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Four disparate intellectuals

Of Wolfram Eilenberger’s four intellectual heroines, Simone Weil alone really counts as a ‘visionary’, forsaking philosophy for a kind of saintly mysticism

5 August 2023

9:00 AM

5 August 2023

9:00 AM

The Visionaries: Arendt, Beauvoir, Rand, Weil and the Salvation of Philosophy Wolfram Eilenberger, translated by Shaun Whiteside

Allen Lane, pp.386, 25

May you live in interesting times. The jury is still out on whether that sentiment is a blessing or a curse. There can be no doubt, though, that the heroines of Wolfram Eilenberger’s new book lived in interesting times and then some. Ayn Rand fled the Russian Revolution; Hannah Arendt fled the Nazis; Simone Weil took part in the French general strike of 1933 and fought for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War; Simone de Beauvoir went to bed with Jean-Paul Sartre.

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