Sunday, October 30, 2016

Weil

Two weeks from now, I'm going to be part of a panel on the "life and commitment of philosopher and activist Simone Weil." It's part of The New School's welcome to composer-in-residence Kaija Saariaho, whose oratorio "La Passion de Simone" will be performed at the Mannes School of Music. I'm part of it because I included Weil in my anthology on The Problem of Evil and mention her once in the Job book, but I'm hardly a specialist. I may be the only one to speak about her spiritual writings. But returning to her bracing texts is, well, bracing for me too.

God and humanity are like two lovers who have missed their rendezvous. Each is there before the time, but each at a different place, and they wait and wait and wait. He stands motionless, nailed to the spot for the whole of time. She is distraught and impatient. But alas for her if she gets tired and goes away.

"The Things of the World," in The Simone Weil Reader,
ed. George A. Panichas (NY: David McKay, 1977), 424-25

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