Sunday, July 10, 2011

Elaine Sciolino

Séduction and séduire (to seduce) are among the most overused words in the French language. In English, "seduce" has a negative and exclusively sexual feel; in French, the meaning is broader. The French use "seduce" where the British and Americans might use "charm" or "attract" or "engage" or "entertain." Seduction in France does not always involve body contact. A grand séducteur is not necessarily a man who easily seduces others into making love. The term might refer to someone who never fails to persuade others to his point of view. He might be gifted at caressing with words, at drawing people close with a look, at forging alliances with flawless logic. The target of a seduction — male or female — may experience the process as a shower of charm or a magnetic pull or even a form of entertainment that ends as soon as the dinner party is over. “Seduction” in France encompasses a grand mosaic of meanings. What is constant is the intent: to attract or influence, to win over, even if just in fun.

1 comment:

  1. "La Seduction: How the French Play the Game of Life" by Elaine Sciolino