Simone Weil (February 3, 1909 - August 24, 1943) was a French philosopher, mystic and political activist siding with the Anarchists known as the Durruti Column in the Spanish Civil War. Simone Weil was a prolific writer, but her work only found attention after her death. Albert Camus described her as "the only great spirit of our times" (John Hellman 1983, Simone Weil: An Introduction to Her Thought. Wilfrid Laurier University Press). She was proficient in ancient Greek by the age of 12 and later studied philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure (Paris). She also showed deep interest in all religions, although she was born into a secular household. Her main interest, however, was Christianity and she appears to have experienced a religious ecstasy in the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli in 1937. She died of cardiac failure at 34. While the coroner's report said that "the deceased did kill and slay herself by refusing to eat whilst the balance of her mind was disturbed", the exact cause of her death is still a subject of debate. She is believed to have been autistic (Asperger's Syndrome) and is featured in The Genesis of Artistic Creativity and Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and Creativity by Michael Fitzgerald as well as Asperger Syndrome and High Achievement by Ioan James. She is also included on this list of Great Women of Our Time. Her brother André Weil is also believed to have been autistic. Read more about this amazing lady and her extraordinary life and writings on her Wikipedia page.
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