"When a country has political parties, sooner or later it becomes impossible to intervene effectively in public affairs without joining a party and playing the game. Whoever is concerned for public affairs will wish his concerns to bear fruit. Those who care about the public interest must either forget their concern and turn to other things, or submit to the grind of the parties. In the latter case, they shall experience worries that will soon supersede their original concern for the public interest."
In this edition this is accompanied by a twenty two page essay "The Importance of Simone Weil" by the Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz, which offers a broad overview of Weil's life and ideas and her unique combination of Christian mysticism with political activism. There is also an eleven page afterward by translator Simon Leys on Milosz and his friendship with Weil and Albert Camus. These parts fit together nicely, and together they make up an engaging little volume which gives some feel for Weil and her work and their context in the intellectual landscape of post-war France. My only complaint is that it seems rather too expensive for such a slim volume.
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