Simone Weil (1909-1943) was a defining figure of the twentieth century; a philosopher, Christian, resistance fighter, anarchist, feminist, Labour activist and teacher. She was described by T. S. Eliot as 'a woman of genius, of a kind of genius akin to that of the saints', and by Albert Camus as 'the only great spirit of our time'. Originally published posthumously in two volumes, these newly reissued notebooks, are among the very few unedited personal writings of Weil's that still survive today. Containing her thoughts on art, love, science, God and the meaning of life, they give context and meaning to Weil's famous works, revealing an unique philosophy in development and offering a rare private glimpse of her singular personality.
Simone Weil's Leons de Philosophie are derived from a course she taught at the lyce for girls at Roanne in 1933–4. Anne Reynaud-Gurithault was a pupil in the class; her notes are not a verbatim record but are a very full and, as far as one can judge, faithful rendering, often catching the unmistakable tone of Simone Weil's voice as well as the force and the directness of her thought. The lectures form a good general introduction to philosophy, ranging widely over problems about perception, mind, language, reasoning and problems in moral and political philosophy too. Her method of presentation is a characteristic combination of abstract argument, personal experience and literary or historical reference. Peter Winch points out in his introduction to the book some of the more systematic connections in her philosophical work (and between this philosophical work and her other concerns), and makes a number of suggestive comparisons between Simone Weil and Wittgenstein. The translation is by Hugh Price from the Plon edition of 1959. Dr Price has added some notes to explain references in the text that might be unfamiliar to English speaking students beginning philosophy.
Gravity and Grace was the first ever publication by the remarkable thinker and activist, Simone Weil. In it Gustave Thibon, the farmer to whom she had entrusted her notebooks before her untimely death, compiled in one remarkable volume a compendium of her writings that have become a source of spiritual guidance and wisdom for countless individuals. On the fiftieth anniversary of the first English edition - by Routledge & Kegan Paul in 1952 - this Routledge Classics edition offers English readers the complete text of this landmark work for the first time ever, by incorporating a specially commissioned translation of the controversial chapter on Israel. Also previously untranslated is Gustave Thibon's postscript of 1990, which reminds us how privileged we are to be able to read a work which offers each reader such 'light for the spirit and nourishment for the soul'. This is a book that no one with a serious interest in the spiritual life can afford to be without.
Over fifty years after her death, Simone Weil (1909-1943) remains one of the most searching religious inquirers and political thinkers of the twentieth century. Albert Camus said she had a "madness for truth." She rejected her Jewishness and developed a strong interest in Catholicism, although she never joined the Catholic church. Both an activist and a scholar, she constantly spoke out against injustice and aligned herself with workers, with the colonial poor in France, and with the opressed everywhere. She came to believe that suffering itself could be a way to unity with God, and her death at thirty-four has been recorded as suicide by starvation. This extraordinary study is primarily a topography of Weil's mind, but Thomas Nevin is persuaded that her thought is inextricably bound to her life and dramatic times. Thus, he not only addresses her thoughts and her prejudices but examines her reasons for entertaining them and gives them a historical focus. He claims that to Weil's generation the Spanish War, the Popular Front, the ascendance of Hitlerism, and the Vichy years were not mere backdrops but definitive events. Nevin explores in detail not only matters of continuing interest, such as Weil's leftist politics and her attempt to embrace Christianity, but also hitherto unexamined aspects of her life and work which permit a deeper understanding of her: her writings on science, her work as a poet and dramatist, and her selective friendships. The thread uniting these topics is her struggle to maintain her independence as a free thinker while resisting community such as Judaism could have offered her. Her intellectual struggles eloquently reveal the desperate isolation of Jews torn between the lure of assimilation and the tormented dignity of their communal history. Nevin's massive research draws on the full range of essays, notebooks, and fragments from the Simone Weil archives in Paris, many of which have never been translated or published. Originally published in 1991. A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.
In 1941 Simone Weil was introduced to Father Jean-Marie Perrin, a priest of the Dominican order whose friendship became one of the most significant influences on her spiritual development. It was for Father Perrin that she wrote her 'spiritual autobiography', contained in Waiting for God, and to him that she later wrote 'Letter to a Priest'. When Weil requested work as a field hand, Perrin sent her to Gustave Thibon, a farmer and Christian philosopher. From 1941-2, Weil stayed with the Thibon family, working in the fields by day while writing by night the notebooks which posthumously became Gravity and Grace and other seminal works. Perrin and Thibon met Weil at a time when her interior life and her creative genius were at the height of their glowing maturity. During the short but deep period of their acquaintance with her, they came to know her as she actually was. Their accounts of this time reveal her to us in the bare parlour of the Dominican convent at Marseilles where, after waiting her turn among a stream of refugees, she discussed her personal problems with Father Perrin. They show her to us in the vineyards of Ardèche, and on the stone seat by the fountain overlooking the Rhone valley where she read Plato to Thibon, her host. First published in 1953, and now newly introduced by Patricia Little, this unique portrait depicts Weil through the eyes of her friends, not as a strange and unaccountable genius but as an ardent and very human young person in search of truth and knowledge.
The French philosopher Simone Weil (1909-1943), a contemporary of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, remains in every way a thinker for our times. She was an outsider, in multiple senses, defying the usual religious categories: at once atheistic and religious; mystic and realist; sceptic and believer. She speaks therefore to the complex sensibilities of a rationalist age. Yet despite her continuing relevance, and the attention she attracts from philosophy, cultural studies, feminist studies, spirituality and beyond, Weil's reflections can still be difficult to grasp, since they were expressed in often inscrutable and fragmentary form. Lissa McCullough here offers a reliable guide to the key concepts of Weil's religious philosophy: good and evil, the void, gravity, grace, beauty, suffering and waiting for God. In addressing such distinctively contemporary concerns as depression, loneliness and isolation, and in writing hauntingly of God's voluntary 'nothingness', Weil's existential paradoxes continue to challenge and provoke. This is the first introductory book to show the essential coherence of her enigmatic but remarkable ideas about religion.