A quick search online for Weil and attention, however, surfaces a vast number of references to her most quotable quote:
Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.
But that quote is never accompanied by a citation; in fact, this incompletely answered question on Quora leads not to a source but to yet another quotation. It’s the free-floating nature of that aphorism that I suspect leads Alan to say that she “seems” to have thought this connection between attention and generosity.
So I find myself in an odd spot: The quotation, assuming it’s a quotation, perfectly describes the thing I am trying to explore. And yet this specific point is small enough, and there are so many other issues in revising the manuscript that also demand my attention, that I can only give so much time to running down the source, assuming there is one.
I’m opting to go with an “attributed to” reference, at least for the moment, but I’d be enormously grateful if anyone were able to point me to an actual original.