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Simone Weil

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The Need for Roots : Prelude to a Declaration of Duties Toward Mankind The Need for Roots : Prelude to a Declaration of Duties Toward Mankind by Simone Weil, T. S. Eliot (Introduction) 

Written while Simone Weil worked at the French Headquarters in London, The Need for Roots was published in 1949 posthumously under the title L'Enracinement. She had been commissioned by General de Gaulle, head of the Free French forces, to write a report on the duties and privileges of the French after the liberation. Weil became concerned by the idea of uprootedness; she wrote this study on the need for security. Her report called for her fellow French to recover their spiritual roots. An intensely spiritual person, Weil felt it an obligation to experience life as others had to, working on factories and on farms. She was to die of tuberculosis a year after being commissioned to write this book, having refused to eat more than the rations of those suffering Nazi occupation in France.

"We must simply expose ourselves to the personality of a woman of genius, of a kind of genius akin to that of the saints." -- T. S. Eliot in the Preface

About the Author
Simone Weil (1909-1943) was one of the most important social, religious and moral philosophers of this century. Her books include Gravity and Grace and Intimations of Christianity among the Ancient Greeks, both published by Routledge.

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48 Seasons Cafe:  Simone Weil

(1909-1943) Simone Weil (pronounced "vey") is the patron philosopher of the If Monks had Macs... new media library. She wrote with the clarity of a brilliant mind educated in the best French schools, the social conscience of a grass-roots labor organizer, and the certainty and humility of a Christian mystic. Andre Gide called her the saint of all outsiders. Despite her rapturous love of Jesus Christ, she never ceased to study the truths of the religions of the East. She stayed outside of any church, but her passionate need to share the sufferings of others led her to fight with the anarchists in the Spanish Civil War, to work as a field hand and an unskilled laborer, and ultimately to die in England at the age of 34 from tuberculosis complicated by her refusing to eat more than Hitler's rations allotted to her countrymen in occupied France. After her death writers as diverse as T. S. Eliot and Albert Camus declared her one of our century's foremost thinkers. This page concludes with an outline of the major external events of Weil's life...


Plato's Cave
Weil's Cave
Red Virgin