Monday, January 9, 2012

Substance Over Matter

"The Paris art scene is tame!" he tells me, looking up and down the candlelit tables at Comptoir de la Gastronomie. "Parisians are too busy dining and drinking and trying to seduce each other to pay serious attention to it."
A cliché, but a cliché with a scrap of truth to it. The French I see around me are not home funneling their vital energy into some artistic pursuit. Much as they may hope that their nation excels at such endeavors, what they reserve their real attention, ingenuity, and passion for is not the art of writing or composing, painting or philosophizing, but— quite simply —the art of living.
You need only pick up a French newspaper to discover that, while other papers in the West offer book reviews, the French offer book raves. Parisian reviewers have mistaken promotion for reflection, commerce for analysis, Serge Halimi, editor of the political journal Le Monde diplomatique, tells me as we wander down a bustling boulevard near his home. The art of criticism is defunct. So, too, is the art of philosophy. 
 Source: Conde Nast Traveler,

This. (In the bold.) A touch of this is what's needed in the States and I'd be happy to oblige. 

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