Simone Weil's supernaturalist interpretations of tragedy challenge not only the philosophical skepticism but also the religious rationalism characteristic of the modern age.
This book boldly points out a supernaturalist alternative to contemporary, post-structuralist literary theory. This study of classical tragic drama offers a sacralizing impetus to secular discussions of literature. The book's Platonic premises and its grounding in the transcendental outlook of the religious traditions furnish a sacred illumination. Religious mystery and the cross of Christ both overshadow and deepen philosophical approaches to literary criticism, including theories of tragedy.
Simone Weil's conception of tragic art, rooted in a mystical Christian metaphysics, offers original insight into the nature of tragedy. In contradiction of the prevailing secular outlook, Weil regards classical tragedy as a sacred art form. Tragic masterpieces evoke not the chaotic or irrational, as modernist interpreters hold, but rather a good which is absolute
Katherine T. Brueck is Associate Professor of English, Mount St. Mary's College. She has published articles in a variety of humanistic disciplines.
"Brueck argues that Weil allows us to see in tragedies a 'heartrending but purposeful world order' at work; mystery, not absurdity, suprarational good rather than chaos or irrationality. This book contributed to my understanding and reading of tragedy." — Christine Ann Evans, Lesley College