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How Proust Can Change Your Life (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 20. Januar 2006

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This is a genius-level piece of writing that manages to blend literary biography with self-help and tongue-in-cheek with the profound. The quirky, early 1900s French author Marcel Proust acts as the vessel for surprisingly impressive nuggets of wisdom on down-to-earth topics such as why you should never sleep with someone on the first date, how to protect yourself against lower back pain, and how to cope with obnoxious neighbors. Here's proof that our ancestors had just as much insight as the gurus du jour and perhaps a lot more wit. De Botton simultaneously pokes fun at the self-help movement and makes a significant contribution to its archives. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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‘Dazzling’ John Updike

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Format: Taschenbuch
How Proust Can Change Your Life is an easy read and its themes ambulate like John Cleese in The Flying Circus, however their target is always met with utmost accuracy. This is a rich and insightful book. What could have been an incomprehensible abstract mosaic turns out to be a triumphant effort to bring together Proust's eccentric life with his prolific writing. De Botton is able to touch on the paradoxical nature of humanity, alluding to the ambiguities of one of the greatest western novelists. De Botton's work is not a proscriptive self-help book. It is an account of a man struggling with life's triumphs and toils. It is a revealing account of Proust's struggles and the literature he produced as a result. De Botton never tells the reader how to deal with pain or loss, rather, he reads into his subject's life and humourously analyzies Proust's psyche. This is not an attempt to extemporize a pschology or philosophy that will enable us to deal with our vexing personal problems. It is a cogent attempt to open our minds to those problems and ambuguities that we may feel are abnormal, making them more normal. It is an intransigent work that is sanguine and lucid. A book full of irony and humor that I have read cover to cover and still pick up for a good laugh and pick-me-up. Highly recommended!
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Format: Taschenbuch
A reviewer wrote- "I'ts hard to imagine how Proust can change your life if you don't actually read Proust". That is true, but then on the other hand, never, while reading this book, did I get the impression that Alain de Botton was trying to replace Proust. I don't think he was trying to offer a guide to Proust, nor trying to write literary criticism or anything like that: After finishing the book, the impression I got was that this is more a self-help book (and quite a witty and funny one, actually, much better than the usual saccharine-sweet self help books) and less a book about Proust. The good thing is that "How Proust can change your life" will probably give you an appetite for more Marcel Proust...and that has to do with the clarity and lightness of touch with which de Botton writes: you can't resist his admiration for Proust, even though you might have objections to the way he chose to express this admiration: but then who says that books about philosophy or about literature have to be dead serious and heavy? I think Alain de Botton has written an original book, a book that's a kind of experiment, as it combines self-help insights with good literature and important ideas. If you read this as such, as an interesting experiment which may bring more people to Proust, then you won't really be able to find any fault in the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
As Proust spent most of his time in his bed (reading, writing, ...) this might be a good place for the reader, too, to lay back and enjoy this beautiful book. It will stir you up though as it covers important questions of life, but practical ones, not the fuzzy type, and in a brilliant style. Reading this is like eating dark chocolate with high nutritional value. :-) And fun.
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Von Ein Kunde am 23. Dezember 1998
Format: Taschenbuch
Let me start by saying that I sleep well at night and don't pretend to have the vaguest clue about some of the great writers of literature. Now that I've established my honesty and credibility, maybe I can say a few words about this book. Personally, I think the author wouldn't be such a bad fellow to know. I like the way he segmented the book and described relevant portions of Proust. I am a soldier and spend a lot of time in the field; currently in a part of the world which is undergoing an uneasy truce. I read whatever I can get my hands on and am tired of the muscle and skin magazines, car magazines, etc., which is the normal fare. When a book like this comes along, which is fairly easy to read and digest and more importantly, makes me want to attempt the real thing, then I don't think it's such a bad book and certainly not deserving of one or two stars. As for re-evaluating life's experiences, I hope that I can sit back one day and use a "Proustian" view to re-examine my current experiences; something which I have not been able to do as I've only been able to react. That is probably the biggest lesson and the irony of the whole Proust phenomenon, that is, from his bed, he observes with the utmost clarity, the most minute activities of a day, while the rest of us are busy living and missing out on these subtleties and insights into ourselves.
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Format: Taschenbuch
This book has been ludicrously dismissed as 'facile' by sniffy snobs. The dismaying fact remains that in this age of overcrowding media vying for our attention, you have to be pretty convincing to make people want to give a large chunk of their lives to a 4000 page novel about sponge cakes, silly aristocrats and sickly fops.
De Botton manages this with ease. His book is an excellent precis of Proustian concerns - time, love, friendship, literature - told in deceptively simple language masking thoroughness and complexity. His aren't the last words on these subjects, they are starting points which allow the virgin reader a map when starting on the vast terrain of A La Recherche.
His own prose is elegant, suggestive and sometimes very funny, while his emphasis on the personal is at the same time endearing, a way into the book, and true to Proust. He fills in his narrative with much biographical, historical and anecdotal matter, drawing on letters, newspapers, memoires, which are both illuminating and entertaining.
His own method is seemingly the opposite of Proust's, immediately lucid and precise, but the form of his book follows the Proustian pattern, whereby the book heading in one direction turns in on itself, becomes a book about itself, its own creation, even negating itself as it tells us to abandon Proust if we want to be true to the spirit of Proust.
The book isn't perfect - sometimes the prose is a little TOO easy; both Proust and De Botton come across as near-saintly figures, full of understanding and kindness, when the truth (with Proust at any rate) is much messier; and the last two chapters are a little rushed. But few books outside the thriller genre have delighted me and kept me reading feverishly to the end like this little trinket.
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