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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Everyone carries a room about inside them.

John Holbo did a great little post on Wittgenstein and let me copy this anecdote.

From M. O'C. Drury's "Conversations With Wittgenstein", in Rush Rhees, ed. Recollections of Wittgenstein

DRURY: I am at present reading a Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans by a Swiss theologian, Karl Barth. it seems to me a remarkable book.

WITTGENSTEIN: Moore and I once tried to read the Epistle to the Romans together; but we didn't get very far with it and gave it up.

The next day I asked him if I might read out to him something of Karl Barth's. I had with me the volume called The Word of God and the Word of Man. I had only been reading for a short time when Wittgenstein told me to stop.

WITTGENSTEIN: I don't want to hear any more. The only impression I get is one of great arrogance. (p. 119)

And then:

In another letter he told me that he had been reading a Swiss theologian, Karth Barth. 'This writing must have come from a remarkable religious experience.' In reply I reminded him that years ago at Cambridge I had tried to read something of Barth's to him, and he had dismissed it as arrogant. He did not refer to this again. (p. 146)

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