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How Proust Can Change Your Life (Vintage International) (Alain De Botton)

  • length. As Proust’s brother, Robert, put it, “The sad thing is that people have to be very ill or have broken a leg in order to have the opportunity to read In Search of Lost Time.”
  • The more an account is compressed, the more it seems that it deserves no more space than it has been allocated.
  • (though Proust did happen to feel that “one must never miss an opportunity of quoting things by others which are always more interesting than those one thinks up oneself”).
  • “the self-satisfaction felt by ‘busy’ men—however idiotic their business—at ‘not having time’ to do what you are doing.”
  • When he met a palm reader in 1918, the woman was said to have taken a glance at his hand, looked at his face for a moment, then remarked simply, “What do you want from me, Monsieur? It should be you reading my character.”
  • One way of considering In Search of Lost Time is as an unusually long unsent letter, the antidote to a lifetime of proustification, the flip side of the Athenas, lavish gifts, and long-stemmed chrysanthemums,
  • details that suggest it would be more accurate to describe the madeleine as provoking a moment of appreciation rather than mere recollection.
  • There is no doubt that a person’s charms are less frequently a cause of love than a remark such as: “No, this evening I shan’t be free.”
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on Sep 23, 18