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The French Art of Not Trying Too Hard Reviews

The French Art of Not Trying Too Hard by Ollivier Pourriol, Helen Stevenson

The French Art of Not Trying Too Hard

Ollivier Pourriol, Helen Stevenson

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1 review

Category: Non-fiction, Philosophy
Imprint: Profile Books Ltd
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Publication date: 4 Jun 2020
ISBN: 9781788163279
2 stars out of 5
Laura Freeman
26 Dec 2020

"What cultural cringe, what sense of national inadequacy makes us buy these books?"

Bien, et alors. How to channel our inner Louis le Grand? Here, Pourriol’s thesis divides confusingly in two. On the one hand, he argues that effortlessness is an art. It’s about daydreaming, breathing, sleeping and imagination. On the other, it’s an act of intense dedication. He writes at length about Gladwell’s scheme that with 10,000 hours of practice anyone can excel in a chosen field. Yet hard work takes you only so far. Pourriol argues for deliberately wasting time, for nonchalance, for reading, reflection and leisure. God loves a trier — but don’t be seen to be trying.

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