What Is Culture For?

by The School of Life (Author), Alain de Botton (Series Editor)

Many people search for the meaning of life through music, film, literature and the visual arts. But how can we synthesize the emotions we feel through art?

This book looks at how works of (Western) culture were made -- that is, to improve the way we live. Connecting a range of cultural masterpieces with our own pains and dilemmas, we learn to better see culture as a resource, a way to address the agonies of being human.

It provides us with enduring keys to unlocking culture as a way of transforming our lives.

Using common themes -- such as companionship, hope balance, compassion, knowledge, encouragement, appreciation, and perspective -- and combining them with works from Bach to Renoir, The Beatles to Mel Gibson's Braveheart, Hamlet, Anselm Kiefer, and writers like Proust and Virginia Woolf, this book provides the key to unlocking culture. Indeed, the keys to transforming our lives.

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