The Need For Roots by Simone Weil


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London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd. First edition, second impression. 288 pages. First English translation by A. F. Willis, first French edition published in 1949 as L'Enracinement. Preface by T. S. Eliot. Light wear to jacket edges with a small loss to the top right, internally clean and bright, not price clipped. An attractive, near-fine example. 

The Need For Roots, Prelude To A Declaration Of Duties Towards Mankind.

'A text with a radical vision for spiritual and political renewal. The Need For Roots diagnoses the causes of societal malaise afflicting 20th century civilisation, particularly in Europe but also the rest of the world.
In 1943, the final year of her life, Weil worked in London for the Free French government in exile. Here she was commissioned to outline a 'plan for the renewal of Europe' after the scourge of Nazism, The Need for Roots was the result.
The idea of the spirituality of work is an integral current to Weil's thought, she discusses the political, cultural and spiritual elements that should to be nurtured to help people help lead fulfilling, joyful and morally acceptable lives.
The idea of 'Uprootedness' is another concept proposed by Weil. She explains this as a near universal condition resulting from the destruction of ties with the past, and the dissolution of community. She specifies the requirements that must be met so that peoples can once again feel rooted, in a cultural and spiritual sense, to their environment and to the past, with expectations for the future.'

Simone Adolphine Weil was a French philosopher, mystic and political activist. Her work was chronically over-looked during her lifetime, with most of her writings were published posthumously. She died aged 34.

'Concern for the symbol has completely disappeared from our science. And yet, if one were to give oneself the trouble, one could easily find, in certain parts at least of contemporary mathematics... symbols as clear, as beautiful, and as full of spiritual meaning as that of the circle and mediation. From modern thought to ancient wisdom the path would be short and direct, if one cared to take it.'

'The highest ecstasy is the attention at its fullest.'

'We love the beauty of the world, because we sense behind it the presence of something akin to that wisdom we should like to possess to slake our thirst for good.'