The Art of Seduction is a book written by Robert Greene. It is not his first book. He has earlier written a bestseller titled 48 Laws of Power before delving into the subtler method of power acquisition – seduction.
The 63-year-old author now has a YouTube channel where he analyzes key subjects in all his books. He is a mentor to so many powerful writers and a consultant to business and political leaders around the world. He has never married, but in a relationship. Although his parents were Jews, Greene chose to be neither religious nor atheistic, hovering between the two inclinations.
An outstanding peculiarity of Greene is the thousands of books he has read. We to books what sponge is in the presence of water. Books form our mindsets and belief systems. They have insidious effect on us without us knowing it. Greene has devoted many years of his life reading different authors and genre of books. He did not limit his scope of reading to modern writings, instead he savoured books written hundreds and even thousands of years. He is a disciple of Friedrich Nietzsche, Niccolo Machiavelli, Thucyddices and many other philosophers and thinkers.
I was listening to Robert Greene some months back on TED-TALKS. I am pretty sure a lot of you have heard about him. He has written books like 48 Laws Of Power, The Art Of War, The human Nature and The Art of Seduction. I liked the way he shared his experiences that helped him to build the person he is today. The surprising thing to me was that he had had 50 different jobs before he became a successful writer and he believes that all his experiences contributed to his current success. Maybe the struggles that we are having today is leading to something beautiful for tomorrow.
It seems Robert Greene is more familiar with power than any other modern writer. His works such as The Art of Seduction has sold millions of copies because of the unusual techniques employed by the genius. We are going to explore these techniques one after the other.
TECHNIQUE ONE: THE USE OF SIMPLE LANGUAGE
The Art of Seduction is primarily written in English language. As a man who has bagged a degree in Classical Studies, he is expected to use words that are difficult to remember or use. Yet there are many writers who has committed the unforgivable sin of writing in terms that require a reader to keep a dictionary close by. This could deter a reader from picking up the book. For trying to sound like a professor does more evil than good. It unconsciously reveals the high amount of hubris and narcissism of a writer and how he aims to gathers some level of admiration by projecting a professorial air. The effect is almost always ugly. In The Art of Seduction, Robert Greene explained complex psychological concepts in everyday language. He intentionally does not want to sound too intellectual, leaving his audience to feel alienated from him. His simple use of English language connected him with his readers and makes them feel a certain kind of affinity to him and his work. In other words, Robert Greene, while explaining about seduction, also showed in practical terms how to seduce readers effortlessly by using the language that resonates with their psyche.
THE SECOND TECHNIQUE: THE USE OF ILLUSTRATIONS
In The Art of Seduction, Robert Greene, treated his readers like children. You know how much children love stories. Stories are the magnet used to draw children into the ideology you are aiming to indoctrinate them with. Immediately you start a good story, their eyes are wide open and their minds’ antennae are all at alert, ready to pick up the minutest signal from you. Remember that a good storyteller, whether spoken in words or said by the words of mouth, uses inflection of the voice, gestures and familiar facial expressions to drive home their points. That is exactly what Robert Greene successfully did in his book, The Art of Seduction. He told a lot of story that would make the reader often forget he is not reading a novel. Robert Greene’s stories are plucked from the large bank of books he has read in his lifetime. He quoted David and Bethsheba, Moses, Greek mythological characters like the Siren and many more. The Art of Seduction makes a reader to believe that a story, whether fictional or real, has some underlying lessons behind it. Those underlying lessons were what he craftily inserted in each of the attributes of a good seducer.
THE THIRD TECHNIQUE: THE USE OF REVERSALS
I do not think there is any book in the world that warns you to be careful in the use of the principles enunciated therein. Robert Greene, in The Art of Seduction, was very generous with this technique. In a way, he was telling his readers that he is not some kind of charlatan who makes promises or predictions or laws that seems to be perfect because no prediction or law is perfect in its absolute sense. So, at every last part of each chapter, he introduces a Reversal. A Reversal warns the reader that he is likely to fail in the application of an aforementioned art of seduction if such and such happens. This is a subtle way of telling the reader to be cautious, else he would get himself killed or harmed. People around the world have adopted this book as their scripture because of its claim of fallibility. This is another subtle seductiveness of Robert Greene. He knows that humans are generally narcissist and they hate to be told what to do point-blank. So, he cunning wrote a book telling you what to do but leaving the option of you reverting to your brainpower in deciding what and how to carry out a line of actions outlined in his book.
Many writers need to learn a vital lesson from Art of Seduction. Your book does not have to be preachy in it to make sales. Most writers, especially the self-help ones, resort to feeding you with ideas as though the reader is a complete idiot. The reader is going to sense this and get your book into the trashcan.
THE FOURTH TECHNIQUE :THE USE OF BRUTAL REALISM
In The Art of Seduction, Robert Greene, did not try to mince words. He actually suggested his reader removes any moral lens while leafing through his book. He never attempted to sugarcoat negativity by an average amount of positivity, as most writers erroneously do. His approach is blunt. For example, when he was referring to the qualities of a Siren, he lambasted women for being unsuccessful in conquering love because they lack the seductive tactics of a Siren. A Siren does not give her all. Rather she gives you a hint, and allows you to do the rest. A Siren can be regarded as a farmer who enticed his chicken into the cage by dropping corn on the ground for it to feed on. Instead of chasing the chicken all around, exhausting yourself, a smart farmer toes the easier way. That is what ancient and modern Sirens do. Robert Greene then gave examples of a woman not giving her all. He mentioned dressing. He advised woman dress scantily, but barely to give it to sex. The desire to have sex with a scantily dressed woman would keep the man coming again and again until he is trapped like a chicken in a cage.
THE FIFTH TECHNIQUE: THE DIVERSIFICATION OF SEDUCTION
The Art of Seduction is not only scintillating, but also surprising. It is a book that will definitely give you what you are not expecting. For example, when you see the word ‘Seduction’ you may think it is a book meant for sex workers. Oh no. It is a book every living human being on earth ought to read. It not only discusses manipulative styles and strategies to ignite romantic encounters, but also lays emphasis on how to persuade people whether as a politician, pastor, imam or businessman. It examines social structures and how to acquire social power through the lens of seduction. It provides insights on how to understand different personality types, use persuasive language, create a sense of mystery, and stay authentic to engage and retain your target audience.
Ordinarily, the book ought to have been banned in some conservative countries, but because of the contagious nature of the book, it has been treated as an interesting read even by people who oppose the logical arguments presented in the book.
I have seen pastors secretly lavishing the ideals in the book.
Robert Greene repeatedly mentioned that some individuals are natural seducers. They do not have to be told what is in the Art of Seduction book before they know what to do to get who and what they want.
He stresses that his book is some kind of pathfinder, which helps a reader to identify the type of seducer he naturally is and how best to make use of it without endangering himself.