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Ludwig In The Gut

December 09, 1990

Reading Wittgenstein ("Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius," Nov. 11) is like ingesting some powerful drug and seeing everything you've known shorn of its meaning; but unlike LSD and Doors of Perception, Wittgenstein sticks in the gut: Though one may wish to do so, one never, ever forgets well-digested paragraphs--no poet, no musician, no philosopher, no image maker.

Even one sentence, such as "Each word strikes an emotional key," is enough for a whole school of psychiatry. When he says, "music came to a full stop with Brahms; even in Brahms I can begin to hear machinery," one listens, one hears.

Here we had, in our lifetime, Christ in the classroom, Socrates at the movies, the Eternal Stranger dying in the arms of his doctor.

What did he say? "Tell them I had a wonderful life." He sure did, and its effect is permanent and unspeakable.

LOREES YERBY

SANTA MONICA

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