What We Can Learn from Proust: On A Rooftop

Spent this morning reading on the terrace and was in the company of a favourite; Alain de Botton. Learning about Marcel Proust and what his writings can teach us, Alain de Botton proposed a theory which I liked:

“’How helpful of Proust to remark that “one cannot read a novel without ascribing to the heroine the traits of the one we love.” It lends respectability to a habit of imagining that Albertine, last seen walking in Balbec with her brilliant laughing eyes and black polo cap, bears a striking resemblance to my  girlfriend Kate, who has never read Proust and prefers George Eliot, or Marie-Claire after a difficult day.’”

What an insight and how true. What can we infer from the words we read if we’re not to apply it to our own lives, to imagine the character as someone we know and then engage accordingly.

As I was walking the streets of Born this morning, pondering on the idea, sipping coffee, fresh from my local cafe (local meaning when I stay with my friend Mia, I choose this cafe over all the others; when does one become local?), I realised Alain de Botton to be correct in his insights. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *