Tom Stern

Yours Logically

Wittgenstein’s Family Letters: Corresponding with Ludwig


Bloomsbury Academic 295pp £20 order from our bookshop

On 10 January 1919, Hermine Wittgenstein wrote to her brother Ludwig with the latest news. Mama’s cataract operation ‘went very well’. Kurt ‘fell on 27 September, it’s very sad’. Frege has written to say that ‘a few sentences are missing from your work’. Paul will be ‘playing his (very beautiful) clarinet trio everywhere’. Hermine is the star of this newly published set of letters exchanged between Ludwig and various other Wittgensteins. The correspondence begins in 1908 and ends in 1951 with Ludwig’s death. Chief correspondents, besides Hermine and Ludwig, are their brother Paul and sister Margarete. There are guest appearances by another sister, Helene, a niece, Mariechen, and a beloved brother-in-law, Max (‘Maxl! You old shit!’). The letters are thoughtfully edited by Brian McGuinness.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Moore’s work has been so influential that the former ministers who provided him with much of his information now r… ,
    • 'Although he travels through time and space to find the best produce, his choices, delightfully, are not obvious.'… ,
    • RT : I regularly make purchases based on - it’s excellent.,
    • RT : I wrote about Yoko Ogawa's dreamlike, allegorical novel The Memory Police, newly published in English in a translat… ,
    • 'At this frankly apocalyptic moment for indigenous rights in Brazil, John Hemming’s "People of the Rainforest" is a… ,
    • 'I was dumbfounded by the view of the Berlin Wall from the eastern side. It seemed inconceivable that in under thre… ,
    • RT : Danger for ‘local’ staff, access in exchange for silence (and logos) - all sounds familiar in this fascinating look… ,