Maurizio Ferraris

Learning to Live

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In 1970, I was fourteen years old and committed myself, with an agonistic spirit, to reading the Recherche in its entirety. Between 1970 and 1980, and especially in the first part of the decade, I read it seven times, in translation and then in the original. I do not know the reason for this obstinacy and it is not interesting except from a psychiatric point of view. The first essay I published in my life, in 1978, was dedicated to Proust, followed by four or five others, then collected in a book published in 1987. And I have not reopened the Recherche since then. When I stopped reading I was 31 years old, today I am 66, which means that for more than half of my life I have not read the Recherche and that for more than half of the first half of my life I did little more than read the Recherche. These numerologies are interesting for the experiment, not mental but real, that this circumstance allows me. I was able to test Proust’s general assumption that a book is a pair of glasses made to read into ourselves and to say that yes, that is indeed how life works


  • Marcel Proust
  • Experience
  • Time
  • Soul
  • Life
  • Death


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