I wanted to read this book mostly because of Simone Weil’s essay, and this ended up being the best part. Bespaloff’s and Hermann Broch’s essays were interesting too, but Weil’s single-minded focus on the importance of force — “that x that turns anybody who is subjected to it into a thing” (3) — in the Iliadmade for a compelling read. For Weil, the Iliad offers the wisdom that we cannot have complete mastery of force. We see this in the poem as “those who have force on loan from fate count on it too much and are destroyed” (15). The introduction offers some helpful commentary and shows that Weil massaged her quotations a bit to support her interpretation.
Weil, Bespaloff, and the Iliad