BETWEEN HOPE AND DESPAIR: SEDUCTION.
CASANOVA: Don’t believe what people say. I don’t conquer. I submit. I’ve never sought glory as a lover.
SISTER BEATRICE: What then, Signore Casanova, do you seek?
CASANOVA: A moment that lasts a lifetime.
—Casanova, 2005, Lasse Hallström.
SE.DUC.ER.-n. A person who entices, allures, or seduces, esp one who entices another to engage in sexual intercourse.
Voltaire wrote in his play Mérode, “It’s not enough to conquer, one must also know how to seduce.” Mon cher Casanova was perhaps the most successful seducer in history; few women could resist him. A vivid face, a thinker, a fighter, an adventurer, and as he wrote in his Histoire de ma vie1, “born for the fairer sex.”
His method was simple: on meeting a woman, he would carefully study her. He liked young women who were unhappy2, or had suffered a recent misfortune. Then, he would go along with her moods, find out what was missing in her life, and bring her fantasy to life, making himself the ideal lover.
A great connoisseur of the art of seduction never grants control to someone else. He leads by creating constant tension and suspense. He actually swings her between hope and despair. Feelings which are fed by the unpredactibility. At the end, as the father of Existentialism Søren Kierkegaard said,“This is always the law for the interesting… If one just knows how to surprise, one always wins the game. The energy of the person involved is temporarily suspended; one makes it impossible for her to act.”
Albeit a grand séducteur has a bad reputation, I’m allured by the effort, the artfulness Casanova applied to each affair that made him so devilishly seductive. Qualities, my Dear Readers, that are unfortunately quite absent nowadays. Although this savoir faire is not surprising coming from a man who loved life passionately for its own sake.
1 The memoirs of Casanova are perhaps the most valuable document on the society of the eighteenth century. He did not live to write, but wrote because he had lived, and when he could live no longer.
2 Happy people are much harder to seduce.
Copyright © 2012 by THE PYTHAGOREAN STORYTELLER. All rights reserved.