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A Meeting Point of Modernism and Post-Modernism...,
By A Customer
This review is from: How Proust Can Change Your Life (Paperback)
De Botton's "How Proust Can Change Your Life" is yet another fix in the flux of experimental fiction, namely experiments on the essence of autobiographies and biographies. Previous examples of these particular experimental novels include Woolf's "Orlando", Stein's "The Autobiography of Alice B. Tolkas" and Winterson's "Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit". De Botton's narrative is an indication of an influenced by Proust De Botton, and, interestingly enough, there are moments in the book itself where one can actually visualize the two authors in conversation. What is it that we can learn from the Master's experiences that are not included in his opus? One thing I learnt was that even Virginia Woolf was so enthralled with Proust's work that she almost gave up writing. However, she held her head high and continued trying and then came up with "Mrs. Dalloway". The book is in a DIY Acheive Happiness form, and what can be more refreshing today than that? My favorite chapter - in the sense that I have picked up something from it that will stay with me for life - is the "How To Open Your Eyes" chapter where De Botton points out that with a short story, Proust was trying to teach us an important lesson: namely, not to ascribe any value to the objects - tangible or non - that surround us but the _correct_ value. And in a world that tends towards superfluity and insatiability, what could be a better awakening?