[lit-ideas] Re: The Philosopher's Show

  • From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 07 Jul 2012 15:04:11 -0700

JL jests

One thing is for certain. Witters did NOT whistle.

In 1949, Norman Malcolm invited Wittgenstein to come to
America, and stay with him and his wife, in Ithaca, NY
(the home of Cornell University). Wittgenstein, after a
certain amount of indecision, accepted, and arrived in the
US in July.

When Malcolm met him at the ship in New York City, he
found that Wittgenstein, who had been ill,

'...[was] in very good spirits, and not at all exhausted.
[He] would not allow me to help him with his luggage. My chief
recollection of the long train ride home is that we talked
about music, and that he whistled for me, with striking accuracy
and expressiveness, some parts of Beethoven's 7th Symphony.'

—Malcolm, Ludwig Wittgenstein: a Memoir, 1958, p.84.

There are a number of other comments on Wittgenstein's whistling
talent. I'm sure there are some in Monk's biography.

Grice, though, could whistle a four part fugue—or at least implicate


Robert Paul

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