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date: 01 March 2024

Simone Weil 1909–43
French essayist and philosopher 

  1. A right is not effectual by itself, but only in relation to the obligation to which it corresponds…An obligation which goes unrecognized by anybody loses none of the full force of its existence. A right which goes unrecognized by anybody is not worth very much.
    L'Enracinement (1949)
  2. Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void.
    Gravity and Grace (1948)
  3. All sins are attempts to fill voids.
    Gravity and Grace (1948)
  4. The authentic and pure values—truth, beauty, and goodness—in the activity of a human being are the result of one and the same act, a certain application of the full attention to the object.
    Gravity and Grace (1948)
  5. An intelligent man who is proud of his intelligence is like a condemned man who is proud of his cell.
    ‘The Human Personality: the Just and the Unjust’ in La Table ronde November 1950
  6. At the very best, a mind enclosed in language is in prison.
    ‘Human Personality’ (1943)
  7. Humility is attentive patience.
    ‘New York Notebook’ (1940) in First and Last Notebooks (1970)
  8. Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.
    letter to Joë Bousquet, 13 April 1942; Simone Pétrement Simone Weil: A Life (1976) tr. Raymond Rosenthal
  9. What a country calls its vital economic interests are not the things which enable its citizens to live, but the things which enable it to make war.
    W. H. Auden A Certain World (1971)