How Proust Can Change Your Life ; Not a Novel - Chapter 7 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 7 Summary and Analysis

De Botton refers to an essay Proust wrote about a theoretical young man who was thoroughly unhappy in his mundane and impoverished life. This young man yearned for the finer things, grand palaces and cathedrals, talking with princes, and traveling the world.

Proust's remedy for this young man was an introduction to the paintings of Jean-Baptiste Chardin. Chardin was famous for his still-life renderings of ordinary objects: fruit, kitchen utensils, loaves of bread, crockery, and also for ordinary peasant scenes. Chardin's skill was taking these ordinary scenes and injecting them with a certain elegance and beauty. Chardin made the ordinary extraordinary.

With this kind of view of the world, the young man would suddenly find grandeur and beauty in his "ordinary" surroundings. Proust wrote this essay in 1895, before he became famous, and it was rejected by the editor of a local...

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This section contains 611 words
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Buy the How Proust Can Change Your Life ; Not a Novel Study Guide
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