De Gaulle’s ‘a certain idea of France’ perfectly expresses these polarities, which are complementary as well as contradictory: ‘logic’ or reason and ‘latinity’ or ‘mobile’ emotion:

All my life I have had a certain idea of France. This is inspired by sentiment as well as reason. Emotionally, I imagine France, naturally . . . as if vowed to an eminent and exceptional destiny. Instinctively, I have the impression that Providence has created it for assured success or exemplary misfortune . . . .Yet the positive side of my mind convinces me that France is not really itself except when it is in the front rank . . . . Briefly, in my view, France cannot be France without greatness.