Books: Saint of the Undecided

THE NOTEBOOKS OF SIMONE WEIL (2 Vols., 648 pp.)—Translated by Arthur Wills—Putnam ($10).

How does one get the reputation of a saint in the 20th century? Outside the Roman Catholic Church, where such things are regulated with almost civil-service precision, saintly works are not enough, and miracles are not required. What seems to be necessary is a sort of rapport with the time's intellectual torments, a capacity for drilling and painfully hitting some universal nerve. That, apparently, is the special gift of Simone Weil, a Frenchwoman who died in 1943 at 34 and who...

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