Having recently moved to a Himalayan village, I felt Simone Weil’s focus on uprootedness spoke directly to meThere has rarely been a day since I first read The Need for Roots, nearly two decades ago, that I haven’t thought of Simone Weil – one of my earliest heroines along with Hannah Arendt and Rosa Luxemburg. It was the title that initially attracted me more than the contents. Having recently moved to a Himalayan village after a peripatetic life in the plains, I had begun to feel rooted for the first time, connected to a stable community which, living off the land, neither poor nor rich, and low rather than upper caste, was marked above all by dignity – remarkable in a country where villages had become synonymous with destitution. And when Weil asserted that the central event of the modern era was uprootedness – the disconnection from the past and the loss of community – she seemed to speak directly to my experience.The range of her admirers – from TS Eliot to Albert Camus – attest to the difficulty of describing Weil. She was a bourgeois Jewish intellectual from France who, in a viciously antisemitic climate, rejected both Judaism and …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books