The New York Times Book Review Interviews Alain de Botton

Posted by Kendall Harmon

What were your favorite books as a child? Did you have a favorite character or hero?

I was a very un-literary child, which might reassure parents with kids who don’t read. Lego was my thing, as well as practical books like “See Inside a Nuclear Power Station.” It wasn’t till early adolescence that I saw the point of books and then it was the old stalwart, “The Catcher in the Rye,” that got me going. By 16, I was lost — often in the philosophy aisles, in a moody and melodramatic state. I was impressed by Kierkegaard’s claim that he was going to read only “writings by men who have been executed.”

What books had the greatest influence on you when you were a student?

The French essayist Roland Barthes was, and in many ways continues to be, my greatest influence.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksHistoryPhilosophy

1 Comments
Posted January 29, 2013 at 11:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. driver8 wrote:

French essayist Roland Barthes was, and in many ways continues to be, my greatest influence.

Good Lord, that tells me all I need to know.

January 29, 7:01 pm | [comment link]
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