David Mytton

Book Review (4/5) – How Proust Can Change Your Life (Alain de Botton)

Published (updated: ) in Book Reviews.

Originally published on Goodreads.

Many times I wondered of the relevance of the biographical details of Proust’s life only to be pleasantly surprised by the philosophical quality of de Botton’s followup commentary and analysis. Each chapter focuses on a particular area of life where Proust’s work has something interesting to say and de Botton does a good job of explaining what this is and why it matters. Philosophy should be a device through which we can learn more about ourselves and the world around us, but it is often unhelpfully verbose or difficult to relate to. Many times this is due to differing historical context or simply the writing style. De Botton provides a good example of how to make literary works more accessible at the same time as adding something new and valuable of your own.