Currently Reading #1: Alain de Botton, 'The Romantic Movement'

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

I used to be a self-professed bookworm. After a particularly haunting incident involving my favourite Barbie during childhood, I turned to books, and we started a tumultuous love affair that under the pressure of adolescence and heavy university work load I thought had come to an end. But thankfully, it isn't so, and lately I've been getting back into reading which has made me a particularly happy bunny. I love reading. It's slow going compared to the speed I remember I used to devour books when I was younger (anyone else read Harry Potter on the same day it was released?) but it's no less enjoyable.

I'm currently sinking my teeth into 'The Romantic Movement: Sex, Shopping and the Novel' by Alain de Botton. It's not my first reading of it, but I hadn't read it in so long, and personally I think it's one of those novels that reads like the first time if you've let enough time elapse so that you've inadvertantly grown as well. 

The thing I like most about 'The Romantic Movement' is the way that de Botton manages to mix fiction with a philosophical and psychological analysis of a relationship from the meeting to break up. The ordinary becomes extraordinary, and the extraordinary becomes understandable. Alice and Eric's relationship isn't particularly interesting in itself, but is brought into new light by analysing it though the prism of the likes of Plato, Freud and Madam Bovary, who are casually dropped into the analysis without making the reader feel like he's being pretentious. 

It's a light, enjoyable read that I can just pick it up and read a few pages, mull it over and read a few more the next day. All in all, it's the perfect book to ease me back into reading.

Have you read 'The Romantic Movement'?

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