Monday, May 21, 2007

How Proust Can Change Your Life

Literary Acquisitionist asked recently if I know anything about Alain De Botton's How Proust Can Change Your Life?

I did read it last year when I just started on Proust, and it wasn't what I had expected. Turns out de Botton was writing a farcical "self-help" book by applying the lessons as illustrated in the Proustian epic. It isn't a literary discussion of Proust of course, and probably will make a lot more sense after I've finished reading Proust - but it was funny.

I was going through my reading journal this evening, and I came across something I copied from How Proust Can Change Your Life. Alain de Botton is quoting Marcel Proust's brother, Robert:

"The sad thing is that people have to be very ill or have broken a leg in order to have the opportunity to read In Search of Lost Time."

Somehow that made me laugh, and it made an impression enough for me to copy it down.

3 comments:

LK said...

Oh, that quote is so true! I had to struggle to make it through book #2. And I'm motivated!

I have the De Botton book; time to pick it up, I'm thinking...

Dark Orpheus said...

Ah yes, i was thinking about it last night. How nice to maybe break my leg so that I can stay home to finish up Proust. *sigh*

LK, if you're interested in more Proust related readings, I would recommend the slim volume by Edmund White, on Proust.

acquisitionist said...

Fantastic quote. When I get around to reading Proust I'll have to pick up De Botton's book up for laughs.