Summary of How Proust Can Change Your Life

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Are you tired of self-help manuals? Is that because the authors often seem to need help themselves? Or they all spout the same buzzwords and clichés? Or they are banal and boring? It sounds as if you are all self-help-manualed-out. Perhaps you need something different. Try Marcel Proust, revered master of exquisite expression and luminous prose. In Search of Lost Time, also called Remembrance of Things Past, Proust’s one-and-a-quarter-million-word magnum opus, does not contain a trite sentence or conventional thought. You can learn much about living from such a profound genius, including how to spend your time, how to see and feel things, and why, sometimes, it is best just to stay in bed. Alain de Botton is your witty, often hilarious guide, providing valuable life lessons from Proust’s writings and thoughts. getAbstract finds this ingenious, utterly original treatment thoroughly enjoyable. Wishing you the same.

About the Author

Alain de Botton writes books of essays detailing his ideas and experiences, as well as those of great thinkers, artists and philosophers. A native of Zurich, he lives in London.



“How to Love Life Today”

In 1922, L’Intransigeant, a Parisian newspaper famous for gossip, posed this hypothetical question to its contributors: A scientist in America announces that a huge cataclysm will soon strike the world, causing hundreds of millions of people to die. What affect would this dramatic event have on people? How would it change your life? Berthe Bovy, a well-known actress, replied that men would suddenly do whatever they wanted since their actions would no longer carry any extended consequences. Madame Fraya, a popular Parisian psychic, predicted that people would try to capitalize quickly on as many earthly pleasures as possible. The writer Henri Robert stated that he would spend his last few hours playing golf, tennis and bridge.

Marcel Proust, the famous French novelist, responded that people would suddenly do all the things they had been too lazy to do previously, such as visiting the Louvre, going to India and “throwing ourselves at the feet of Miss X.” Oddly, Proust himself seldom went to the Louvre, showed no special interest in traveling to India (or even in getting out of bed), and preferred a nice cold beer to lovemaking (and ...

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