SIMONE Weil, one of the most brilliant and original minds of twentieth-century France, died at the age of thirty-four in a nursing home near London. The coroner issued a verdict of suicide, due to voluntary starvation-an action undertaken at least in part out of wish not to eat more than the rations given her compatriots in France under the German occupation. The year of her death was 1943.
The willed deprivation of her last period was not new; indeed refusal seems to have been a part of her character since infancy. What sets her apart from our current ascetics with their practice of transcendental meditation, diet, vegetarianism, ashram simplicities, yoga, is that with them the deprivations and rigors are undergone for the payoff – for tranquility, for thinness, for the hope of a long life-or frequently it seems, to fill the hole of emptiness so painful to the narcissist. Simone Weil it was entirely the opposite.
It was her wish, or her need, to undergo miserly affliction and deprivation because such had been the lot of mankind throughout history. Her wish was not to feel better, but to honor the sufferings of the lowest. Thus around 1935, when she was twenty-five years old, this woman of transcendent intellectual gifts and the widest learning, already very frail and suffering from severe headaches, was determined to undertake a year of work in a factory. The factories, the assembly lines were then the modern equivalent of "slavery," and she survived in her own words as "forever a slave." What she went through at the factory "marked me in so lasting a manner that still today when any human being, whoever he may be and in whatever circumstances, speaks to me without brutality, I cannot help having the impression that there must be a mistake .... "
For those of us here in America who have known Simone Weil from the incomplete translation of her work and from the dramatically reduced and vivid moments of her thought and life, she has taken on the clarity of the very reduction itself. There the life was as if given in panels of stained glass, each frame underlined by a quotation from her writings, quotations unforgettably beautiful and quite unlike any other of our time. It is only in quotation, not in paraphrase, that the extraordinary quality of her concerns shines through. ("The intelligent man who is proud of his intelligence is like the condemned man who is proud of his large cell.")
This "life," written by her friend, Simone Petrernent, is a work of the most serious kind of affection and the most serious dedication. And yet the result of it all is to obscure and blur by detail and by a wish, no doubt unconscious, to retain memories and moments of the normal and natural in a character of spectacular and in many ways exemplary abnormality. Those who live with a breaking intensity and who die young have a peculiar hold upon the world's imagination. The present fashion of biography, with the scrupulous accounting of time, makes a long life of a short one. It is not the careful gathering of facts or the mere length-a year is a long book-but the way the habit and practice work upon the grand design, turning form into bricks. Short lives that sum themselves up in final explosions of work and action are especially vulnerable to amiability, discretion, and accumulation. (Sylvia Plath is another example of reduction by expansion-high school, tennis, lessons, dates.)
Simone Weil was born in 1909 into a Jewish family with little interest in Jewish religion or Jewish culture. The parents were unusually attractive because of their elevated traits of mind and patient sympathies. Both Simone and her brother, Andre, a distinguished mathematician, were clearly gifted from the beginning, having talents that revealed themselves in inspired concentration. The family was a close one and Simone's frail intensity and her ingrained refusals-luxuries of all kinds, personal comfort in the manner of living, indifference to girlish ways-caused the parents anxiety which did not, however, take the form of denunciation. Throughout her life, her parents are to be found urging people to give her decent food without her knowing it, worrying
[to be continued] 

Nhớ, lần đầu tiên, biết đến tên Simone Weil, là qua Phạm Công Thiện, Hố Thẳm gì gì đó. Chê. Thế là bèn vờ luôn. Sau này thì hiểu ra, nhờ ông ta chê, và Gấu vờ, mà Gấu có cơ hội đọc SM, giả như đọc lúc đó, và sau đó chê, thì hết đời thằng cha Gấu Nhà Văn.
Bởi là vì Weil thật quá khó mà nhập vô được, nếu bạn không có 1 cơ may, hay vận rủi.
Murakami kể là, ông mặc khải, là nhà văn khi đang coi 1 trận dã cầu, của Mẽo. Và ông nói thêm, dân Nhật không có khái niệm mặc khải.
Quá đúng, đối với cõi văn của M: Đếch có tí truyền thống Nhật nào ở trong đó. Văn của M là từ văn hóa Mẽo mà ra.
Với ông, mặc khải như thế, có nghĩa là “cơ may”.
Với Gấu, là vận rủi.
Gấu phải trải qua hai địa ngục, 1 đen, 1 đỏ, sau đó, mới ngộ ra được cõi văn – đúng hơn, thứ tôn giáo mà từ đó cõi văn bật ra –
Đừng nghĩ là Gấu làm văn chương qua hình ảnh trên.
Nên nhớ là đúng vào lúc Gấu vô làng văn, thì đó là thời kỳ chủ nghĩa hiện sinh đang nở rộ. Đọc Sartre, con người bị kết án phải tự do, condamné à être libre, hay, vào mỗi thời đại, con người tự lọc ra mình, se choisir, khi đứng trước tha nhân, tình yêu và cái chết, hay đọc Bếp Lửa của TTT, Thượng Đế mà có nhập thế trong xác phàm, thì cũng chịu đủ các thứ/thú đau thương, của chỉ 1 con người, và chỉ thoát ra với/bằng sự thất bại.
Bởi thế, phải trải qua hai địa ngục Gấu mới đọc được Weil, và nhờ Bà, Gấu có được ý niệm về tôn giáo.


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