Publication

Word Book

Badlands Unlimited, New York.

Hardcover
B&W
96 pages
5.5 x 8.25 inches

By Ludwig Wittgenstein
Translated by Bettina Funcke
Introduction by Désirée Weber
Edited by Paul Chan
Book design by Paul Chan
Badlands Unlimited, New York

9781943263240

Artist Page

Paul Chan: Editor, Designer.

In 1925, Ludwig Wittgenstein, arguably one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century, wrote a dictionary for elementary school children. His Wörterbuch für Volksschulen (Dictionary for Elementary Schools) was designed to meet what he considered an urgent need: to help his students learn to spell. Wittgenstein began teaching kids in rural Austria in 1920 after abandoning his life and work at Cambridge University. During this time there were only two dictionaries available. But one was too expensive for his students, and the other was too small and badly put together. So Wittgenstein decided to write one.

Word Book is the first-ever English translation of Wörterbuch. This publication aims to encourage and reinvigorate interest in one of the greatest modern philosophers by introducing this gem of a work to a wider audience. Word Book also explores how Wörterbuch portends Wittgenstein’s radical reinvention of his own philosophy and the enduring influence his thinking holds over how art, culture and language are understood.

Word Book is translated by noted writer and art historian Bettina Funcke, with a critical introduction by scholar Désirée Weber, and illustrated by artist Paul Chan.

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