Writing and Wittgenstein: Notes From a Neglected WIP

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One of my many frustrations as a writer arises from the fact that even though I fill hundreds and hundreds of pages with words, I produce precious little writing that meets publication standards. This doesn’t mean what it sounds like it does. I don’t write works intended for publication and then scrap them for being “poor quality.” If something turns out bad, I work on it until it’s better. My problem is that 90% of my writing is notes.

I’m going begin doing something I wish more writers would do. I’m going to begin posting these worthless notes in the exact, unedited format I find them. Of course, I’ll only do so if they seem somewhat interesting for one reason or another. It’s not like I have a million readers to risk boring to death anyway, and it will be good to finally put the overwhelming bulk of my writing to some marginally productive use. This evening, then, I present to you some random rant I found in connection to a WIP tentatively entitled The Yawning Gap. Enjoy. Or don’t. Either way, I won’t hold it against you.


What is his hangup with Wittgenstein?

(DONT copy DFW)

(What is YOUR hangup with Wittgenstein? Well, i guess it’s the whole damn outrageousness of the thing. It’s the first time ive read a serious bit of analytic philosophy, and i was taken aback by the approach and by the fact that plausibility was mingled with implausibility so seamlessly. When i first began reading, when i first began exploring the world with a passionate programme of less than systematic reading, i was concerned with a single question: how is it possible to live right in the midst of humanity without knowing anything about them at all? I saw humans hopelessly divided from each other, inhabiting different universes. I read in the hopes of overcoming the gap. This is the center of what I’m writing right now. Wittgenstein comes in as an absolute gap function–not so much in the interpersonal sense, but more in the epistemological sense. He wants to render everything interesting unspeakable, and, more distressing, he seems to have good reasons for doing so. In grappling with Wittgenstein, I’m trying to bridge gaps. I’m hoping that reading Wittgenstein will sharpen my ability to combat the disease… i said i wouldn’t copy DFW, but how can i help it? The same issue bothers me deeply. Do you think the disease is curable? I dont know. Not entirely. But i do think humans can meaningfully encounter each other, even if they are doomed to nonmutual ego residencies.)

(Wittgenstein’s “deity of disjunction” (92))

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