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Alain de Botton

What is fascinating about marriage is why anyone wants to get married.

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I went to church and couldn't swallow it. The music was nice but I don't belong there.

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I was uncomfortable writing fiction. My love was the personal essay, rather than the novel.

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Kant and Hegel are interesting thinkers. But I am happy to insist that they are also terrible writers.

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It's clear to me that there is no good reason for many philosophy books to sound as complicated as they do.

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We may seek a fortune for no greater reason than to secure the respect and attention of people who would otherwise look straight through us.

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I'm also interested in the modern suggestion that you can have a combination of love and sex in a marriage - which no previous society has ever believed.

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Booksellers are the most valuable destination for the lonely, given the numbers of books that were written because authors couldn't find anyone to talk to.

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Status anxiety definitely exists at a political level. Many Iraqis were annoyed with the US essentially for reasons of status: for not showing them respect, for humiliating them.

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I passionately believe that's it's not just what you say that counts, it's also how you say it - that the success of your argument critically depends on your manner of presenting it.

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Alain de Botton
Alain de Botton