Centenaries & Coincidences

Mark Hammond mentioned in a comment the idea that as well as Dante’s Divine Comedy, 2021 was the centenary of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus and maybe I should highlight that. Somewhat dismissively I noted that was surely the reason why there were so many new Witt-related pieces (and books) being published in 2021, and that 2022 would soon be the centenary of other important 1922 works anyway. Every year is a centenary of something and setting store by the conjunction of human affairs with the orbits of celestial bodies is the kind of “astrology” I try to avoid. However …

Something I’d noticed before was the significance of 1922 in the sense that 1922 “first” editions of several seminal works – Joyce’s Ulysses and TEL’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom I mentioned, but there’s Eliot’s Wasteland and more … in fact the Tractatus was really published in 1922 too.

And a full Wittgenstein lecture by Jonathan Rée here. (Actually more than a Wittgenstein lecture, a fascinating and free-ranging talk and Q&A on Rée’s attitude to philosophy, and the relationship between philosophy and histories of philosophy – very reminiscent of Pirsig’s Philosophy <> Philosophology distinction – lots on the genuine conversational dialogue form too. Promoting his book: “Witcraft: the Invention of Philosophy in English“. Added to the list …)

The alignment of stars is in the tide of human affairs of course, a world in crisis coming out of WWI, not celestial motions. Tractatus was written in WWI trenches.

1922? It’s a “thing”. A Golden Year for Publishing.

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