Seduction is the art of succeeding without trying, and that's a lesson the French have mastered. We can see it in their laissez-faire parenting, chic style, haute cuisine, and enviable home cooking: They barely seem to be trying, yet the results are world-famous--thanks to a certain je ne sais quoi that is the key to a more creative, fulfilling, and productive life. Philosopher Ollivier Pourriol's The French Art of Not Trying Too Hard draws on the examples of such French legends as Descartes, Stendhal, Rodin, Cyrano de Bergerac, and Françoise Sagan to show how to be efficient à la française, and how to effortlessly reap the rewards.
In his first book translated into English, Paris-based philosopher Pourriol takes a compelling look at the French attitude toward making things look easy. According to the author, 'effortlessness is quite an art, maybe even the height of art. It’s the hardest thing in the world.' Borrowing from a mixture of philosophers, artists, actors, and athletes, most of them French, Pourriol shows how this can be achieved in different areas of life. He draws heavily from the works of the radical pacifist philosopher known as 'Alain,' providing an undercurrent of how this approach to life also brings happiness. Pourriol set out to write a readable 'airport book,' and he has succeeded. This translation flows well thanks to the seemingly effortless work of Stevenson.
Philosopher Pourriol shares lessons on how to become one with the French way of living ... Rodin, Montaigne, and many others are included in this amusing and interesting read; even Pourriol’s description of his approach to the material is a lesson in the laissez-faire outlook. Is this likely to change readers’ lives? Peut être pas, but it is fun to think that it might.
French novelist Pourriol makes his English-language debut with a disappointing study of the elusive state of ease. For Pourriol, 'ease,' or effortlessness, is enigmatic, and, unfortunately, his observations on it are frustratingly contradictory ... Perhaps the recommendation to not try so hard to gain understanding will be of use to readers when trying to parse this unconvincing guide.