Perhaps (and in a departure from the usual newsletter preamble) one of you clued-up newsletter readers can help me?
This week I've been trying to find out the precise date on which Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus first appeared in English. I know it was published in November 1922 - but when, exactly?
We all know the publication dates of the other two modernist masterpieces of the 20th century. Ulysses was officially published as a single volume by Shakespeare and Company on Joyce's 40th birthday, 2nd February 2022, or numero-palindromically 2.2.22.
The Waste Land has a more complex publication history.
According to Donald Gallup's Eliot bibliography the poem was originally published in the UK in the first issue of The Criterion, the literary magazine founded and edited by Eliot, appearing 'almost simultaneously (i.e., ca. 15 October)' in the United States in the November 1922 issue of The Dial magazine. The poem was published in the US in book form on 15th December by Boni & Liveright, and this was the first version to include the author's notes, added at the publisher's request to bulk up what would have otherwise been a very slim volume indeed. (We'll have a gathering to mark The Waste Land centenary, probably on Sunday October 16th as the date nearest to the original appearance in print.
Back to Wittgenstein. The English language translation of the Tractatus (originally published in German as Logisch-philosophische Abhandlungburst in 1921) appeared at some point between the publication of Ulysses and The Waste Land (and I expect like me you can't help thinking of the Lady Chatterley ban and the Beatles' first LP). But as far as the precise date is concerned I have so far drawn a blank.
Wittgenstein received the proofs of this edition from the commissioning editor Charles Ogden in July 1922, and returned them with his corrections on August 4. The translation was the work of the prodigiously gifted Frank Ramsey, who worked through the original line by line with the author.
This bilingual edition was published, we can assume, in early November 1922. Wittgenstein wrote to Ogden on November 15th: 'Thanks so much for your letter & the books which arrived yesterday. They really look very nice. I wished their contents were half as good as their external appearance.' (Source: http://www.wittgensteinsource.com/static_by_id/en/20)
I've contacted University College London, which owns the publisher Kegan Paul's archive and hope to hear from them, or dig around in this large collection myself, when I can find the time.
Until I hear from UCL - can any newsletter readers help me?
Now - to business!
1. Aid for Ukraine
2. This week’s online gathering
3. Indie press news
Galley Beggar Press
4. Assiette ludique
5. Flaubert on spinach
6. Women and the making of Ulysses
7. Funferall in Berlin
8. Women's Poetry Prize 2022
9. Next week's online gathering
1. Aid for Ukraine
It drags on, and on, and the dire need of those caught up in this ghastly war demands a response. We all have many calls on our generosity and disposable income (if any), but few are as pressing as this.
Please give what you can, when you can: the most far-reaching programme is the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. You can donate quickly and easily here.
2. This week's online gathering
This week's gathering has a railway theme. I'll be exploring the life work and legacy of the remarkable writer and activist L.T.C. Rolt; the poets Sasha Dugdale and Simon Barraclough will read from their work. Author, historian and broadcaster Tim Dunn (Secrets of the London Underground) will join us to talk about the heritage railway scene and we'll have film clips and music and many other beneficial delights.
3. Indie press news
version goes thus:
un détour pour courir après vous ce Dieu porte
des ailes . . .
Can any readers of this newsletter tackle the remaining porcine lines?
The best effort will be included in next week's newsletter (and a decent translation into English would also be welcome).
Flaubert on spinach
9. About next week
Next week's live online gathering (on Sunday 7th August) marks the centenary of the birth of the poet Philip Larkin, who was born in Coventry on 9th August, 1922.
We'll be joined by the writer Roy Watkins who knew Larkin well when he was an undergraduate in Hull, but who has never shared these fascinating memories in public before. Dr Penny McCarthy will talk about an intriguing connection between Larkin's poem 'High Windows' and a celebrated 19th century novel, and we'll have readings by Michael Hughes, Abigail Parry, Lara Pawson, Jake Goldsmith and others, as well as wonderful archive footage and some hot jazz. Plus Larkin himself, of course.
A friend once observed to me, rather waspishly, that the less one knows about Larkin the more one loves him. I can see the point of such an observation and realise that Larkin, more than most 20th century poets, is subject to the massive condescension of posterity. My own life wouldn't bear close scrutiny, so I'm not lining up to cast stones. What survives of him, what matters, is the poetry. And anyone immune to the poetry of Larkin, or who condemns the man without recognising the ineffable beauty and humanity and permanent value of his work, is somehow failing to be fully human.
In the UK this year the price of bread is up 13%; pasta is up 16%; baked beans are up 21%; butter is up 21.5%; milk is up 26.3%; fuel costs are up 42% in the year; and energy costs are up 54%, and rising.
For ordinary people this means real inflation is over 20% and climbing.
for people on the lowest incomes, the cost of surviving this crisis is already too high.
And, as it stands, this summer will be unbearable for thousands of families.
Some food banks are having to provide cold food because people can no longer afford to heat meals.
Last year, British Telecom made £1.3 billion profit, paid out £700m to shareholders, gave its CEO Philip Jansen a 32% pay rise and, at the same time, set up food banks for its own underpaid workers.
This Friday saw the first telecoms strike since 1987 and the first national call centre strike in British history. Tens of thousands of BT workers joined the picket line, most of them for the first time in their lives.
Tory leadership candidate Liz Truss says she'll do 'everything in her power' to make such strikes illegal. This government has already changed the law so that private companies can bring in temporary staff to work when their employees are on strike. What was until earlier this month illegal is now within the law. Hard-won democratic rights are being wiped out as each week passes and we're likely to have two more years of this, the systematic destruction of the Social Contract. Plus the Queen will die and there will be twelve (12) days of national mourning during which no end of wicked things will be perpetrated while our attention is directed elsewhere.
She is small, she contains platitudes (with acknowledgements to Walt Whitman)