Simone Weil’s “The Iliad or the Poem of Force” is a profound exploration of the power of force and the hubris of mankind in attempting to control it to our advantage. Force is inherently destructive, and we risk it overwhelming us when we unleash it upon ourselves. This two-part essay, published in the Cahiers du Sud in 1940 – 41, is every bit as relevant today in all human interactions, from the interpersonal to the geopolitical.
Join us for a discussion of this piece by Professor Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame and renowned Weil scholar Dr. E. Jane Doering and Simona Girugea, Senior Lecturer in of the University Theatre at Colgate University, who adapted this writing into a compelling one-woman dramatization (performed at the library on Friday, October 15). Hosted by Ron Collins, Senior Editor of ATTENTION. The discussion will probe this compelling essay in depth. The conversation will be followed by a reception sponsored ATTENTION.
E. Jane Doering is professor emerita of the College of Arts and Letters at Notre Dame University. She received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 19th and 20th-century French literature and culture. She also holds a Masters of Education from Goucher College and an M.A. in French Literature from the University of Notre Dame, along with a Diplôme d’études from La Sorbonne, Paris. She received the Notre Dame Kaneb Teaching Award for excellence in teaching. Her books include When Fiction and Philosophy Meet: A Conversation with Flannery O’Connor and Simone Weil (2019), Simone Weil and the Specter of Self-perpetuating Force (2010), and The Christian Platonism of Simone Weil (2014). She has authored over three dozen articles in English, French, and Italian on the multi-dimensional thought of Simone Weil, and delivered numerous talks in the USA, Canada, France, Italy, and Israel. Her professional responsibilities include being a longstanding member in an advisory capacity of the American Weil Society and of the international Association pour l’étude de la pensée de Simone Weil. She is also on the board of advisors of ATTENTION.
Lewes Public Library, October 16, 2021
NOTE: this session is available to attend in-person or through Zoom. You MUST REGISTER and indicate which you prefer.
Join Resistance Recovery founder Piers Kaniuka and author and scholar Eric O. Springsted as they discuss his new book Simone Weil for the 21st Century. Recorded on July 14, 2021. Eric O. Springsted is a long time scholar of the thought of Simone Weil. He is the co-founder of the American Weil Society and served as its president for thirty-three years. After a career as a teacher, scholar, and pastor, he is retired and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is the author and editor of over a dozen previous books.
Resistance Recovery, July 23, 2021
Related: “A Q&A Interview with Eric Springsted,” Attention.
Podcast interview with Eric Springsted about his career, his life work on Weil, and his latest book on her, along with comments on Plato, Wittgenstein, St. John of the Cross, and Kierkegaard.
Hermitix (July 7, 2021)
Lewes Public Library, Delaware Division of Libraries
Known as the “patron saint of all outsiders,” Simone Weil was one of the twentieth century’s most remarkable thinkers, a philosopher who truly lived by her political and ethical ideals. In a short life framed by the two world wars, Weil taught philosophy to lycée students and organized union workers, fought alongside anarchists during the Spanish Civil War and labored alongside workers on assembly lines, joined the Free French movement in London, and died in despair because she was not sent to France to help the Resistance. While many seekers have been attracted to Weil’s religious thought, Robert Zaretsky’s “The Subversive Simone Weil” gives us a different Weil, exploring her insights into politics and ethics, and showing us a new side of Weil that balances her contradictions – the rigorous rationalist who also had her own brand of Catholic mysticism; the revolutionary with a soft spot for anarchism yet who believed in the hierarchy of labor; and the humanitarian who emphasized human needs and obligations over human rights. In this conversation with philosopher of religion Lottie Moore, Zaretsky reflects on the relationship between thought and action in Weil’s life, and why her ideas matter and continue to fascinate readers today. Robert Zaretsky is a professor of French history in the University of Houston Honors College, and the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. He is the author of numerous books on thinkers including Denis Diderot, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Albert Camus. His new book, “The Subversive Simone Weil: A Life in Five Ideas”, was published in February by Chicago University Press. Lottie Moore studied Theology at Bristol University before completing an MA in Political Theology at Mansfield College, Oxford, where she focused on identity politics. She currently works at a policy institute leading a project on UK health inequality and at SOAS, where she looks at issues surrounding freedom of speech.
On Philosophy: Digital Lectures Series, YouTube, May 2, 2021