Simone Weil : Thinking Poetically

Publication Type


Year of Publication



Dargan, Joan

Series Title

SUNY series, Simone Weil studies


xi, 148


State University of New York Press

Place Published

Albany, NY




Baudelaire, Charles
front-line nurses
Tsvetaeva, Marina
Pascal, Blaise


Dargan offers a unique contribution to the scholarly literature on Simone Weil in this analysis of Weil’s work within the context of the French literary tradition. She begins with a discussion of Weil’s “La Personne et le sacré” in relation to the “Pensées” of Blaise Pascal", then turns, in Chapter Two, to focus on Weil’s prayer for self-annihilation written in New York. Dargan uses the works of St. John of the Cross and Pascal in her analysis. In Chapter Three she discusses Weil’s “Prologue” found in her notebooks of 1942 relating it, in part, to the work of Baudelaire’s prose poems “La Spleen de Paris”. In Chapter four, Dargan focuses on Weil’s writing style in her notebooks while in Chapter Five she looks more closely at Weil’s aesthetic theory and poetry. Dargan draws on both Baudelaire and the work of the Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva in her discussion. In the sixth and final chapter Dargan examines the style and structure of Weil’s proposal for Front Line Nurses.