WITTGENSTEIN'S LADDER FOOTNOTES
1. Z #160; CV 24. Anscombe's translation of the German
sentence is "Philosophy ought really to be written only as a poetic
composition"; I have sought to render it more idiomatically.
When the propositions are numbered, as they are in the Tractatus, Zettel, and Part I of The Philosophical Investigations, the number cited, preceded by a #, is that of the proposition rather than the page.
2. Norman Malcolm, Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir
and a Biographical Sketch by G. H. Von Wright, Second ed., with Wittgenstein's
Letters to Malcolm (Oxford and New York, Oxford Univ. Press, 1984),
pp. 30, 35; the letter itself (dated 16.11.44) appears on p. 93. Subsequently
cited in the text as NM.
3. Notes on Logic , dictated in Birmingham
shortly before Wittgenstein went to Norway in the summer of 1913, is published
as Appendix I to the Notebooks 1914-1916 (NB). See p. 106.
4. Wittgenstein, "A Lecture on Ethics"
(1929), PO 40.
5. Vernon Shetley, After the Death of Poetry:
Poet and Audience in Contemporary America (Durham, N.C.: Duke University
Press, 1993); Dana Gioia, Can Poetry Matter? Essays on Poetry and American
Culture (Saint Paul, MN: Greywolf Press, pp. 1, 3. Cf. Shetley's poetic
predilections are quite different from Gioia's "New Formalist"
ones, but, like Gioia, he assumes that the "once-vital poetic enterprise"
of poetry has been marginalized by contemporary culture.
6. Theodor W. Adorno, "Cultural Criticism and
Society," Prisms, trans. Samuel and Shierry Weber (1967; Cambridge,
MA.: MIT Press, 1981), p. 34.
7. Wittgenstein: The Terry Eagleton Script, the
Derek Jarman Film (London: British Film Institute, 1933, p. 5. Subsequently
cited as WTE. For a slightly different version of this essay, see "My
Wittgenstein," Common Knowledge, 3, no. 1 (Spring 1994): 152-57.
The Jarman filmscript turned out to be so different from the original Eagleton
screenplay that both are reproduced here; in his Introduction Eagleton comments
on the differences, as does Colin McCabe in his brief Preface.
8. Wittgenstein did in fact rent a cottage on the
Galway coast in 1948, after he had resigned his chair at Cambridge. But
he lived there alone until the life became too strenuous for him and he
moved, in the autumn of '48, to a hotel in Dublin. In "My Wittgenstein,"
Eagleton points out that Nicholas Bakhtin's own work "bears a remarkable
resemblance to his younger brother's, even though the two had lost touch
with each other in the aftermath of Soviet revolutionary turbulence, and
Nikolai had no knowledge even that Mikhail had survived until he stumbled
by chance on a copy of his book on Dostoevsky in a Paris bookshop"
9. Terry Eagleton, Saints and Scholars (London:
Verso, 1987), pp. 112-13.
10. Guy Davenport, "The Aeroplanes at Brescia,"
Tatlin! (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press,
1974), p 64. Subsequently cited in the text as GDAB.
11. See Ray Monk, Ludwig Wittgenstein, The Duty
of Genius (New York: The Free Press, 1990), pp. 28-29. Monk's definitive
biography, to which I owe a great deal in the pages that follow, is subsequently
cited in the text as RM.
12. See Paul Wijdeveld, Ludwig Wittgenstein,
Architect (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1994). In his Introduction, Wijdeveld
writes: "Unlike most philosophers Wittgenstein never developed a systematic
theory of aesthetics and wrote only a little on the subject. Moreover, the
house was not built on his own initiative and was not meant to be a representation
or illustration of his philosophical ideas, though its austere atmosphere
inescapably reminds one of the rigor of his thinking. What made him an architect
at that particular moment in his life was the situation in which he found
himself. . . " (p. 11).
13. See John Fletcher, The Novels of Samuel Beckett
(New York: Barnes and Noble, 1964), p. 144.
14. In Self and Sensibility in Contemporary American
Poetry (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984), Charles
Altieri defines the "scenic mode" as the concern for modest, highly
crafted narrative structures producing moments of sudden illumination and
[the] desire to correlate sincerity with rhetorical self-consciousness"
(p. 5). In the "scenic" poem, "the craft must remain subtle
and unobtrusive. . . . The central aim . . . is not to interpret experience
but to extend language to its limits in order to establish poignant awareness
of what lies beyond words. There is virtually never any sustained act of
formal, dialectical thinking or any elaborate, artificial construction that
cannot be imagined as taking place in, or at least extended from, settings
in naturally conceived scenes" (pp. 10-11). Altieri's exemplary scenic
poets include William Stafford, Richard Hugo, David Young, and Stanley Plumley.
15. Guy Davenport, "Wittgenstein," The
Geography of the Imagination : Forty Essays (San Francisco: North Point
Press, 1981), p. 335. Subsequently cited as DGI.
16. F. R. Leavis, "Memories of Wittgenstein"
(1973; rpt. in Recollections of Wittgenstein, ed. Rush Rhees (Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 1984), p. 66. Subsequently cited in the text as
17. Cyril Barrett, "Wittgenstein, Leavis, and
Literature," New Literary History, 19, no. 2 (Winter 1988):
18. RM 256. A further irony is that the homosexual
Wittgenstein had absolutely no use for the homosexual subculture of Bloomsbury,
with its emphasis on self-fulfillment and individual expression.
19. Theodor W. Adorno, Against Epistemology,
trans. Willis Domingo (1971; Cambridge: MA.: MIT Press, 1982), p. 42.
20. Theodor W. Adorno, Hegel: Three Studies,
trans. Shierry W. Nicholson (1971; Cambridge, MA.: MIT Press, 1993), pp.
101-102. Cf. Adorno, Aesthetische Theorie, Gesammelte Schriften,
Vol. 7 (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1970), p. 305, where Benjamin is criticized
for advocating "die Elimination des Unsagbaren" ["the elminination
of the unsayable"] in the spirit of the (unknown to Benjamin) Philosophical
Investigations. The latter's "almost masochistic reduction of speech
to the humble and common" is submitted to a devastating critique by
Adorno's colleague Herbert Marcuse. In One Dimensional Man (Boston:
Beacon Press, 1964), Marcuse writes: "Wittgenstein devotes much acumen
and space to the analysis of 'My broom is in the corner.'" Such sentences
"might also occur in Hegel's Logic, but there they would be
revealed as inappropriate or even false examples. They would only be rejects,
to be surpassed by a discourse which, in its concepts, style, and syntax,
is of a different order-- a discourse for which it is by no means 'clear
tht every sentence in our language 'is in order as it is'" (pp. 175-77).
21. The most comprehensive effort to link the two
is Henry Staten's Wittgenstein and Derrida (Lincoln and London: University
of Nebraska Press, 1984). Staten makes his case primarily on the grounds
that both Wittgenstein and Derrida reject the transcendental determination
of being and the notion that there is anything outside language, the Derridean
"Il n'y a pas d'hors texte. But there are also irreconcilable
differences, for instance on the speech/writing question as well as on the
issue of the "ontological base" of the "forms of life":
see Charles Altieri, "Wittgenstein on Consciousness and Language: A
Challenge to Derridean Literary Theory," Modern Language Notes
91, no. 6 (December 1976): 1397-1423. On the relation of Wittgenstein to
Deconstruction, see Susan B. Brill, Wittgenstein and Critical Theory:
Beyond Postmodernism and Toward Descriptive Investigations (Athens:
Ohio University Press, 1995), pp. 93-116.
Stanley Cavell, a key figure in Wittgenstein studies of whom more below, has been reluctant to take on Derrida, but in his most recent book A Pitch of Philosophy, Autobiographical Exercises (Cambridge and London: Harvard University press, 1994), he has spoken out quite sharply. The text in question is Derrida's "Signature Event Context," with its attack on J. L. Austin. Derrida writes:
Underlying the opposition to the metaphysical voice that I say Austin and Wittgenstein share with Derrida, there is all the difference between the worlds of the Anglo-American and the Continental traditions of philosophy, differenes between their conceptions of and relations to science, to art, to culture, to religion, to education, to reading, to th ordinary. . . . While Derrida and Wittgenstein see metaphysics and the ordinary as locked in contrast, in Derrida, as differently in Nietzsche and in Plato, philosophy retains a given reality, an autonomous cultural, intellectual, institutional life, that in Wittgenstein is gone. (p. 63).
22. Jean-François Lyotard, The Differend, trans. Georges Van Den Abbeele (1983; Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988), p. xi. Subsequently cited in the text as DIF.
23. Fredric Jameson, The Prison-House of Language: A Critical Account of Structuralism and Russian Formalism (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1972), pp. 43, 207. In his more recent work, Jameson seems to be moving away from this need for a description of "language in the absolute"; in his The Political Unconscious: Narrative as Socially Symbolic Act (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1981), he remarks that Wittgenstein needn't be "numbered among the ideologues of the Symbolic," but rather as one of its critics; see pp. 63-64. But in his next major study, Postmodernism and the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham: Duke University Press, 1991), Wittgenstein is not so much as listed in the index. Cf. Raymond Williams's The Politics of Modernism: Against the New Conformists, ed. Tony Pinkney (London: Verso, 1989) and David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity (Oxford: Basil Blackwell 1989). The latter has a single mention of Wittgenstein, as part of a discussion of Lyotard's use of the term "language games" (p. 46).
There is no mention at all of Wittgenstein in the following: Jonathan Arac (ed.), Postmodernism and Politics (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987); Hal Foster (ed.), The Anti-Aesthetic (Port Townsend, WA: Bay Press, 1983), and Foster (ed.), Recodings: Art, Spectacle, Cultural Politics (Port Townsend, WA: Bay Press, 1985); Arthur Kroker and David Cook, The Postmodern Scene: Excremental Culture and Hyper-Aesthetics (New York: St. Martin's, 1986); Andreas Huyssen, After the Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture, Postmodernism (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986).
24. "Fieldwork in Philosophy," Interview with A. Honneth, H. Kocyba and B. Scwibs, Paris 1985, in Pierre Bourdieu, In Other Words: Essays towards a Reflexive Sociology (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990), p. 9; my emphasis. Subsequently cited as PBOW.
25. Jacques Bouveresse, Herméneutique et linguistique, suivi de Wittgenstein et la philosophie du langage (Paris: Editions de l'Eclat, 1991), p. 11; my translation. Bouveresse's other important Wittgenstein studies are found in Wittgenstein: La Rime et la raison (Paris: Editions de Minuit, 1973), Le Mythe de l'intériorité (1976, nouvelle édition, Editions de Minuit, 1987), and La force de la règle. Wittgenstein et l'invention de la nécessité (Paris: Editions de Minuit, 1984). Unfortunately, none of these have not yet been translated into English.
26. Stanley Cavell, This New Yet Unapproachable America: Lectures after Emerson after Wittgenstein (Albuquerque, N.M.: Living Batch Press, 1989), pp. 29-75. Subsequently cited as SCUA.
27. See Stanley Cavell, Must We Mean What We Say? (1969; Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1976); The Claims of Reason : Wittgenstein, Skepticism, Morality, and Tragedy (Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press, 1979); In Quest of the Ordinary: Lines of Skepicism and Romanticism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), pp. 153-78.
28. Guy Davenport, "Narrative Tone and Form," DGI 311.
29. Gertrude Stein, An Exercise in Analysis, in Last Operas and Plays, ed. Carl Van Vechten (New York: Random House, 1975), p. 138.
30. LEC1 75. In this connection, Monk tells the following story. G. E. Moore, who attended these lectures, insisted that Wittgenstein was using the word "grammar" in an odd sense, arguing that "the sentence: 'Three men was working' is incontrovertibly a misuse of grammar, but it is not clear that:'Different colours cannot be in the same place in a visual field at the same time' commits a similar transgression. If this latter is also called a misuse of grammar, then 'grammar' must mean something different in each case."
Wittgenstein responded that "Grammatical rules are all of the same kind, but it is not the same mistake if a man breaks one as if he breaks another. If he uses 'was' instead of 'were' it causes no confusion; but in the other example the analaogy with physical space . . . does cause confusion. . . .It is misleading to use the word 'can't' because it suggests a wrong analogy. We should say, 'It has no sense to say . . .'" (SM 322-23). The quote from Wittgenstein comes from RR 123.
31. Gertrude Stein, "Arthur A Grammar," How To Write, ed. Patricia Meyerowitz (1931: New York: Dover, 1975),p. 63. Subsequently cited in the text as HTW.
32. See Emmanuel Hocquard, "Conversation [avec Claude Royet-Journoud} du 8 Fevrier 1982," Un Privé à Tanger (Paris: P.O.L., 1987), p. 156. My translation.