Mysticism and/as Love Theory (2021), pp. 167-176
Weil’s essay on Homer’s Iliad contains a philosophical analysis of la force that divides it into two phenomena with one metaphysical ground. Her analysis is a corrective to misunderstandings of force as something that can be possessed. The first half of my elaboration of Weil’s analysis is devoted to the phenomena she identifies in relation to la force, which I call might. In the second half, I elaborate the varieties of misunderstanding of la force. First, might is an illusion sustained by the shared belief of those in submission to might. Second, forces, i.e. the material forces on which weaponry depends, cannot be possessed. Third, what lies behind material forces is necessity, a third meaning of la force, which functions as a superordinate or ultimate force to which everyone and everything is subject. Understanding the last of these is the corrective that Weil means to present.
Philosophical Investigations, vol. 43, nos. 1-2, pp. 8-18.
This thesis posits that however separated T.S. Eliot and Simone Weil are by circumstance, political affinity, and Church affiliation, their thoughts intersect at a crucial point. While Weil’s theory of decreation and Eliot’s notion of impersonality are often cast as theological and poetic innovations, they both hearken back to the Christian mystical tradition – specifically, the aspect of via negativa. Placed alongside one another, Weil’s poetic mysticism and Eliot’s concern for the spiritual reveal the capacity of poems to decreate and bring the reader to a moment of void that awaits the fulfillment of grace. This thesis will study these topics with express consideration of Eliot’s Four Quartets and Weil’s notebooks, especially Gravity and Grace.
Honor’s Thesis, Department of English, Stanford University, May 2019.
Towards the end of her life, the French philosopher and mystic Simone Weil (1909-43) was working on a tragedy, Venice Saved. Appearing here in English for the first time, this play explores the realisation of Weil’s own thoughts on tragedy. A figure of affliction, a central theme in Weil’s religious metaphysics, the central character offers a unique insight into Weil’s broader philosophical interest in truth and justice, and provides a fresh perspective on the wider conception of tragedy itself.
The play depicts the plot by a group of Spanish mercenaries to sack Venice in 1618 and how it fails when one conspirator, Jaffier, betrays them to the Venetian authorities, because he feels compassion for the city’s beauty.
The edition includes notes on the play by the translators as well as introductory material on: the life of Weil; the genesis and purport of the play; Weil and the tragic; the issues raised by translating Venice Saved. With additional suggestions for further reading, the volume opens up an area of interest and research: the literary Weil.
New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019
Ronald Collins, “The Play’s the Thing: On Simone Weil’s Venice Saved,” Los Angeles Review of Books, Aug. 28, 2019
The Boisi Center, no. 102
Modern Philology, vol. 109, no. 3
University of Wollongong, PhD
Albany, New York: State University of New York Press