How Proust Can Change Your Life ; Not a Novel Themes

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The Value of Suffering

Author De Botton points out that Proust, despite all the advice he dispensed for better living, suffered psychologically and emotionally for much of his life. Psychologically, he had low self-esteem, was a closeted homosexual, reclusive, and had many fears. Physically, Proust had near-constant colds and allergies and was often confined to bed.

De Botton, through Proust, proposes that suffering is in fact valuable, and perhaps leads to a richer life experience. If bliss leads to ignorance, why would we bother to learn how a car works if it runs perfectly all the time?. Then unhappiness leads to knowledge and a constant pursuit of betterment and truth. In this view, Proust's insights as revealed through his literature are quite valuable and wise, precisely because Proust suffered to such a degree in his life.

The solution to grief, pain, loss, and suffering, then, is to transform these...

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This section contains 684 words
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Buy the How Proust Can Change Your Life ; Not a Novel Study Guide
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