Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Marcoux also recalled Simone's exceptional powers of concentration, which could be highly detrimental to her health--she could continue to study for days on end without food or sleep. When there were any texts she wished to reflect on with particular intensity, she used to study them on her knees, the volumes spread out on the floor before her, crawling from volume to volume, from one end of the room to the other, oblivious to the rest of her surroundings. To study her geometry--a particularly beloved subject--she used to go to a bank of the Seine, near a pillar of the Austerlitz bridge, where barges unloaded large blocks of stone. She had a special attraction to those stones, which she associated with geometric shapes. Whenever Marcoux came to meet her, she would be kneeling on the pavement of the quay, the world shut out, immersed in the book before her, occasionally tugging at a lock of her hair.
Simone Weil by Francine du Plessix Gray

Whenever I read a biography I start living in this alternate reality, where I consider each of my actions in the light of whether or not it will be written about by my future biographer. I read my Rattawut Lapcharoensap poem at a reading a couple weeks ago, but I don't think any of his fans were in the audience, which is too bad.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Totally unrelated to your post, but:

I just received your book in the mail from dancing girl press, and I literally squealed. It was probably one of the most exciting moments of my life (I don't get out much), maybe somewhere along the same lines with learning how to ride a bike or reaching the top of the empire state building and pretending to squish the people below.

Hip hip hurrah.

Leigh Stein said...

I don't know who you are, but let the public be aware I did not pay you to write such a thing.

(Thanks!!!)

-K- said...

Whenever anybody mentions a biography that they're reading I have to suggest "Walt Whitman's America" by David S. Reynolds. Its really so much more than a book about Whitman's life. It's about the social, cultural, you name it aspects of 19th Century New York and how it influenced "Leaves of Grass". I wish I was reading it right now. Why aren't I?

kat said...

I love Simone Weil. Ceptfor how she didn't like Jews. I love Jews.