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Folly & tenderness

How Proust Can Change Your Life - Alain de Botton

With the gentlest and kindest mockery possible, de Botton makes a very strong case for celebrating and learning from the unlikeliest of teachers: Marcel Proust.

In Shikasta Doris Lessing's extraterrestrial protagonist describes Proust as a great sociologist and anthropologist, which chimes with de Botton's view. I devoured this book in no time, charmed from beginning to end, and I made extensive notes on Proust-via-de Botton's excellent advice. The pressure on me to actually read Proust, but I just can't bear it, I can't let go of my desperation for writing to go somewhere, with some pace, or at least mesmerise me with eloquence, like Woolf's 'The Waves'. Maybe some day I will be old and wise enough!