[L] [blog] On Wittgenstein's Cancer and Death

  • From: Squarespace Services <services@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2009 04:05:58 +0000 (GMT+00:00)

Sean Wilson <whoooo26505@xxxxxxxxx> updated On Wittgenstein's Cancer and Death:

 ... from Alexander Waugh's "The House of Wittgenstein: A Family at War" at 
274-275. Describing his prostate cancer and its treatment (and assumed side 
effects). Also describing "a large portion" of On Certainty being composed 
during his final two-and-a-half months.  

 "Returning to London [in late 1949, after visiting  Malcolm -- sw] he had 
himself checked again and was finally told the proper cause of his malaise. He 
had inoperable and advanced cancer of the prostate, which had spread to his 
bone marrow, causing anemia. The treatment, a regular oral administration of 
the female hormone estrogen, was prescribed to arrest his production of 
testosterone. The side effects of this therapy include sickness, diarrhea, hot 
flashes, impotence and breast swelling.

 ... Ludwig was himself expecting to die, but for a year after Hermine's demise 
he continued writing and moving from place to place. In April 1950, he went to 
Cambridge ... . By February [of 1951 --sw] his decline was such that it was 
decided any further treatment would be pointless. Bucked by this, Ludwig told 
Mrs. Bevan [, the wife of a doctor he was staying with --sw], 'I am going to 
work now as I have ever worked before.' Immediately he set about writing a 
large portion of the book now known as On Certainty. He made it (just) to his 
sixty-second birthday. 'Many happy returns!' said Mrs. Bevan. 'There will be no 
returns,' he answered. On the following morning he composed his last 
philosophical thought:

 "Someone who dreaming says, 'I am dreaming,' even if he speaks audibly in 
doing so, is no more right than if he said in his dream 'it is raining,' while 
it was in fact raining. Even if his dream were actually connected with the 
noise of the rain."

 That night Ludwig's condition deteriorated considerably and when Dr. Bevan 
told him that he was not likely do survive more than a couple of days he said, 
Good!" Before passing out for the last time he murmured to Mrs. Bevan: "Tell 
them I've had a wonderful life!" ... He was buried the next day (April 30, 
1951) by Catholic rite in the cemetery of St. Giles, Cambridge."

 Regards and thanks. 

 Sean Wilson

 Source: The House of Wittgenstein. A Family at War 


Powered by Squarespace (http://www.squarespace.com/)

Other related posts:

  • » [L] [blog] On Wittgenstein's Cancer and Death - Squarespace Services