The Romantic Movement Paperback – 8 Sep 1995
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""The Romantic Movement "sheds light on the nature of relationships . . . The method of telling much and showing little produces a good deal of wit, cogency, and humor."--John Updike, "The New Yorker" "A reader gets whiffs of Donald Barthelme, Julian Barnes, Woody Allen, the films of Eric Rohmer . . . Mr. de Botton borrows exuberantly, and well, from his forebears . . . therein lies the buoyant charm of the approach."--Lisa Zeidner, "The New York Times Book Review"
By the author of the acclaimed Essays in LoveSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
Then Alice meets Eric at a party and this gives the author the opportunity to write about love, indeterminacy, the idealisation of the lover, the value systems in a love relationship or the power in love. Do we love the partner's money, body, achievements, weaknesses or anxieties? Is thinking problem-induced or problem-inducing? How does the cultural baggage of infancy and youth, of relations and traditions influence one's relationship with a partner?
This book is an original hybrid, part novel, part philosophical reverie which is not without charm. Some readers have complained that Alain de Botton all too often states the obvious and it is true that his novel does not present any revelations but it is enjoyable to read nevertheless.
The integration of the material is better than that description suggests, but the constant diversion away from the matter of the story to the more abstract matter of de Botton's divagations on the theme of love becomes irritating, as do his strenuous attempts to flesh out characters whose function as pegs for ideas is rather too evident. The philosophical material is banal, as though the author is constantly having to remind himself that he is in fact writing a work of popular fiction, and so cannot risk difficulty.
"The Romantic Movement" is never less than readable, but one can see why de Botton has since become known for non-fictional investigations of philosophy and Proust, rather than as a novelist.