by Ludwig Wittgenstein
My entire poetic production is founded upon Wittgenstein’s later writings. Although it has sat on my shelf for decades, I never actually read the Tractatus. But I always loved the idea of it; I am a conceptual writer, after all.
A major philosophical work, one of the most important written in the twentieth century, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is Ludwig Wittgenstein’s attempt to conquer reality through logic.
Written as a series of precisely numbered propositions, it elucidates the relationship of language to logic and to reality, ending with an infamous statement of breathtaking clarity: “What can be said at all, can be said clearly; and what we cannot talk about we must pass over to silence.”
Kenneth Goldsmith, on his maiden voyage into the unforgiving rigour of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, shows no appetite for timidity. This edition of Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus reveals the breadth and the depth not just of its original author’s genius, but also of the intervening poet’s creative fervour. Mark-ups, redactions, original drawings, underlinings, highlights, additions and revisions on additions – the lines between original and derivative work completely blurred. This unique book, more an original production than a layered version of the text, pushes the boundaries of the series, and of the mind altogether.
Paperback | 72 pages
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KENNETH GOLDSMITH is the author and editor of over twenty books. He teaches writing at The University of Pennsylvania. In May 2011, he was invited to read at President Obama’s A Celebration of American Poetry at The White House, where he also held a poetry workshop with First Lady Michelle Obama. In 2013, he was named as the inaugural Poet Laureate of The Museum of Modern Art in New York. His most recent book is Wasting Time on the Internet, a meditation on digital culture.