The Philosopher at the Gate of the Word: A Study of Simone Weil’s Transformative Literature

Silvia Caprioglio Panizza, Philip Wilson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Can literature help us in a time of crisis? Yes, in many and unexpected ways, as Simone Weil’s literary work shows. Reading Weil’s unfinished tragedy Venice Saved in the context of her poetry, philosophy and politics, we argue that it is an example of literary work that can engender transformation, for three reasons: its presentation and encouragement of attention to beauty; its tragic tension, forcing a deeper vision of the world; and its use of the poetic word. These elements, we conclude, make literature a prime tool for inner and outer transformation, especially when everything seems to be lost.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFictional Worlds and the Political Imagination
EditorsGarry Hagberg
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-52026-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-52025-9
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2024


  • Simone Weil
  • Venice Saved
  • Literature and philosophy

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