Simone Weil is a French writer who lived from 1909 till 1943, of Jewish descent though raised agnostically. She studied philosophy , taught french, philosophy and several other subjects at high schools, while she also published several articles in left-winged magazines like ‘Critique sociale’, ‘Cahiers du Sud’ and ‘Oppresion et Liberté’.

Significant for Simone Weil are her involvement with minorities in society and her quest for truth. She always tried to be part of the working class to experience the problems which lived under the French population. After quitting her job at a high school in 1934 she started working at ‘Renault’, a car company, where she made extreme long working hours and fought for better treatment of the employers. In 1936 she took part in the Spanish Civil War, fighting for the Republicans. During the Second World War she worked in London in the service of ‘Free France’. There, in a small room somewhere in South London, Simone Weil died of her ascetic lifestyle.

It wasn’t untill after her death that her works were published, beautiful essays of mythic, philosophic and political nature. Strangely enough she seemed to encourage certain Roman Catholic ideas, while she had always rejected Roman Catholic hypocrisy when she was still alive.

Everything she wrote is more than worth a read, but I especially recommend ‘Le pesanteur et la Grâce’ and ‘Attente de Dieu’, both fascinating and clever narratives.

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