Simone Weil, French philosopher, mystic, and political activist
Simone Weil (February 3, 1909 – August 24, 1943) was a French philosopher, mystic, and political activist.
- After her graduation from formal education, she became a teacher and taught intermittently throughout the 1930s, taking several breaks due to poor health.
- She devoted herself to political activism, work that would see her assisting in the trade union movement, taking the side of the Anarchists known as the Durruti Column in the Spanish Civil War.
- She spent more than a year working as a labourer, mostly in auto factories, so she could better understand the working class.
Taking a path that was unusual among 20th century left-leaning intellectuals, she became more religious and inclined towards mysticism as her life progressed.
- Weil wrote throughout her life, though most of her writings did not attract much attention until after her death.
- In the 1950s and 1960s, her work became famous in continental Europe and throughout the English-speaking world.
- Her thought has continued to be the subject of extensive scholarship across a wide range of fields.
- A meta study from the University of Calgary found that between 1995 and 2012 over 2,500 new scholarly works had been published about her.
Albert Camus, a French philosopher, author, and journalist, described her as “the only great spirit of our times.”
Words of Wisdom
A test of what is real is that it is hard and rough. Joys are found in it, not pleasure. What is pleasant belongs in dreams.