History + PoliticsPhilosophy + TheoryTeacher Preparation

Wittgenstein’s Stint as an Elementary Schoolteacher (Revealed in Letter to Bertrand Russell)

What I would give for a glimpse of Wittgenstein teaching children my son’s age.  According to sources, it didn’t ultimately go well.  Nevertheless, here’s the text of the letter:

Dear Russell,

Thank you for your kind letter. I have now obtained a position: I am to be an elementary school teacher in a tiny village called Trattenbach. It’s in the mountains, about four hours’ journey south of Vienna. It must be the first time that the schoolmaster at Trattenbach has ever corresponded with a professor in Peking. How are you? And what are you lecturing on? Philosophy? If so, I wish I could be there and could argue with you afterwards. A short while ago I was terribly depressed and tired of living, but now I am slightly more hopeful, and one of the things I hope is that we’ll meet again.

God be with you! Kindest regards.

Yours ever,

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Credit to Open Culture for the find and pic. 

Tags
Show More

Related Articles

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close
Close