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Lecture 7

FCS195H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Existentialism, Simone De Beauvoir, Femininity

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FCS195 – Lecture 7 11-11-20 8:09 PM
How Proust Can change your life
There is no separation between art and life
Why Read?
You get something real out of it
There is something in the book that is relevant to us
o We can learn about our own life this affects us in a very
real/direct way
o You can recognize character traits about people that are
present in the books we read these characters in the books
can have the same personality traits than people we know
o “We are always looking for ourselves in books”
o Good writers are able to grasp emotions and personality traits
and encompass them into the characters in the book by
doing this, the reader feels the story is very real
o He believes that when we read, we are searching for meaning
for our own life and we will understand it differently
o The reader has a relationship with the book
Create a sense of empathy reading teaches us to relate to
situations that seem different from our own
o We realize they are not really that different
o An important part of being human is relating to people
even with people that lived in castles in the Middle-Ages
o Books broadens our experience of the world and allows us to
live through the characters and experience what emotions
Shakespeare was feeling allows us to experience
completely different worlds that we would never have a
chance to see in our world
Reading allows us to feel normal and understand ourselves better
o We feel awful because we are greedy. But when we read
about people who are greedy, it makes us feel less alienated.
o We recognize our behaviours when we see it in others.

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o Allows us to put words into what we feel and we are able to
communicate it in our everyday lives
We don’t absorb passively what the author says We
critically analyze and develop our own interpretation of
what it means
We learn how we feel about what is said and we grow
For Complex Thought/Against Simplification
Proust believes there is no aspect of life that we should not try to
Proust would put everything in his book he was accused of
digressing on unimportant topics i.e. falling asleep
He mixes “important” topics with “unimportant” topics i.e. speaks
of philosophy on one page and on the next page he talks about how
to properly cook fish or falling asleep
The starting point does not matter, it is about how you can
illuminate the story to make it relevant anything is food for
thought/ you can learn from anything
For Proust, the plot is not where the most important details are, it is how we
can see ourselves in the book.
he considers putting a lot of time into the book as being good because
you give them importance and complexity
Even simple stories can be seen through a different lens and be given
meaning. Inversely, every “important story” can be rendered “unimportant”
i.e. The Titanic is just a sinking ship and Romeo and Juliet is just a story
about misunderstood novels.
If you read a story too fast, you will only get facts. You will not get true
meaning because you have not dug deep enough.
Using Language Precisely
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