La Séduction

Elaine Sciolino writes for the New York Times from Paris. She has also just released a book about, what else, the seductive way in which the French go about life. Excerpts from the aptly-titled La Séduction are aaaaallll yours in the latest edition of Carnet Atlantique:

“There is much that is unlovable about France: the sclerosis in its educational system; the blindness and unwillingness to acknowledge and embrace ethnic, religious and racial diversity; the emphasis on process and form rather than completion; the inelegant and often brutal behavior that sometimes surfaces in prominent political figures.”

“And yet the French still imbue everything they do with a deep affection for sensuality, subtlety, mystery, and play. Even as their traditional influence in the world shrinks, they soldier on. In every arena of life they are determined to stave off the onslaught of decline and despair. They are devoted to the pursuit of pleasure and the need to be artful, exquisite, witty, and sensuous, all skills in the centuries-old game called seduction. But it is more than a game; it is an essential strategy for France’s survival as a country of influence.”

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