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T. S. Eliot and Simone Weil

Tuesday, 5 Nov 2013

Simone Weil on Staff and Scrip, Dr John Dunn First posted on Monday, 10 December 2012 at 20:47




Simone Weil







It has taken me some time, but the more I read Simone Weil, the more I understand why T.S. Eliot thought her an important writer. A Jew, a refugee from war-torn continental Europe, she does not fit the expected pattern of a traditionalist. However, through her own, very personal, intellectual struggle, she travelled the journey from Marxist materialism to being more Christian than the Christians, and traditionalist in her social as well as her religious thinking.

After the war, T. S. Eliot had to tread carefully following his pre-war support for the ideals of the French leader and principle thinker of Action Francais, the monarchist, anti-parliamentarist and counter-revolutionary Charles Maurras.

T. S. Eliot

Eliot was obviously impressed with the social programme that Weil had set out in The Need for Roots. He recognised within it underlying principles that were not so far removed from his own and those of Maurras. What is more, given Weil’s background, to write a preface to Weil’s book was inherently safe and in keeping with the mood of the immediate post-war years. However, the fortunate legacy of this action has been to signal that the writings of Simone Weil are worthy of consideration by anyone opposed to bank and money-based liberalism.

John Dunn.







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