978-0-7102-1226-9 / 9780710212269

Formative Writings: 1929-1941





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About the book:

Simone Weil (1909-43) is widely recognized as one of the most brilliant and original minds of twentieth-century France. She dedicated herself to searching for answers to fundamental questions about the nature of oppression and the reasons for human exploitation. She attempted to alleviate suffering or share in it and, in the last years of her life, profoundly explored the relationship of the human condition to the realm of the transcendent. This volume make available for the first time in English an important part of Weil's early writings. Although known primarily as a religious thinker, she devoted enormous energy in her formative years to her work as a political activist and as a philosopher/teacher. This book reveals these other sides of Weil and demonstrates the lines of continuity underlying her whole thought. Written between 1929 and 1941 and including her diary of her time on the production line at Renault, the book covers a crucial and transitional period in Weil's life. Taken together they represent invaluable primary source material on the evolution of Weil's thinking and on her chosen method of abstracting elements from her personal experience and transmuting that experience into considered thought. Even when highly theoretical, her writing was always concerned with the application of her intelligence - through education, study, work, political involvement, and the practice of contemplative attention - to concrete problems of human existence.

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