The Art of Alain de Botton
Alain de Botton’s career has been spent writing books that tackle questions of everyday life. They refer both to his experiences and ideas – and those of artists, philosophers and thinkers of the past. His work has been described as a ‘philosophy of everyday life.’
De Botton has also written two books which deal directly with the thoughts of other people: How Proust Can Change Your Life and The Consolations of Philosophy. In these books, de Botton considered the works of Marcel Proust and six great Western philosophers (Socrates, Epicurus, Seneca, Montaigne, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche).
Most recently, de Botton has written two books advancing his own philosophy of everyday life. In The Art of Travel, he looked at themes in the psychology of travel: how we imagine places before we have seen them, how we remember beautiful things, what happens to us when we look at deserts, or stay in hotels or go to the countryside? The book is a mixture of intimate experiences and abstract reflections.
In his latest book, Status Anxiety, de Botton looked at an almost universal anxiety that rarely gets mentioned directly: an anxiety about what others think of us; about whether we're judged a success or a failure, a winner or a loser. He is currently writing a new book about architecture. He was born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1969 and lives in London.
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