Thursday, March 01, 2007

ode to a finished book

I finally finished Simone Weil's Gravity and Grace. The work of this mid-20th-century French Jewish activist-mystic (yet defying categorization), is now on my list of most difficult books I've "read." I put read in quotes, because sometimes, when reading, the clarity and meaning of words evaporates, leaving them behind as mere objects. It makes for an interesting reading experience: When words betray their purpose, to communicate, and leave me instead with a vague sense of things--of brilliance and truth, or at least of worth. There is something in her writing, something that evaded me right through to the last word. But I ploughed on, believing the discipline and, in her words, attention, to be somehow good for me.

I will give you two quotes. To complicate this post with more than that would be much too heavy for the general purposes of the internet (speed, surface, mass accumulation of that which quickly slips through the fingers).

"The mysteries of faith are degraded if they are made into an object of affirmation and negation, when in reality they should be an object of contemplation.

"Beauty captivates the flesh in order to obtain permission to pass right to the soul."

Wow. That's all I can say.

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