Weil Simone 1909 - 1943 (34)

Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity


Waiting for God

Simone Weil (1909 - 1943) was a French philosopher and political activist, one of the great spirits of the first half of the twentieth century, best known and appreciated in the second half.

He was born on February 3, 1909 in Paris to a wealthy family of French-Jewish agnostics. Her father was a doctor, her parents were from Alsace and they had moved to Paris after Alsace was annexed to Germany. Veil was a healthy baby up to six months old when she suffered from severe appendicitis and was in danger of dying; she will be in poor health for the rest of her life. She was the second of two children in the family, always having a close relationship with her older brother, the mathematician Andre Veil.

From an early age she showed an innate and genuine tendency for solidarity; she was sixe years old when she refused to eat sugar in support of soldiers fighting on the Western Front, at the age of 10, declared herself a Bolshevik, from her adolescence began taking part in demonstrations and to support workers' rights.She never joined the French Communist Party as she had identified in Marxism a new form of oppression.

Weil was an excellent pupil and student, she learned ancient Greek from the age of 12. She studied philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure, during her student years she became known for her radical views and was nicknamed the "Red Virgin". After graduating from university, she taught philosophy at a girls' high school, taking several breaks due to health problems, or to offer help, wherever duty called her. She sided with the anarchists in the Spanish Civil War and worked as a laborer for more than a year in order to better understand the working class.

In 1942, she traveled to the United States with her family. She did not want to leave but it was the only way for her parents to move away from Europe where they were in danger as Jews. She intended to return through England and work as an undercover agent in France. She arrived in London and in May 1943 she was prepared and trained to be sent to France, but she became ill with tuberculosis, soon her condition worsened and she was taken to a sanatorium in Ashford, Kent, where she died of a heart attack on August 24, 1943.

weil took an unusual path for a leftist intellectual in the course of her life; she became religious and turned to mysticism. She wrote many books during her lifetime, although most of her writings did not receive enough attention until after her death. In the 1950s and 1960s her work became famous throughout the English-speaking world with her ideas ​​becoming the subject of extensive study in a wide range of fields. A study showed that between 1995 and 2012, more than 2,500 scientific papers were published on her works.