T h e U n c o n v e r t e d S a i n t
© 1951 Only now beginning to move from the shadows of some of the more renown figures of the 20th Century into a brilliant light of her own, social philosopher, political activist, theologian, mystic, and war refugee Simone Weil is captured in this lovely book in her own words. With an introduction by Leslie Fiedler, this book of letters is written from Weil to her dearest friend and confidant Father Perrin, who tried unsuccessfully to have his friend baptized into the Catholic faith. Simultaneously an insider and an outsider of the church and the world, Weil had become dissillusioned with marxism after a first hand integration with both the intelligentsia and the workers. Raised as an agnostic Jew in France, she nevertheless found her way to what she called the "implicit and explicit love of God" she claimed could be found in most of the world's religions, its secular counterparts, but most clearly in the miracle of the Christ. Her extraordinary insights are matched by her unwavering devotion to her principles of humility and self-denial in her active life, although both these character traits take on a specialized meaning in the Simone Weil lexicon. Her sense of awe for the supernatural essence of God in the lives of ordinary mortals is unsurpassed, but Fiedler compares her to Kierkegaard as she preached that it is easier for a non-Christian to become a Christian than it is for one born into the faith to become one. But she took great pains in suggesting like psychologists Carl Jung that one should remain in the faith of one's birth if at all possible. Her riveting clarity of thought invigorates this collection with every turn of unfamiliar phrase, and taken whole, one cannot help but to remark, "Surely, this woman has seen the face of God, and yet lived!"
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T h e H i s t o r i c a l G u y
© 1997 On the front cover of this handsome book is a quote from the Situationist International, the small group of revolutionary thinkers with whom the unsinkable Frenchman Guy Debord (1931-1994) was titan, "Revolution is not showing life to people, but making them live." This is a strange but rather typical slogan from a group which delighted in the fostering of war mentalities and had advocated the overthrow of existing systems of all government and commerce, written from within a Neo-Marxist dialectic. Nothing in our current "society of the spectacle" seems to have pleased Debord more than secretly planning for the great revolutionary moment when all society's ills would be righted with the abrupt abolition of work and in its place put the psychogeographical celebration of play. This spotty sketch of the unlikely man who would be Dionysius is but a fair introduction to the revolutionary poet and activist, his life, his friends, and his times (with lots of pictures, too!).
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