حياته مارسيل بروست. يتكون الكتاب من تسعة فصول، يحمل كل منها عنواناً يذكرك بعناوين كتب د. صلاح الراشد، أو ستيفن كوفي، أو إبراهيم الفقي وغيرهم من مشاهير التنمية الذاتية. فالفصل الثاني يحمل عنوان "كيف تكون صديقاً جيداً" والفصل الثامن "كيف تكون سعيداً في الحب"، وكل منها يقوم بإثبات العكس من حياة مارسيل بروست بطريقة كوميدية وسلسة وعميقة فكرياً، في آن واحد.هدف هذا الكتاب هو منحنا شيئاً من التهكم والضحك (ولو قليلاً) على عبارات وأفكار التنمية الذاتية .. هل يجب علينا أن نكون جيدين ورائعين وحلوين طول الوقت؟ ... الكاتب يقول لا .. ويجعلك تقتنع معه.يحمل أحد الفصول هذا العنوان الغريب "كيف تتعذب بنجاح في حياتك؟" أما الفصل الأخير فهو أشد غرابة إذ يحمل هذا العنوان "كيف ترمي الكتب جانبا؟" .. أعتقد أن القارئ سوف يستمتع ويضحك ويفكر بعمق مع آلان دي بوتون حول معنى الحياة والنجاح والألم والحب والفشل....الخ .. بعيداً عن كل ما تعود أن يتم حشو رأسه به.يختتم آلان دي بوتون كتابه بملاحظة سوف تسعد ولا شك كل عشاق الأدب الرفيع .. يقول دي بوتون أننا نستطيع في عصرنا هذا، عصر البساطة والسطحية وتسهيل كل شي، عصر النفور من العمق والذكاء .. نستطيع أن نستعين بالأدب لنحسن حياتنا ونكون بشراً أفضل.

  • Jon
    2018-10-22 09:21

    Written by Alain de Botton, How Proust Can Change Your Life is something of a conundrum. The book is at once a piece of literary criticism and a self-help book, and at the same time neither of those. That is, it analyzes the literature and life of Marcel Proust and is structured in the regular "how to" fashion of self-help manuals (with chapter titles such as "How to Suffer Successfully" and "How to Be a Good Friend"), but unlike most contemporary literary criticism it is written for a public audience, and unlike most self-help books, How Proust Can Change Your Life carries only faint strains of didactic, shallow assuredness.This rare genre—literary criticism for the public—is terrific. While de Botton's book may be a turn-off to those expecting rigorous scholarship and those expecting a Dr. Phil imitation, this genre is needed, and contemporary literary scholars should take de Botton's efforts seriously.Literary criticism is currently a pinched genre. It is always rigorous, frequently pedantic, and seldom accessible to the public. It is a genre that, for better and worse, stays around mainly because literary critics are required to publish or perish. Literary criticism is in one sense not unlike cookbooks: necessary to have around, unnecessary to have so much of it around.It follows, then, that literary critics who really want to change the world with their writing would offer to the public new ways of looking at the best literature, as de Botton does in his book. His insights are fresh, humorous and quite compelling. His book is beneficial for the public at large.Such writing would admittedly not be a project for everyone, and I can see how too much attention to capitalistic markets could soften the expected rigor of literary scholarship, but a host of books in this vein—comic and colloquial and accurate—could collectively bring about a needed change in contemporary readership. Expanded review/commentary here.

  • Edward
    2018-10-25 14:44

    I just read that Oscar Wilde, when asked to provide a list of the “100 greatest books”, divided the list into three categories: books to be read, books to be reread, and books (overly praised) to be avoided at all costs. After 15 years I just REREAD de Botton’s book, and I can report that it’s definitely worth putting in the second category. As expected, I had forgotten much of my first reading, and now I’m trying to decide if de Botton’s nine chapter headings, each beginning with “How to” is a sendup of self-help books, or if the author is trying to a take a genre, full of extravagant claims that usually fall short, and transcend it, writing a self-help book that REALLY WORKS.With one caveat, I’d say that de Botton is successful, perhaps not in dramatically changing anyone’s life, if by that we mean health, wealth, or fame.. He guesses that Proust would probably say to anyone who spends too much time in praising his masterpiece, IN SEARCH OF TIME PAST , that his writing is a means to an end, not an end in itself. “Reading is on the threshold of the spiritual life; it can introduce us to it: it does not constitute it.” And by a “spiritual life” is meant a thoughtful contemplative state of mind. De Botton’s last words, warning of making too much of any book, are, “Even the finest books deserve to be thrown aside.” The nine chapter headings speak for themselves: How To Love Life Today, How to Read 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, How To Put Books Down. Interestingly, many of the details of what Proust thought on these matters, de Botton furnishes, not from his IN SEARCH OF TIME PAST, but from his life, much of it spent in ill health. Proust lived to be just fifty-one.By far the longest chapter is the one on suffering. Proust’s life was one of appalling physical and psychological suffering, but in contrast his writing seems calm and serene. How to explain this apparent contradiction? De Bottom thinks that it’s a matter, in Proust’s view, of a form of compensation. We don’t really learn anything until there is a problem or a failure, and then we develop ways of overcoming the obstacle. For Proust, it was not any kind of personal or psychological success, but rather one of an aesthetic outlook, as successfully developed in his fiction. This is equally true of the other chapters, any one of the titles could be prefaced with its opposite practice. For example, HOW TO TAKE YOUR TIME, grows out of the concept of TOO MUCH RUSHING AROUND.Two quotations from de Botton capture the essence of the book, “Every work of successful art has an ability to restore to our sight a distorted or neglected aspect of reality,” and “A genuine homage to Proust is to look at our world through his eyes, not look at his world through our eyes.” If we read Proust with these thoughts then he HAS changed our lives.

  • Susan
    2018-11-11 07:18

    This is a wryly humorous book, written with tongue firmly in cheek. The author uses a ‘Self-Help’ layout to unveil both a short biography of Proust himself and to incorporate the writer’s thoughts to show us how to appreciate his work and life in general. There are chapters on how to Love Life, Read for Yourself, Take Your Time, Suffer Successfully, Express Your Emotions, Be a Good Friend, Open Your Eyes, Be Happy in Love and Put Books Down.Along the way we read of Proust’s meeting with James Joyce (sadly disappointing), his dislike of noise, his family, how to appreciate the ordinary things in life, his relationship with his mother, his ailments and the importance he placed on friendship. My knowledge of Proust is not great, but I look forward to reading his work and this was suggested to me as a good beginning. Indeed, if you are considering reading Proust’s work, this is a really good introduction to the man and his writing. Highly recommended and a wonderfully enjoyable read.

  • Marius van Blerck
    2018-10-24 11:30

    An interesting book, with a misleading title. It is NOT about how Proust will change your life. Rather, it is a book exploring various themes in Proust's life and writings, some of which may parallel your own experiences, and some of which might explain some types of behavior. The book is often insightful and clever, but ultimately I was a little disappointed, as the author often opted for superficiality to make his point. This book could have been so much better if it had not been hampered by the need to "live up" to its title.

  • Kaelan (Κάϊλαν)
    2018-10-20 10:40

    ***** It Didn't Change My Life Unfortunately *****Forewarning, this is quite a biased review that simply speaks from my experience of reading this novel, it's content very well may not apply to you. I feel I may have gone off the deep end without meaning to (considering this was a book I read on the side of others). Please still consider picking this book up.***************************************************I have to admit, this is the first book I've actually struggled to complete this year due to a lack of interest; as opposed to the difficulty of the subject defeating me, or the fact I lack knowledge in a particular area. As such, I stopped reading it about six months ago, and just today caught myself skimming the last few pages having fully given up on achieving full completion.I was given this novel by a friend when visiting their flat in London. We had had a positive conversation about Alain de Botton (I happened to have recently discovered him in an interview conducted by Chris Hedges, whereas she had known about him for quite some time) and she picked this book out from a shelf for me to read. Unfortunately, I have an problem with starting brand new books immediately after attaining them, even when I have other older, more personal novels needing to be finished. It will probably be a cardinal sin I take to my grave.Unfortunately this one never saw my full attention all the way to the end.The real problem I have with this novel isn't the way it's written. In fact, if it weren't written by this particular Author, then I may have stopped far earlier than I did in reality. Alain has a kind of style that naturally evokes a welcoming nature, and speaks to the reader as if he/she is a friend receiving a casual lecture on the subject by the man in person. I admit, my bias towards Mr De Botton might become clearer upon mentioning how much I enjoy his YouTube channel The School of Life(seriously scope it out, it's amazing) and his pretty calming accent / demeanour. You really can't not read this book in his voice, after listening to him ramble about famous philosophers for hours online. Neither is the topic in question off putting. I knew nothing about Proust before reading this novel, and yet found no obstacle presented to me in the form of prior understanding being needed when opening the first page. Alain has simply taken many multifaceted topics about life and then laid out what Proust thought about them. He also raises topics that we may never have thought of before, but Proust had. Moreover, he balances each topic well by refusing to deify Proust (pretty hard to avoid with a title like this book has) and is quite critical of his shortcomings and slight hypocrisy on certain subjects. Yet, the real issue at hand is how, on a personal level, so little of what has been picked from Prousts brain by De Botton actually appeals to me. Because of this fact, it's quite hard to give this book anymore than three stars (earning three in the first place because of the above qualities mentioned). I found myself struggling to connect with the opinions of a man who was born in the early 19th century, lived a fairly upper class life and spent much of his time in the small (no less beautiful and interesting) part of the world he was born into. I must emphasise that I did not make these judgements before opening the book. I have found great pleasure and knowledge reading from people who have come from a plethora of different backgrounds. Neither am I criticising the work or Proust himself. I do not doubt for a moment thatIn Search of Lost Timeis a masterpiece, and I look forward to reading it as soon as time permits.It is only a symptom of a larger problem I feel we may posses when looking back on the past. We feel the ideas of some great Authors, Philosophers and Artists hold the keys to understanding life in some great unknown fashion. And in some ways they DO present wonderful, inspiring and great thoughts / advise for us to mull over. I only feel that if we were to look deeper at the people themselves (especially considering the more hardline thoughts about life some of them have presented) - the environment they grew up in, their surroundings and more - we would find that quite a few of them only represented a small part of the society they grew up in. Even if we were to apply the typical "they were a product of their time" to the equation, we would still have to hold their bolder claims under a microscope just as equally with the above suggested scrutiny. Avoiding interchangeable bias when using this phrase is incredibly important to, something we tend to do when our favourite intellectuals come under attack. Shouting about their innocence due to them being born at a certain stage of history doesn't exempt their most strong opinions on life being compared to the social environment they were surrounded by.I found this problem with Prousts opinions on love in this book. For me, some of it contained some very archaic views on the workings of a woman's mind and I found it to be completely bizarre. Again, we might apply the "but he's a product..." to this point, but it's an argument that falls short due to the fact we don't mind holding up Prousts other thoughts on life high in the air and applying them to our daily lives now in the 21st century. The fact that his thoughts on love DID make the book shows De Botton thinks they're worth the time of humans living in the 21st century. I could go on, but I feel I need only paste this problem onto other subjects in the book to get my point across.As such, I think I can confirm to myself that reading books that suggest one persons thoughts on many different subjects on life can somehow change mine are useless. I adore biographies and peering into another's life throughout history, almost as much as I love reading the great novels written by individuals who may very well have fit the criteria I just mentioned Proust came from. Just because someone was born into a small sliver of society doesn't mean they have nothing to say of importance at all. I'm eternally grateful that ancient Greek philosophers were given the education available at the time to come up with some great thoughts on life (even though living as a farmer at the time I may [emphasises on may] have struggled to accept someone from a higher part of society giving me lectures on how I should consider existence).However, it did hinder me from enjoying this book and I would actively encourage people to analyse where, when, which, and what society people we would assume to worship come from. At least before starting to read into their work. This way I feel you will be able to read critically, and take only what you feel applies to today, and not 200 years ago.

  • Carla
    2018-10-19 15:22

    Anotação no diário de Virginia Woolf em 1928 após terminar “Orlando”:Começo a ler Proust depois do jantar e, em seguida, paro. Esse é o pior momento de todos. Fico com vontade de me suicidar. Parece não restar mais nada a fazer. Tudo parece insípido e sem valor.Porquê?Como confidencia Woolf a Roger Fry:Minha grande aventura é, na verdade, Proust. Bem, o que ainda resta ser escrito depois daquilo?... Como alguém finalmente solidificou o que sempre se esvaiu – e o transformou nessa substância bonita e perfeitamente duradoura? Somos obrigados a largar o livro e suspirar.

  • Laura
    2018-10-23 14:26

    "Proust said the great momments - like when he ate the madeleine dipped in tea - are those when we escape time. We do what we do in the present but we experience the same action in the past. Thus we are nowhere, neither in past nor present, the miracle of an analogy has freed us from the lockstep of time. He does not explain why this freedom should be so desireable, but presumably it is because time moves in only one direction, toward weakness and death. We embrace the things that allow us to transcend death, artists art, monks God, some people sex, some people television." p.159

  • Evanston PublicLibrary
    2018-11-01 07:45

    If you think that a lazy, hypochondriacal, long-winded 19th Century French fancy man can have no relevance to your everyday life, then this book may just change your mind. No prior knowledge of Proust or his epic, seven volume novel In Search of Lost Time is necessary in order to read and enjoy this book, which falls somewhere between the realms of biography, lit crit, and self-help manual. In between sprinklings of delightfully odd facts from Proust’s life, De Botton analyzes the man’s notoriously lengthy and difficult novel with an eye towards extricating practical lessons for living a fuller and happier life. Sound ridiculous? You bet. But the final result is funny, interesting, and above all, extraordinarily insightful. Proust may have spent literally years in bed as a sickly, aimless layabout unfit to live a normal, productive life among his peers, but his thoughts on love, suffering, art, and friendship are unusually profound, and De Botton does a wonderful job of presenting those ideas to the reader. While this book may not actually change your life (that part is up to you), it will give you plenty to think about. (Andy R., Reader’s Services)

  • Hossein
    2018-10-28 15:38

    ابتدا در نظرم كتاب جالبي نبود و فكر مي كردم خواندنش بسيار خسته كننده باشد اما زماني كه مشغول مطالعه شدم با نقد زيباي آلن دو باتن در مورد شخصيت،نامه ها و رمان پروست؛مجذوب پروست شدم و با شخصيت عجيبش آشنا شدم.در اين كتاب دوباتن تعدادي از شخصيت هاي مهم رمان و هم چنين قسمت هايي از رمان را آورده است و از اين كتاب ميتوان به عنوان راهنما قبل از شروع اين اثر بزرگ استفاده كرد.كتاب جمع و جوري براي شناخت مارسل پروست بود و توانست من را مجذوب ((در جستجوي زمان از دست رفته ))كند و به همين دليل بعد از اتمام كتاب تصميم گرفته ام رمان را خريداري و مطالعه كنم تا بتوانم با ديدگاه پروستي آشنا شوم.

  • Antigone
    2018-10-27 08:18

    Marcel Proust was not built for speed. His health was poor due in large part to a severe asthmatic condition he developed as a child and struggled with throughout his maturity. While this did not prevent him from serving a year in the French army and, later, pursuing an active social life among a wide circle of friends, his physical exertions were few and his constitution so fearfully unreliable that he judged himself unable to engage in the practice of a standard profession. A brilliant mind, however, does not rest. His magnum opus, In Search of Lost Time, was written from bed.It is perhaps because so much of Proust's life was spent being still that he grew increasingly aware of the cost of haste. More than the external frenzy of existence disturbed him. Critical, and closer to the crux of the problem as he saw it, was the way so many people were racing through the experience of living. The quick thought, the short-handed perception, the abbreviated communication, the borrowed expectation; all the internal, incremental penalties that were unknowingly exacted and served to buffer an individual from the act of consciously being. How much meaning was missed? How much appreciation denied? Alain de Botton, in this slim and seductively astute piece of work, takes his stab at a remedy.It is perspective that de Botton is addressing through the use of Proust; his work, his letters, anecdotes about him, his personal habits and vices. It is perspective that de Botton asserts is at the root of so many of our frustrations and dissatisfactions. Proust, in his estimation, has something to teach us with regard to our view of the world and our place within it. And de Botton is, on many levels, absolutely right.Here is a dish for the artistic soul, and I'm not going to ruin it for you by listing the ingredients. I offer only the following: You do not need to have read Proust's masterpiece to follow de Botton's references. He's clear (and often amusing) in the points he makes. Also, and perhaps most surprising to me, this stands as the best book on the observational pocket that I've read in the last ten years. If you are an artist of any caliber in any medium, de Botton just might confirm enough of your current creative suspicions to reinitialize that frequently-flagging quest for Truth.

  • میعاد
    2018-11-05 11:40

    كتاب داره مارو با ديد پروست به زندگى آشنا ميكنه و با اشاره هايى به كتاب در جستجوى زمان از دست رفته؛ ما رو به خوندنش ترغيب ميكنه، چند بخش كتاب خيلى برام جالب بود، ولى در كل دو كتاب قبلى دوباتن رو بيشتر دوست داشتم

  • Laila
    2018-11-02 08:15

    Çok değerli bir kitap diye incelememe başlayayım. Proust'u anlamak için özellikle Kayıp Zamanın İzinde serisini okumaya başlamadan mutlaka gözden geçirilmesi gereken bir eser. Bir çok sayfaya yerimi koydum. Seriyi henüz tamamlamadan bu kitabı okuma şansım olduğu için çok mutluyum. Diğer kitaplara daha farklı bir gözle bakabileceğim. Örnek olması bağlamında seçtiğim bir kaç alıntıyı burada paylaşayım: #1 "Bir şeye ikinci kez bakmanın getirdiği mutluluk Proust için iyileşmenin en iyi yoludur. Bu görüşe göre, tatmin olamayışımızın nedeni olamayışımızın nedeni kendi hayatlarımıza gerektiği gibi bakmamamızdan kaynaklanır."#2 "Proust daha ilginç bir şey yapıyor, bizi bütün nesnelere aynı değeri vermeye çağırmaktansa, her nesneye doğru değeri vermeye davet ediyor, böylece bazı şeyleri haksız yere görmezden gelmemize, bazı şeyler karşısında da gereksiz bir heyecana kapılmamıza yol açan ve iyi yaşam denilen şeyle beraber gelen bazı düşünceleri gözden geçiriyordu."#3 "Yaşam bazı anlarda bize çok güzel görünür ama buna karşın çoğu kez onu anlamsız buluruz; bunun nedeni, yaşam hakkındaki yargılarımızın, sıradan bir anlayışla, yaşamın kendisinin sunduğu kanıtlara değil de yaşamla hiç ilgisi olmayan birçok farklı imgeye dayandırmamız ve bundan dolayı yaşamla ilgili olumsuz düşüncelere varmamızdır."#4 "Proust'un anlatıcısı çocukken, Champs-Elysees'de oyun oynarken tanıştığı, güzel, hayat dolu Gilberte ile iyi arkadaş olmayı arzular. Sonunda, bu isteği gerçekleşir. Gilberte onunla arkadaşlık kurar ve onu düzenli olarak evine çay içmeye davet eder. Bu çay davetlerinde, ona kek dilimler, hizmet eder, ilgi gösterir. Anlatıcı mutludur, ama kısa süre sonra aslında olması gerektiği kadar mutlu olmadığını farkeder. Uzun zaman, Gilberte'in evinde çay içme fikri, bulanık, uçucu bir hayal olmuştur onun için, ama kızın odasında geçirdiği yarım saatten sonra, onu tanımadan önceki, onun kendisine kek dilimleri sunmasından, kendisini sevgiye boğmasından önceki zaman bulanık ve uçucu bir hayale dönüşür. Sonuçta anlatıcı, kendisine ne kadar lütufta bulunulduğunu görmemeye başlayacaktır. Kısa zaman sonra, niçin hoşnutluk duyması gerektiğini unutacaktır, çünkü Gilberte'siz geçirdiği günlerin anısıyla birlikte zevk alacağını düşündüğü şeylerin izi de yok olacaktır. Gilberte'in yüzündeki gülümseme, ikram ettiği çayın hoş tadı, kızın sıcak davranışları sonunda ona o kadar tanıdık gelecektir ki biz nasıl, ağaçlar, bulutlar ve telefon gibi her zaman her yerde varolan şeyleri farkedemiyorsak o da bunları farketmez olacaktır. Proust'a göre bunun nedeni, hepimiz gibi anlatıcının da alışkanlıkların insanı olmasıdır. Bu yüzden o kendisine tanıdık gelen her şeyi mutlaka küçük görmeye başlayacaktır. "#5 "Biz yalnız bizim için yeni olan şeyi, bizi etkileyen, kavrayışımıza niteliksel bir değişim katan ve alışkanlığın solgun kopyasıyla yer değiştirnemiş şeyi gerçekten tanrız aslında."

  • Tanvika
    2018-10-25 13:41

    A night On the roofMy head is thinking laboriously Brambles and thickets of triviality Orange figures dance merrilyIn the bitter cold Seeing it ceaselesslyGratitude entersImprinting a markAuspicious.

  • Saeed
    2018-10-21 10:30

    بزرگداشت واقعیِ پروست می تواند این باشد که به جهان خودمان از طریق دیدگان او بنگریم و نه به جهان او از دیدگان خودمان .

  • Ali Feghhi
    2018-10-24 08:35

    خواندم که عطشم برای خوندن شاهکار پروست بخوابه، بیشتر شد!

  • Ahmed Oraby
    2018-10-23 09:38

    أهذا هو الكتاب الذي فضلته على بولجاكوف ونيتشه وهنتر ميد وشوية فلاسفة تانيين؟

  • Yavar Moshirfar
    2018-11-04 11:30

    آلن دو باتن نویسنده خوبی است. به خصوص که میتواند به ما «روش خواندن و فهمیدن» هر کتابی را توضیح دهد. به واقع ممکن است بدون خواندن مقدمه دوباتن بر کتاب «درجستجوی زمان از دست رفته» سراسر این اثر برایمان خسته کننده و بی روح و حوصله بر باشد. دوباتن از درس های پروست می گوید و به زیبایی توضیح میدهد که قصد اصلی این است که جهان را با چشمان پروست بنگریم و زیبایی منحصر بفرد جهان را با «اصالتی» ویژه خودمان درک کنیم. این که به زندگی معنا ببخشیم و در عین حال به مشکلاتی نظیر بت پرستی هنرمندانه دچار نشویم و نویسنده کتاب را هم عقل کل فرض نکنیم. فکر میکنم اکنون برای خواندن کتاب «در جستجوی زمان از دست رفته» آماده ام. هر چند از نوشته دوباتن و نحوه درک این کتاب آموخته هایی دارم، اما پروست را به «روش خودم» کشف خواهم کرد و البته قبل از خواندن پروست از مدل ذهنی دوباتن دوری خواهم گزید.پانوشت: این کتاب برای ارسال به دوستان آماده است. لطفا در صورت تمایل در بخش پیام ها درخواست دهید.

  • R.
    2018-11-05 10:33

    Sometimes it's the book you grab at the last second--not the books you came to the library for--that you end up sitting up with all night long. Afterwards, sat outside with Mickey and reminisced about our childhood and what we expected from the future.Also, that what we really wanted at 2 a.m. was a truckstop-black, piping hot coffee..."Yeah, me too! Why is that?" We both...we both get that craving at 2 a.m.Earlier, I picked up my copy of the new John Vanderslice album from Barnes & Noble (the receipt chastized me that I could have saved $1.60 if I had been a member...) that had, well, been misfiled under a common variant of my surname.

  • Hodove
    2018-10-30 08:41

    یکی از کتابهای خیلی خوبی که این مدت خوندمبرای خوندن این کتاب لازم نیست درجست و جوی زمان از دست رفته ی پروست رو خونده باشین البته ه قطعا مشتاق میشین بخونین.با خوندن این کتاب هم با پروست آشنا میشید هم اینکه توصیه های عملی راجع به زندگی که دو‌باتن از خلال داستان و شخصیت پروست بیرون کشیده میتونید بخونید.مثلا بخش اخرش که چگونه کتاب ها را کنار بگذاریم واقعا خوب بود.

  • Laurence
    2018-10-15 11:27

    Having had In Search of Lost Time on my to read list for a while, but not wanting to dive into the deep, very unknown depths, I read this for guidance. And Botton as usual makes some very interesting insights while covering many of the themes, so served well as guide. Thing is, after dipping the toe in, I no longer want to read Proust's seminal work. I think Botton was able to condense what I would likely find an excruciating reading experience.

  • Roxana-Mălina Chirilă
    2018-10-28 13:17

    How can Proust change my life? Well, he probably can't.I have read this book with one purpose in mind: to determine whether to start reading Proust at all. You see, I find it difficult to abandon books, and if a book is famous, the problem is even greater: whenever someone mentions it, I'll remember I haven't finished it and maybe I should.Luckily, Alain de Botton saved me: I vaguely remembered his name as being "famous", so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and have some famous philosopher whom I kept wanting to read explain an author whom I wasn't sure I wanted to pick up. Alas, my life would have been so much better if I'd read the wikipedia entry on Botton first, to confirm my idea that he was a philosopher; because he may have studied philosophy indeed, but he became a "self-help guru" after abandoning his studies. It shows! The book is either spewing banalities or praising Proust as if he could do no wrong. If Proust had farted in the wind, I'm quite sure Botton would have explained how Proust's fart is a commentary on the effect small things have on our lives, encouraging us to appreciate the wonderfulness of clean air when we do have it.I'm not sure whether to blame Botton or Proust, but Marcel seems like a genuinely unpleasant person. Botton, of course, tells us that he was the best of friends and could do no wrong, but the facts he presents us with are less than impressive: a momma's boy, a hypochondriac, a hypocrite in his friendships.Of course, Botton suggests that he couldn't have been a hypochondriac, since he did eventually catch a disease and die - missing the point that, alas, all hypochondriacs die; hypochondria does not cause immortality. Also, he claims that Proust was an amazing friend, because he always invited people out and bought them expensive dinners, then listened to them talk - which makes him a convenient friend, in my book; Botton somehow manages to claim that Proust was modest, and that's why he didn't open up to people, and that he was even more modest when he lied to them openly about the quality of their texts and praised them for no reason.This makes me think Botton has some really odd ideas on friendship and on authors. Proust's little outbursts of false praise make him irrelevant as a reviewer and a bloody little liar rather than "a good friend", if you ask me.Finally, I find even this review tedious, after spending weeks looking at this book and thinking "I really ought to finish it". Some of it isn't that bad, but it's bland (live life! learn to look at the beauty of everyday objects! the details are more interesting than the summary of the story! don't just suffer, learn something from your suffering!) and the other part is grating.I think I ought to give it five stars for ridding me of any impulse to read either Proust or Botton, but I simply can't be bothered.