Wednesday 18th October, 1911: Ludwig Wittgenstein arrives, unannounced, at Bertrand Russell’s rooms in Nevile’s Court, Trinity College, Cambridge, to introduce himself to Russell (McGuinness, pp.73, 88; Monk, p.38).
Russell is beginning his second year as a lecturer at Trinity, the year during which he writes The Problems of Philosophy (McGuinness, p.85), and LW unofficially attends Russell’s lectures on logic during the Michaelmas term (October to Christmas). LW is still officially a research student of aeronautical engineering in the engineering laboratory, Manchester University.
McGuinness describes the common daily pattern thus: ‘Wittgenstein would call on Russell at 4 or 5 and stay until Hall, talking even while Russell dressed. As time went on, it became his custom to go away during dinner and come back for more talk afterwards, staying in the room while callers came and went’ (McGuinness, pp.88-9).
Thursday 19th October, 1911: After attending Russell’s lecture, LW comes back (after dinner that day) to argue with him (McGuinness, p.88). Russell writes to his lover Lady Ottoline Morrell that LW ‘threatens to become an affliction’ (McGuinness, p.89).
Wednesday 25th October, 1911: Russell writes to Ottoline that LW is ‘rather good’, but ‘very argumentative’ (McGuinness, p.89).
Wednesday 1st November, 1911: During his lecture, Russell cannot get LW to admit that it is certain that there is no rhinoceros in the room. Russell writes to Ottoline that LW is ‘very argumentative and tiresome’ (McGuinness, p.89).
Thursday 2nd November, 1911: Russell writes to Ottoline that he thinks LW a fool, since he thinks nothing empirical is knowable (McGuinness, p.89).
Monday 27th November, 1911: Russell reports that LW has announced that he is unsure whether to resume his studies in aeronautics or devote himself to philosophy (McGuinness, p.92; Monk, p.40). Russell therefore set LW an essay task over the Christmas vacation.
Christmas 1911: Brian McGuinness suggests (following the account of a conversation related in David Pinsent’s diary for 1st June 1912) that over this vacation period, which LW spent in Vienna, he comes to the end of a long period of loneliness and depression (McGuinness, p.93; Pinsent, pp.5-6). It also seems to have been the time during which LW, as a result of hearing a particular line in a play (Ludwig Anzengruber’s Die Kreuzelschreiber) lost his former contempt for religion (McGuinness, p.94).
January 1912: LW returns to Cambridge for the Lent term (which begins in the 2nd week of that month) and impresses Russell with the manuscript he has written over the vacation (Monk, p.41). The first sentence of this essay (which no longer survives) was enough to persuade Russell that LW should give up any ideas that he still had of resuming his applied mathematical work on aeronautics, and instead stay in Cambridge to devote himself to philosophy.
Late January 1912: One week after submitting his vacation-task essay, towards the end of January, LW brings Russell more manuscript material (McGuinness, p.94).
Friday 1st February, 1912: LW is officially admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, as an undergraduate student on the Moral Science Tripos (philosophy and experimental psychology), with the mathematician Dr. J.W.L.Glaisher as his ‘tutor’ (a non-academic role in the University of Cambridge) and the logician W.E.Johnson as his supervisor (on the advice of Russell) (McGuinness, pp.73, 94, 97; Kanterian, p.38). No room could be found for him in college at first, so he lived a couple of hundred yards away at No.4 Rose Crescent (McGuinness, p.96). He attends lectures on psychology given by G.E.Moore, who had only the previous year returned to Cambridge as a University Lecturer in Moral Science (McGuinness, pp.116, 117; Monk, p.42), and has tutorials with Johnson, meetings and discussions with the mathematicians G.H.Hardy and J.E.Littlewood (Hayek, p.18; Kanterian, p.39). (Perhaps also with Alfred North Whitehead? McGuinness (p.95) says these meetings only started in 1913, though).
March 1912: Russell reads his critical paper on the philosophy of Henri Bergson to the Cambridge ‘Heretics’ Society (McGuinness, p.109, note).
Saturday 2nd March, 1912: Russell writes to Ottoline that the arrangements he had made for LW’s supervision have failed, since W.E.Johnson had declined to take him any more (McGuinness, p.98).
Friday 8th March, 1912: Russell writes to Ottoline that he likes LW more and more, and talks of the ‘theoretical passion’ that he evinces (McGuinness, p.100).
Saturday 16th March, 1912: Russell writes to Ottoline of LW’s excitability, his passion for philosophy, and his moody, artistic disposition. He recounts that LW says how much he loves G.E.Moore (McGuinness, pp.100, 117). McGuinness relates that LW came often to see Moore, after his lectures, staying on with little regard for the lunch hour (McGuinness, p.117).
Sunday 17th March, 1912: Russell writes to Ottoline that LW ‘is not a flatterer but a man of transparent and absolute sincerity’, and of his [LW's] vitriolic attitude towards Christians (McGuinness, p.102).
By the end of this Lent term (March 1912), Russell felt he had taught LW all he could teach him.
After Easter 1912, LW returns to Cambridge (McGuinness, p.106).
April 1912: LW goes to the Austrian Embassy in London, to have his fitness for military service ascertained. But he is found to have a hernia, and an operation is deemed to be necessary (McGuinness, p.132).
Tuesday 23rd April, 1912: after a conversation with LW, Russell writes to Ottoline that LW alone would have made his (Russell’s) ‘daily round’ in Cambridge useful. He also reports that they argued about the paper on ‘On Matter’ which Russell was working on (McGuinness, pp.103, 105-6, 159, 160). LW came to think well of some parts of this paper, but not of its central section (McGuinness, p.107). Russell’s letter also recounts LW’s intense admiration for Ludwig van Beethoven (McGuinness, p.112).
Thursday 2nd May, 1912: Lytton Strachey comes from London to Cambridge to meet LW at tea with Russell (McGuinness, p.106; Monk, p.48), probably on the recommendation of G.E.Moore (McGuinness, p.118). Russell writes to Ottoline about the meeting, also mentioning his feeling that LW has a real bias for philosophical scepticism, being glad when it is proved that something cannot be known (McGuinness, p.106). In a second letter of the same day, Russell explains to Ottoline that someone has told Strachey and others about LW, wanted to hear what Russell thought of him, and that they were thinking of electing him to the so-called ‘Cambridge Conversazione Society’ (also known as the Society of ‘Apostles’), a secret society at the University. Russell says he is sure that LW wouldn’t like this Society (McGuinness, pp.118, 146).
May 1912: In Cambridge, LW conducts psychological experiments on the conditions under which rhythms are perceived in music and speech (McGuinness, pp.125-7). Cambridge’s Department of Experimental Psychology at that time is headed by C.S.Myers (see McGuinness, pp.125-7). LW’s collaborator in the experiments is Bernard Muscio.
In early May, 1912, at one of the weekly evening ‘squashes’ in Russell’s rooms, LW meets former mathematics student David Hume Pinsent (McGuinness, pp.95, 120ff; Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.30; Monk, pp.48-9; Sterrett, p.97).
Saturday 4th May, 1912: Pinsent records in his diary that he meets LW, but not for the first time, at a concert of Schubert’s music at the Guildhall, Cambridge (Pinsent, p.3).
Sunday 5th May, 1912: LW has lunch with Lytton Strachey, who writes to the Cambridge economist John Maynard Keynes that this ‘Herr Sinckel-Winckel’ is a ‘quiet little man’ (McGuinness, p.119).
Monday 13th May, 1912: Having been enlisted by LW in his psychology experiments, Pinsent records going first ‘chez Wittgenstein’, and then on with him to the Psychological Laboratory, after which he and LW have tea together (Pinsent, p.3).
Wednesday 15th May, 1912: Pinsent again records going first chez LW, and then on with him to the Psychological Laboratory for more experiments (Pinsent, p.3).
Friday 17th May, 1912: Lytton Strachey writes to Keynes that his brother Oliver Strachey had been arguing with LW about universals and particulars (McGuinness, p.119). Russell writes to Ottoline, possibly concerning this same evening, relating that LW had held the floor, maintaining that ‘mathematics would improve people’s taste because taste comes of thinking honestly’ (McGuinness, p.119).
Saturday 18th May, 1912: Pinsent again records going first chez LW, and then on with him to the Psychological Laboratory for more experiments, and for tea with him afterwards (Pinsent, p.4).
Tuesday 21st May, 1912: Pinsent again records going first chez LW, and then on with him to the Psychological Laboratory for more experiments, ‘as usual’ (Pinsent, p.4).
Tuesday 28th May, 1912: Pinsent again records going first chez LW, at 2pm, and then on with him to the Psychological Laboratory for more experiments, until 3.30pm (Pinsent, p.4). Russell writes to Ottoline that he has told LW not merely to state his view, but also to give the arguments for it. LW replied that this would spoil its beauty, whereupon Russell advised him to employ a slave to state the arguments (McGuinness, p.104).
Thursday 30th May, 1912: Russell writes to Ottoline that LW had surprised him in admiring the text ‘What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul’, and that LW thought this depended on suffering, and having the power to endure it (McGuinness, p.113). Pinsent writes in his diary that he went to another of Russell’s ‘squashes’, at which there were lots of people, including Ferenc Békássy, C.K.Ogden, and LW, and that he and LW stayed until midnight. He notes that LW ‘is very amusing: he is reading philosophy up here, but has only just started systematic reading: and he expresses the most naïve surprise that all the philosophers he once worshipped in ignorance are after all stupid and dishonest and make disgusting mistakes!’ (Pinsent, pp.4-5).
Friday 31st May, 1912: Pinsent records that he met LW at 3pm at the Psychology lab, for more of the experiments on rhythm. ‘At the end he suddenly asked what I was doing during the vac. and proposed that I should come with him to Iceland’. To Pinsent’s concerns about the cost of such a trip, LW proposes that his own father would pay for them both. Pinsent, though obviously attracted by the idea, says he deferred his decision and wrote home for advice (Pinsent, p.5).
June 1912: LW’s academic status at Cambridge is formalized, and Russell is appointed as his supervisor (McGuinness, p.97).
Saturday 1st June, 1912: Russell writes to Ottoline of his and LW’s passionate devotion to one another, and with the suggestion that LW will take over Russell’s work from the point beyond which he is now no longer able to take it himself (McGuinness, pp.103, 113). LW writes to Russell about ‘a most absurd paper on rhythms’ that he is working on (McGuinness, p.128 and note). Pinsent writes in his diary of attending a concert at the Cambridge University Musical Club, after which he and LW retire to LW’s rooms until 11.30pm. He records LW telling him lots about himself, notably that for nine years, until Christmas 1911, he suffered from terrific loneliness and thought continually of suicide, and that coming up to Cambridge to study under Russell had been his salvation (Pinsent, pp.5-6; McGuinness, p.155).
Monday 3rd June, 1912: Pinsent records that today when he went to chapel to read the lesson, LW came along to hear him (Pinsent, p.6).
Tuesday 4th June, 1912: Pinsent records that after going to the Cambridge Union (the University of Cambridge’s debating society and club) he called on LW, and accepted the idea of holidaying with him in Iceland, his mother and father having raised no objection (Pinsent, p.6).
Thursday 6th June, 1912: Pinsent records that he went chez LW and then on to the Psychology Lab for more experiments (Pinsent, p.7).
Friday 7th June, 1912: LW attends a concert of the Cambridge University Musical Society at which Beethoven’s violin concerto was performed (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.29, note). Pinsent records that he met up with LW after this concert, and that LW came to his rooms until midnight (Pinsent, p.7).
Tuesday 11th June, 1912: LW writes to Russell (the first of his letters to Russell to survive), mentioning that he has been reading parts of Moore’s Principia Ethica, comparing this book unfavourably with the works of Frege and Russell, and reporting positively on the concert he had attended on June 7th. In a postscript he mentions that ‘My logic is all in the melting-pot’ (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.29; McGuinness, p.109).
Saturday 22nd June, 1912: LW writes to Russell mentioning that he had recently discussed the relations between logic and psychology with Myers, who was confused, that he [LW] reads William James’s book The Varieties of Religious Experience whenever he has time, and that it does him ‘a lot of good’ (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.30; McGuinness, p.128). In this, his ‘first written philosophical remark that has been preserved’ (McGuinness, p.81), LW also reports that although logic is still in the melting-pot, it is more and more obvious to him that the propositions of logic contain only apparent variables, meaning that there are no logical constants, and that logic must be of a totally different kind from any other science (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.30).
Early July 1912: G.E.Moore moves out of his rooms in Cambridge (K.10 in Whewell’s Court, Trinity College), and LW, who is now allowed to move into college for his second year, prepares to move into them (McGuinness, p.131).
Monday 1st July, 1912: LW writes to Russell, partly about the universal quantifier, but mentioning that he has to write ‘a most absurd paper on rhythms for the psychological meeting on the 13th’ (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.31). He also asks whether Russell would mind if LW introduced to him one of his sisters, Hermine, who is about to come from Vienna to Cambridge to visit him (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.31; McGuinness, p.130). Pinsent records that he dined at Buol’s restaurant (at Nos. 17 & 18 Kings Parade, Cambridge), calling on LW afterwards, but found him working, so did not stay for long. He notes that LW has not gone down (left Cambridge) during the vacation, but has stayed there all the time (Pinsent, p.7).
Tuesday 2nd July, 1912: Pinsent records that he went to tea with LW from 4.30 to 6pm (Pinsent, p.7).
Wednesday 3rd July, 1912: Pinsent again records that LW came to tea with him (4.30 to 6.30pm) (Pinsent, p.7).
Saturday 6th July, 1912: LW’s eldest sister Hermine visits him in Cambridge. At a meeting with Russell (6th July or shortly thereafter), Russell tells Hermine that he expects ‘the next big step in philosophy’ to be taken by Ludwig (McGuinness, p.130; Monk, p.55; Kanterian, p.38).
Wednesday 10th July, 1912: Russell writes to Ottoline of his meeting with Hermine, who felt that LW had been quite different since he came to Cambridge, and that it was the right place for him (McGuinness, p.130).
Friday 12th July, 1912: Pinsent records that he went to tea with LW, and later that they went shopping in Cambridge for furniture to furnish LW’s rooms, since he is going to move into college next term. LW, though, is so fussy and dislikes what is on offer so much that he eventually has furniture made for him, at some expense (Pinsent, pp.7-8; McGuinness, pp.131-2; Kanterian, pp.43-4).
Saturday 13th July, 1912: at a meeting of the British Psychological Society, LW and Muscio present a demonstration on their psychological experiments, introduced by C.S.Myers (McGuinness, pp.128 and note, 129; Sterrett 2006, p.99). Pinsent records that he and LW dined together at the Bull Hotel, Cambridge, and afterwards strolled around exploring the new laboratory buildings that were in the course of being built, returning to LW’s rooms until 9pm (Pinsent, p.8; McGuinness, p.125).
Sunday 14th July, 1912: Pinsent records that LW came to his rooms to hear him and another undergraduate, Eric Pam, make a hash of a duet-version of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony (Pinsent, p.8).
Monday 15th July, 1912: Pinsent records that LW came to tea at 5pm, that they then went shopping, but that LW goes down (leaves Cambridge) tonight (Pinsent, p.8). LW returns home to Vienna, for a family visit (McGuinness, p.132; Monk, p.56; Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.32 note), and spends the Summer with his family at the Hochreit and on his uncle Paul’s estate at Hallein, near Salzburg, working full steam ahead on philosophy (McGuinness, p.133). He plans to have his hernia operated upon immediately on arrival in Vienna (McGuinness, p.132). However, conditions are not suitable: as Russell writes to Ottoline, LW’s sister Gretl is ill as a result of having a baby, his father is ill with cancer, and his mother is all at sea as a consequence (McGuinness, pp.132-3). In the end, LW has only a minor, temporary operation performed, in secret, so that his mother would not discover (McGuinness, p.133; Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.40, note).
Mid-to-Late-July, 1912: around this time, LW writes to Russell, from the Hochreit, about the meaning of logical connective symbols, and whether ‘p v q’ means a complex (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.32).
Early August, 1912: LW writes from Vienna to William Eccles, advising the latter about his future career once Eccles had finished his apprenticeship with British Westinghouse Co., and stating his intention to visit Eccles in Manchester “about the 17th” (Eccles, p.58, Mays, p.12, note).
Friday 16th August, 1912: LW writes to Russell from Salzburg, expressing his delight that Russell has been reading the lives of Mozart and Beethoven (‘the actual sons of God’), and mentioning that the logical problem they have been concerned with and the matter of apparent variables have become much clearer to him (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.34; McGuinness, p.112). LW then sends Russell five volumes of Beethoven’s letters (McGuinness, p.112).
Thursday 22nd August, 1912: Russell writes to Ottoline, noting that he has recently received a letter from LW, and saying that he loves him ‘as if he were my son’ (McGuinness, p.103).
Late August 1912: LW writes to Russell (from Austria), expressing the view that the logical problems that have exercised them can be traced to atomic propositions (Russell receives this letter on 2nd September (McGuinness, p.134 note)). He also hopes that he might see Russell either in Cambridge or London between the 3rd and the 6th of September, and mentions that he has been reading Tolstoy’s novel Hadji Murat, which he describes as ‘wonderful’ (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.35; McGuinness, pp.33, 110, 134). McGuinness suggests that during this Summer LW did indeed work on what Russell felt was necessary, viz., ‘another and more fundamental account of the fundamentals of Principia [Mathematica] itself, an explanation of the nature of logical truth, and a justification of apparently accidental axioms like the Axiom of Reducibility’ (McGuinness, pp.104, 105).
Wednesday 4th September, 1912: LW arrives back in London from Austria, to do further furniture shopping for his new rooms in Cambridge, and stays at Russell’s room in Bury Street, near Piccadilly (McGuinness, pp.133-5; Monk, p.57). Russell writes to Ottoline that he and LW plunged into a discussion of logic, and that LW ‘has a very great power of seeing what are really important problems’. He recalls urging LW not to put off writing until he has solved all the problems that concerned him, since that time would never come. LW responded wildly, with what Russell calls ‘the artist’s feeling that he will produce the perfect thing or nothing’. Russell also mentions that he himself feels delightfully lazy because he can now leave a whole department of difficult thought, which used to depend on him alone, to LW (McGuinness, pp.104, 135).
Thursday 5th September, 1912: Pinsent records that he took a train from Cambridge to Euston Station, London, where LW met him on the platform, before a taxi took them to the Grand Hotel, Trafalgar Square. On arrival at the hotel, LW picks up a telegram from one of his brothers, who has just returned from Iceland, advising them that Iceland is so cold they should abandon their voyage. Pinsent persuades LW not to do so, and LW then reveals the money that his father has lavished upon them for the trip. McGuinness states: “Each was supplied with £145 in notes, theoretically by Wittgenstein’s father, and Wittgenstein carried letters of credit for another £200. They travelled everywhere first class (it seems to have been Wittgenstein’s practice at this time) and stayed at the best hotels” (McGuinness, p.135). They dine in the Grill Room, then stroll along the Embankment, ending up in Russell’s rooms. LW is still staying there, so Pinsent leaves and takes a tube back to Trafalgar Square, for the Hotel (Pinsent, pp.8-9). Russell writes to Ottoline of his ‘strong protective feeling’ for LW (McGuinness, p.103).
Friday 6th September, 1912: Pinsent records that he meets LW at Kings Cross, from where they take the train to Cambridge, for LW to conduct some business concerning his new rooms. They then catch the train to Ely, have some problems with their luggage in Peterborough, rescue their luggage, have lunch and travel on to Grantham to pick up the fast train to Scotland. They reach Edinburgh at 10.45 pm, and eventually check into the Royal Hotel (Pinsent, pp.9-10).
Saturday 7th September, 1912: LW and Pinsent shop for clothes in Edinburgh (LW making Pinsent buy extra clothes, since he has brought only a single piece of luggage, to LW’s three), and then take a tram to Leith, Edinburgh's port. In the evening they leave Leith for Iceland on the Sterling, a boat with about ten passengers on board, to travel around Iceland together for nearly four weeks. LW is disgusted with how small the boat is, although he and Pinsent each have a two-berth cabin (Pinsent, pp.10-11; McGuinness, pp.135-7; Monk, p.57; Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.35, note).
Sunday 8th September, 1912: LW and Pinsent are on board the Sterling, off the coast of Scotland. Pinsent gets up early, breakfasting at 7.30, LW gets up at about 9am, and afterwards they sit up on deck together. At 11am they lunch on ‘heaps of sausagy sorts of things, cold’, then play Schubert songs on the ship’s piano (having brought the sheet-music with them). Afterwards they again sit up on deck, watching the Captain and other passengers play deck quoits. They have dinner at 4.30, after which the Sterling sails between the Orkney Isles and the Scottish mainland. Despite the boat pitching slightly all day, neither LW nor Pinsent is sick, although LW is not feeling well (Pinsent, pp.11-12).
Monday 9th September, 1912: Still on board the Sterling, Pinsent gets up at 7, but the weather is poor and LW, feeling very sick, stays in bed all day. Pinsent tries to attend to him, but ends up feeling sick himself. He plays the piano in the morning, but spends most of the afternoon and evening lying down in his cabin (Pinsent, p12).
Tuesday 10th September, 1912: The Sterling reaches the Faroe Isles early in the morning, Pinsent remarks that the Isles are ‘very beautiful – high and mountainy and of the quaintest and boldest shapes’. He and LW sit together on deck in the morning, then Pinsent spends time converting his cabin into a dark-room, afterwards (under-)developing six films. That afternoon, they play deck quoits with the other passengers. The boat pitches less today, and Pinsent does not feel sick, although he thinks LW did, since LW goes to bed early (Pinsent, pp.12-13).
Wednesday 11th September, 1912: After breakfast, Pinsent prints the films he developed yesterday. The boat is still pitching and rolling. LW, still feeling sick (although not being sick), gets up around 10am, then comes on deck. After lunch, Pinsent and the six other passengers (all Icelanders) play games on deck, but LW is feeling too sick to do so. He retires to bed in mid-afternoon, while the others go on to play card games in the saloon after dinner (Pinsent, p.13).
Thursday 12th September, 1912: Rough sailing until the Sterling reaches Reykjavik bay, where it anchors at lunchtime and its passengers are put ashore. They check into the ‘Hotel Reykjavik’, where they are the only visitors. After lunch LW and Pinsent arrange to journey inland on Saturday with an Icelandic guide. Then they go for a walk in the town, with which Pinsent is impressed: “Reykjavik is really a wonderful place: it is fairly big – population 11,600 – and has broad streets, shops where one can buy almost anything, and many of the most up-to-date comforts of civilization: for instance there is a gas-works and almost every house has its telephone. I saw several men going about on bicycles. The houses are all built of corrugated iron on stone foundations, and are somewhat gaudily painted – mostly red or yellow: the general effect is quaint and not a bit unpleasing”. He and LW have a discussion about public schools, which gets animated until they realise that they are misunderstanding one another. LW evinces a horror of what he calls a ‘Philistine’ attitude towards cruelty, callousness and suffering, an attitude of which he accuses Rudyard Kipling (Pinsent, pp.13-16, p.26).
Friday 13th September, 1912: In Reykjavik, LW and Pinsent go into town, shopping and taking photos, then come back to their hotel to meet their guide, named Jónson. He takes them around town buying necessities for their inland voyage, such as tinned food. They later go to the bank to deposit most of their money, and then to the office of a steamship company to book their return passage. LW gets annoyed with the company’s operative, who doesn’t seem to understand them well, and then brings back a man from the bank who acts as interpreter, going through the entire transaction again. After lunch Pinsent goes to a photographic shop to hire a dark-room and develops films with LW. They then post some letters, go for a stroll, collect their developed films from the shop, return to the hotel, and pack for their inland journey (Pinsent, p.16).
Saturday 14th September, 1912: After finishing packing and some delay, LW and Pinsent leave Reykjavik on their inland journey, by pony. Apart from the ponies that LW, Pinsent and their guide Jónson are riding, they have two pack ponies and three spare ponies. The weather is misty and drizzly, but they cover the 50km, the ponies trotting all the way, with a rest-break, a lunch-break, and a change of ponies. They reach their destination today, Þingvellir (Thingvellir), the original site of the Icelandic parliament, around 7pm. There they stay at the inn. About the scenery, Pinsent remarks: ‘The country through which we have passed is excessively bleak – moorlands covered with lava-stones and what in England would be called heather. The latter is of the most glorious colours – light green, yellow and pink – and even in the misty weather looked almost vivid. The road was not hilly, though there were some mountains in the distance’. He records that after a good supper of trout, bread and butter and marmalade, LW teaches him ‘Russell’s definition of Number etc and the use of his logical symbolism’, which Pinsent finds ‘excessively interesting’. He also notes that LW makes a very good teacher (Pinsent, p.17, McGuinness p.137).
Sunday 15th September, 1912: LW and Pinsent decide to spend the day at Þingvellir. They explore the surrounding area on foot, marvelling at the flat countryside punctuated with deep gullies and their purple-blue lakes. Their exploration involves some rock-climbing, about which LW is ‘terribly nervous’, begging Pinsent not to risk his life (Pinsent, pp.18-19).
Monday 16th September, 1912: After a huge three-course breakfast, LW, Pinsent and their guide set off from Þingvellir, crossing its plain, then making their way along an uphill track. They lunch at a farm, ride on, and then stay at another farm, some way short of Geysir (the site of Iceland’s largest and most famous geyser). On their journey, they see in the distance what Pinsent refers to as ‘the snow mountains’, including the volcano Hekla. That evening, they observe the Aurora Borealis in the Northern sky (Pinsent, pp.19-20).
Tuesday 17th September, 1912: After a late breakfast, LW and Pinsent ride on, slowly, to Geysir, and put up at the Inn there. Among the bubbling hot springs, they witness (in fact, they prompt) the spouting of Strokkur (the next largest geyser on the site, but Geysir itself does not erupt, despite their waiting most of the afternoon for it to do so. After supper, they go for a stroll, and LW teaches Pinsent more about Russell’s symbolic logic (Pinsent, pp.20-21).
Wednesday 18th September, 1912: LW has a violent stomach-ache after breakfast, but it soon dissipates. Since Geysir has still not spouted, he and Pinsent stay there for the day. Pinsent is in the course of reading Wuthering Heights. LW talks logic again during their walk in the afternoon, and again after supper. Pinsent feels that he is learning a lot from LW, who he feels is ‘remarkably clever’. (Pinsent, p.21).
Thursday 19th September, 1912: LW and Pinsent give up on Geysir, it still having not erupted, and decide they can wait no longer. They travel on slowly (the ground being wet) to Gullfoss, the immense waterfall. After lunch nearby they ride on to Skipholt, where they stay the night at a farm in ‘extremely comfortable quarters’. After supper they talk philosophy until 10pm. Pinsent records that LW talks a lot about people he despises, whom he calls ‘Philistines’, and Pinsent worries momentarily that LW considers him to be one such (Pinsent, pp.21-22).
Friday 20th September, 1912: After breakfast, LW and Pinsent ride off from Skipholt, stopping at another farm for lunch, but in the afternoon getting caught in a downpour riding over ‘the dullest of marshy plains’, eventually reaching the Inn at Thjorsabru (near Iceland’s largest river, the Thjorsa) (Pinsent, p.23).
Saturday 21st September, 1912: LW and Pinsent ride on, along a good carriage road, reaching the Ölfusa Bridge (over the Ölfusa river at Selfoss), where they lunch on trout at the Inn. They ride on again to another inn, 50km from Reykjavik, where they stay the night. Pinsent finds LW a bit sulky all evening, probably as a result of Pinsent himself being irritated by something trivial (Pinsent, p.23).
Sunday 22nd September, 1912: Rain and wind mean that LW and Pinsent only set off after lunch, bound for Hlíðarendi (Hlitharendi). They spend the morning indoors, reading and playing chess. They set out at 1.15pm, traveling first on the road to Reykjavik, but then on rough and stony tracks, reaching the farm at Hlíðarendi around 5.15. Their quarters in the farm are the poorest they have experienced on the journey, but Pinsent still finds his small and dark room quite comfortable. After supper, LW teaches Pinsent more symbolic logic, and Pinsent notes that he teaches ‘very well’ (Pinsent, p.24, McGuinness p.137).
Monday 23rd September, 1912: LW, Pinsent, and their guide set off at 9am, their ponies walking not on roads or tracks but over lava-plains or through black volcanic dust. At lunchtime they reach the farm at Herdisarvik (on Iceland’s south coast). After lunch there, they set out again and reach Krisuvik at 5.45 pm. Here they stay at the farm for the night, in very comfortable quarters, having a long discussion about their travel plans for the following day. Pinsent wants to go straight back to Reykjavik, but LW wants to stay on another day, to see the hot springs near Krisuvik, and get to Reykjavik on Wednesday. They reach a compromise…. (Pinsent, pp.24-5).
Tuesday 24th September, 1912: LW and Pinsent travel to the nearby hot springs that LW had wanted to see, then set out for Reykjavik, in fine weather. They cross two extinct volcano craters, then descend onto a plain and at 5pm reach the fishing village of Hafnarfjörður (Hafnarfjordur). After refreshments, they set out for Reykjavik and arrive by 7pm, staying once again at the Hotel Reykjavik. At dinner Pinsent talks to one of the other hotel guests, ‘a very splendid bounder’, but someone to whom, as LW afterwards makes it very clear at length, he would not consider speaking (Pinsent, pp.25-6).
Wednesday 25th September, 1912: The guide comes to fetch LW’s and Pinsent’s luggage, and they tip him, deeming him ‘very efficient and a thoroughly nice companionable man’. Pinsent reports that later in the day LW makes ‘an awful fuss’, refusing to eat at the same table as the ‘bounder’ they encountered yesterday (even though he had never spoken with him). They try to arrange for their meals to be taken an hour before the table d’hôte, but the hotel staff forget this at lunch, so LW and Pinsent go into town to look for something to eat. Since they fail to find anything there, LW eats some biscuits in his hotel room, and Pinsent resorts to the table d’hôte. Pinsent then returns to the photography shop he used before, and (under-)develops 30 films from their inland trip. When he returns to the hotel, he finds LW still sulky about the lunch issue. But he is cheered up by having champagne with supper, and the two later stroll around town (Pinsent, pp.26-7).
Thursday 26th September, 1912: LW and Pinsent collect more of Pinsent’s photos from the shop, then spend an hour putting them into a negative book. They go out and make arrangements to return to England on a boat, the Botnia, the following day. Their guide then takes them to the Reykjavik National Museum. After lunch they talk about one of the hotel’s new guests, an Englishman, then do more shopping. They attend a public dinner at their hotel in honour of the birthday of the King of Denmark, then go for coffee with a Mr. Müller, whom they had met on the street earlier in the day, and whom they found ‘quite amusing’ (Pinsent, pp.27-8).
Friday 27th September, 1912: Pinsent collects letters from the Post Office. He begins walking with LW towards Reykjavik’s hot springs, but they decide to proceed independently, LW going on to the springs, Pinsent sitting on a wall to read his letters, then returning to the hotel on his own. At 4.45pm their guide reappears, and they put off from the quay in a small boat to board the Botnia, which is a larger and more comfortable boat than the Sterling they had arrived on, carrying thirty first-class passengers. They say goodbye to their guide, take possession of their two two-berth cabins, and the Botnia sails at 7pm, taking a route with stops along the southern coast of Iceland (Pinsent, pp.28-9).
Saturday 28th September, 1912: Both LW and Pinsent sleep well. The Botnia reaches the Vestmannaeyjar islands early in the morning, and stays there until 11am. Pinsent finishes reading Wuthering Heights, and prints more photos. He talks with two English passengers, one of whom had also done Iceland’s ‘Golden Triangle’, one day behind LW and Pinsent, and who was very contemptuous of their ‘huge cavalcade’. Pinsent visits LW, who has been sick in the afternoon, keeping to his cabin since then (Pinsent, pp.29-30).
Sunday 29th September, 1912: LW gets up, but spends almost all morning lying down. He and Pinsent go ashore and stroll about when the Botnia reaches Seydisfjördur. After they return to the boat, Pinsent again converts his cabin into a dark-room, and develops six films. They go ashore again at 10pm, see the Aurora Borealis, and talk about logic, ‘chiefly about some new research Wittgenstein is doing’. Pinsent gets the impression that LW has ‘discovered something good’ on this front. They go aboard again around 11pm and go to bed; the Botnia puts to sea again during the night (Pinsent, p.30).
Monday 30th September, 1912: The Botnia enters Reydarfjördur, and when it comes alongside the quay to load cargo LW and Pinsent go ashore for a stroll, coming back at 10.30am. The boat puts to sea again at noon, but anchors at another village in the same fjord shortly thereafter, until 3.45pm. It then sets sail for the Faroe Islands. The sea is quite rough, but Pinsent reports that neither he nor LW felt sick (Pinsent, pp.30-31).
Tuesday 1st October, 1912: The sea being rougher than ever, LW decides to stay in bed. Pinsent finishes printing his films. The Faroe Islands are sighted around 3pm, ‘very impressive, one huge cape falling precipitously about 2,000 feet into the sea, showing dimly and hugely about 15 miles away’. At 6pm, the Botnia comes in to anchor off Thorshaven. LW only gets up in the evening, after they have reached the Faroes, and he and Pinsent have a long talk in the latter’s cabin, mostly about people they knew. He and LW pace the deck after 9pm ‘tea’, and then persuade the engineer to let them see the boat’s engines. Pinsent remarks: ‘Wittgenstein (who has spent a lot of time studying engineering – at Manchester University mostly) explained them to me: very interesting’. They witness the boat starting, from the engine room, when it leaves the Faroes at 11.15pm (Pinsent, p.31, McGuinness p.137).
Wednesday 2nd October, 1912: On leaving the Faroe Islands, Botnia begins rolling badly, boxes sliding around Pinsent’s cabin. Neither he nor LW feel sick, though. They try pacing the deck, but the boat is too unsteady and the weather too cold. The Orkney Islands are sighted around 6pm, and Botnia sails between them and the Shetland Isles (Pinsent, pp.31-2).
Thursday 3rd October, 1912: The sea is calm again, and Botnia is off Aberdeen when Pinsent awakes to pack. They dock in Leith around 5pm, and LW and Pinsent get a cab to the Caledonian Hotel, Edinburgh, where they both have huge baths. Pinsent books their journey on the 10.50pm train, and they dine ‘in style with Champagne’. They then go for a stroll together along Princes Street, return to the hotel, and then catch their train, on which they have sleeping berths (Pinsent, p.32).
Friday 4th October, 1912: Travelling South from Edinburgh, LW and Pinsent arrive at Birmingham New Street rail station at 7am, then take a cab to the Pinsents’ family house, ‘Lordswood’, in Birmingham. Finding a large party of people staying at Lordswood, Pinsent shows them his holiday photographs and holds forth on the subject of Iceland. Having persuaded LW to stay the night in order for them to attend the last concert of a music festival that day, they leave by bus for the Town Hall. The concert features Brahms’s Requiem (conducted by Henry Wood), Richard Strauss’s Salome (which LW avoids and Pinsent deems ‘rot’), Beethoven’s 7th Symphony (which LW comes back for), and Bach’s ‘Be Not Afraid’ (by which time he has left for Lordswood, on his own). LW goes for a walk with Pinsent’s mother and his sister Hester. Later that evening, he explains to Pinsent’s father a lot of the logic he had been teaching his son (Pinsent, pp.33-4, McGuinness, pp.124-5, 137).
Saturday 5th October, 1912: LW, Pinsent, and his mother talk about the education of young children. Later LW and Pinsent play the piano. Then Pinsent drives LW back to Birmingham New Street station, and sees him off on the 2.45pm train to London. In his diary he remarks ‘Thus ends the most glorious holiday I have ever spent! The novelty of the country – of being free of all considerations about economizing – the excitement and everything – all combine to make it the most wonderful experience I have ever had’ (Pinsent, pp.34-5).
Friday October 11th, 1912: The Cambridge University Michaelmas term begins.
Russell’s paper ‘The Essence of Religion’ had recently appeared in the October issue of The Hibbert Journal. LW has read it and detests it, and this leads to the first of a number of painful talks with Russell, LW’s mood now being more fierce and critical than formerly (McGuinness, p.108). Russell writes to Ottoline that LW feels that Russell had, in this article, betrayed ‘the gospel of exactness’. Russell’s impression is that LW thinks he had ‘wantonly used words vaguely’ and that ‘such things are too intimate for print’. Russell also records that he minds LW’s negative reaction ‘very much’, since he half agreed with him (McGuinness, p.109). (Despite positive reactions from others, Russell did not reprint this article in 1916, when revising the contents of his Philosophical Essays (K.Blackwell, ‘A Secondary Bibliography of Russell’s “The Essence of Religion”’, Russell, vol.1, 1981-2, p.144)).
During this term, LW again attends G.E.Moore’s lectures on psychology (as he had in February of the previous year). These usually took as their starting point James Ward’s 1902 Encyclopedia Britannica article on ‘Psychology’, G.F.Stout’s Analytic Psychology (1886), and Manual of Psychology (1898-9), and William James’s Principles of Psychology). (Ward was, along with F.M.Sorley, one of the Professors on the Moral Science Tripos (McGuinness, p.95)). (Much later, in Cornell during August 1949, O.K.Bouwsma reported LW as having said to him that “Moore lectured and puzzled endlessly, but it was futile. W. stood it for two terms” (Bouwsma, p.37)).
LW also attends Russell’s lectures on the foundations of mathematics during this term (Monk, pp.62-3). McGuinness says that Russell’s comment that LW would come to see him every evening at midnight pertains to this period (McGuinness, p.101, note).
Saturday 12th October, 1912: LW takes up residence in his new rooms in Whewell’s Court, Trinity College. He stays in Pinsent’s rooms for a while, then Pinsent goes with him to help carry up some furniture (which LW had had specially made for him ‘on his own lines’). Later they dine at Buol’s restaurant and attend an informal concert at the Cambridge University Music Club, going for a stroll before returning to Trinity College (Pinsent, pp.35-6, McGuinness, p.138).
Sunday 13th October, 1912: Russell writes to Ottoline that LW’s criticisms of his article on religion disturbed him profoundly (McGuinness, p.109). Russell is trying to work on a paper entitled ‘What is Logic?’, which he thinks might be important, and which identifies logic as the study of the forms of complexes (McGuinness’s view is that this paper ‘represents fairly accurately the position that Russell and Wittgenstein had reached at this time’ (McGuinness, pp.162, 163)).
Monday 14th October, 1912: Russell, having trouble writing his paper ‘What is Logic?’, writes to Ottoline that he is very much inclined to leave the issue to LW (Pinsent, pp.35-6, McGuinness, p.163). Pinsent calls on LW, finding him slightly more settled but with a lot of his new furniture still to move in. At about 10.30 they set out to walk together, strolling about the courts of Trinity College, until they meet Russell, who invites them to his rooms, where they stay until 12.15pm.
Tuesday 15th October, 1912: Russell writes to Ottoline that LW ‘loves Moore, but doesn’t admire him as much as the others do’ (the others here perhaps being the other students in Moore’s class, or perhaps more widely those in Moore and Russell’s circle at Cambridge) (McGuinness, p.141).
Friday 18th October, 1912: After Moore’s lecture, LW goes to see him in his rooms, berating Moore for concentrating on the work of others in these lectures, rather than stating his own views, and for concentrating on unimportant questions (McGuinness, p.141; Kanterian, p.46). Moore writes in his diary: ‘W comes up after lecture and tells me my lectures have become very bad. Then we get on to definition and he stays till 3’ (McGuinness, p.141). Moore is reported as having promised to mend his ways if he could (McGuinness, p.141). He and LW are meeting about twice per week, by appointment, at this time (McGuinness, pp.141-2).
Around this time, LW plans to re-vamp the Moral Science Club (the Cambridge Philosophy Faculty’s debating club, by having Moore take over and ‘act as a kind of dictator’ (as Moore himself put it), confining the length of the papers to be read, in order to prioritize discussion (McGuinness, p.143).
Saturday 19th October, 1912: Pinsent meets LW at a Cambridge University Music Club concert, and comes to his rooms afterwards, staying until 11.30 pm (Pinsent, p.36).
Sunday 20th October, 1912: Lytton Strachey writes to his friend Saxon Sydney-Turner, mentioning that Russell had kept LW ‘to himself’ until Keynes had insisted on meeting him (McGuinness, p.140).
Wednesday 23rd October, 1912: Around 3.45pm, LW appears at Pinsent’s rooms, ill with rheumatism and feeling ‘very sorry for himself’. He stays until 4.30. The two later meet at the Guildhall, for a Cambridge University Music Society concert. Afterwards, LW returns with Pinsent to his rooms, staying until about 11.30pm (Pinsent, p.36).
Thursday 24th October, 1912: Pinsent goes to Russell’s rooms at 10pm, finding LW there with physiologist and philosopher A.D.Ritchie (many years later to hold the Chair of Logic & Metaphysics at the University of Edinburgh), and others. Pinsent finds the conversation dull at first, but more interesting when it later turned philosophical (Pinsent, p.36).
Friday 25th October, 1912: LW calls on Pinsent, explaining to him a new solution to a problem in symbolic logic which had been puzzling him in Iceland, but to which he had there made only a relatively makeshift solution. Pinsent notes ‘His latest is quite different and covers more ground, and if sound should revolutionize lots of Symbolic Logic: Russell, he says, thinks it is sound, but says nobody will understand it: I think I comprehended it myself, however (!). If Wittgenstein’s solution works, he will be the first to solve a problem which has puzzled Russell and Frege for some years: it is the most masterly and convincing solution too’ (Pinsent, p.37).
Monday 28th October, 1912: Pinsent visits LW, they go to the Cambridge Union to get some music, then return to Pinsent’s rooms where he tries to play it to LW. LW stays with him there until 3.30pm. Pinsent then packs, since the two are going to London together tonight for a concert. He meets LW at 4.15 outside the Great Gate of Trinity College and they take a cab to the station, catching the 4.35 train to King’s Cross, and travelling First Class. From there they take a taxi to the Grand Hotel, Trafalgar Square, stopping on the way at a shop that LW wants to visit. They dine at the hotel, then take a taxi to the Queen’s Hall, where the concert of Schubert, Beethoven and Brahms begins at 8pm. Pinsent enjoys the concert greatly (but does not mention in his diary whether LW did so). They walk back to their hotel, where LW goes to bed while Pinsent goes for a short stroll on the embankment before turning in (Pinsent, pp.37-8).
Tuesday 29th October, 1912: After breakfast at 7.45am, LW and Pinsent take a taxi to Liverpool Street station, where they catch the 8.40 train to return to Cambridge. They arrive at 10am, and walk to their college (Pinsent, p.38).
Wednesday 30th October, 1912: Russell invites LW over, to meet Keynes, but although their meeting takes place, LW is feeling ill (McGuinness, p.138).
Thursday 31st October, 1912: Russell writes to Ottoline that yesterday’s meeting between LW and Keynes was a failure, LW having been too ill to argue properly. He feels that LW is ‘on the verge of a nervous breakdown, not far removed from suicide, feeling himself a miserable creature, full of sin’ (McGuinness, p.154). McGuinness says that both LW and Russell were worried about LW’s health and spirits ‘throughout this Michaelmas term’ (McGuinness, pp.153-4). On this occasion, LW had been to see a doctor, who had put the problem entirely down to nerves (McGuinness, p.154). Russell notes that he himself had advised various things to LW, including exercise (McGuinness, p.154). On the academic-social front, he also mentions that he had taken LW to meet John McTaggart, a leading Cambridge metaphysician, of the Hegelian idealist persuasion (Pinsent, p.38, McGuinness, pp.138, 154). Pinsent records that two people he had invited turned up to have tea with him, then LW appeared by chance. One of his guests leaves early, the other (C.E.Winn, who is reading mathematics) stays longer and gets on with LW better than Pinsent had expected. After Winn leaves, LW stays for another hour (Pinsent, p.38).
Monday 4th November, 1912: Russell reads his paper ‘On the Notion of Cause’ to a meeting of the Aristotelian Society in London (LW did not attend, though) (McGuinness, p.159).
Tuesday 5th November, 1912: Russell writes to Ottoline that the real cause of LW’s depression lies in the sheer difficulty of the logical work he has to do (McGuinness, p.154).
Thursday 7th November, 1912: After dining at the Cambridge Union, Pinsent goes to the Guildhall for a recital (including works by Mozart and Chopin). Soon after arriving back in his rooms, LW appears, having been to the same concert, very enthusiastic about the Mozart. He stays for about an hour (Pinsent, pp.38-9).
Friday 8th November, 1912: In Vienna, LW’s father Karl, having during this year invested much of his personal fortune in foreign stocks and shares (Waugh, p.157), undergoes his final operation for cancer of the tongue (Waugh, p.8). In Cambridge, Pinsent goes to LW’s rooms, then the two get horses and go for a ride together, ‘down to the river and along the tow-path to Clay-hithe and back by the Ely road’. Pinsent reports that LW is at first depressed by the news of his father’s operation. They get back to college around 4.30pm, and Wittgenstein comes to tea in Pinsent’s rooms, staying until 6pm (Pinsent, p.39, McGuinness, pp.154-5).
Saturday 9th November, 1912: Russell writes to Ottoline that he has spent an afternoon with LW and North Whitehead (Alfred North Whitehead’s elder son). North, competing in the first heat of a sculls race, was beaten, and LW is disgusted that he and Russell have spent the afternoon in such a way, to the point of feeling that they do not deserve to live. Russell reports that LW vehemently feels that ‘nothing is tolerable except producing great works or enjoying those of others, that he has accomplished nothing and never will, etc.’ (McGuinness, p.112).
Pinsent records that while working in his rooms between 6.30 and 7.30, he is interrupted by LW, who insists on Pinsent’s dictating a letter of apology LW had to write, LW having received an invitation to breakfast, but having destroyed the invitation letter before finding out the day and time in question. He notes ‘Wittgenstein quite frequently gets me to dictate letters like this!’.
That evening, Pinsent and LW attend a concert at the Cambridge University Music Club. H.C.M.Farmer, the monk that LW had verbally attacked back in March of this year (and who was at this time an undergraduate student of Moral Sciences, as well as being active in the Cambridge Footlights comedy troupe), whom LW dislikes and believes to be dishonest-minded, also appears. Pinsent records that LW ‘got very excited trying to induce him to read some good book on some exact science, and see what honest thought is’. Although Pinsent agrees that this would be good for Farmer, he finds LW’s approach, talking as if he was Farmer’s Director of Studies, overbearing. He notes that young Farmer took it very well (Pinsent, pp.39-40, McGuinness, p.111).
At a meeting of the Apostles (who met every Saturday evening during term-time), Russell tries to convince the other members that LW would not be suitable for, or interested in, being elected to their number (McGuinness, p.150).
Sunday 10th November, 1912: LW comes to breakfast in Keynes’s rooms, with members of the Society of Apostles, and ‘B’, the other ‘embryo’ (the Society’s word for someone they are thinking of making a member) (McGuinness, p.150).
Russell writes to Ottoline that LW (even though not yet a member of the Society) is already ‘horribly bored by the Society, and wishing to get out of it’, the other embryo, B, whom LW cannot stand, being a great obstacle for him. Russell mentions, though, that LW has agreed to take a week before deciding (McGuinness, p.151).
Monday 11th November, 1912: Russell writes to Ottoline explaining that his doubts about electing LW to membership of the Society of Apostles have been over-ruled, and that he has persuaded LW to come to the first meeting and ‘see how he could stand it’ (McGuinness, p.150).
Tuesday 12th November, 1912: Keynes writes to his friend the artist Duncan Grant that LW ‘is a most wonderful character’ (overturning an assessment he had given to Grant slightly earlier) (McGuinness, p.139). LW and Keynes make friends around this time (McGuinness, p.119; Monk, p.66).
Russell writes to Ottoline that he told LW yesterday that he thinks too much about himself, and vows that if LW starts talking to him again about his problems, he will ‘refuse to listen unless I think he is quite desperate’(McGuinness, p.155).
McGuinness surmises that this is the period during which, as Russell later recalled, LW would come to him ‘every evening at midnight, and pace up and down my room like a wild beast in agitated silence’ (McGuinness, p.155 and note). He also conjectures that Russell’s anecdote (that he once asked LW ‘Are you thinking about logic or about your sins?’, to which LW replied: ‘Both’) relates to an event that occurred around this time (McGuinness, pp.155-6).
Wednesday 13th November, 1912: Pinsent records that he visited LW and they went for a ride north-west along the Huntingdon Road, to Madingley and then back to Cambridge, a round trip of about 9 miles, getting back at about 4pm (Pinsent, p.40).
In a letter to his brother Lytton, James Strachey mentions that other members of the ‘Society of Apostles’ want LW as a member, even though ‘they all thought he would be too awful for words’ (McGuinness, p.146).
In a letter to Lytton Strachey, Keynes relates what he takes to be LW’s objection to the Society (that it is not ‘apostolic’), together with his (LW’s) preference for the long-established members of the Society (the ‘angels’): ‘Our new brother vastly prefers angels. He says to see active brothers is to see those who have not yet made their toilets. And the process though necessary is indecent. At any rate he couldn’t say that you’ve not made your toilet, could he?’ (McGuinness, p.150).
Friday 15th November, 1912: The Cambridge University Moral Science Club officially adopts LW’s scheme for G.E.Moore to act as Chairman, and for papers being presented to it to be limited to seven minutes in length (McGuinness, p.143).
Saturday 16th November, 1912: LW attends the meeting of the Society of Apostles and, with Keynes’ support for his application (McGuinness, pp.146, 150, 151; Kanterian, p.40), is elected as a member of the Society (McGuinness, p.114 note, pp.146-151; Monk, pp.67-8). At this meeting, Moore reads his paper ‘On Conversion’, and LW expresses the view that for him (i.e. for LW) conversion ‘consisted in getting rid of worry, having the courage that made one really not care what might happen’ (McGuinness, pp.114, 151, 158).
Wednesday 20th November, 1912: Lytton Strachey writes to Keynes ‘Our brothers B. and Wittgenstein are so nasty and our brother Békássy is so nice that the Society ought to rush forward now into the most progressive waters’ (McGuinness, p.146). (‘B’, the Society of Apostles’ other ‘embryo’ at that time, and whom LW despised so much, was F.K.Bliss (one of the three brothers of the British composer and conductor Sir Arthur Bliss)).
Thursday 21st November, 1912: LW and Pinsent once again set out to hire horses and go for a ride. This time they ride south along the Trumpington Road, through Grantchester, then turn North-west towards Coton, returning along the Barton Road, and arriving back at 3.45pm. In the evening, Pinsent goes to Russell’s ‘squash’ (gathering in his college rooms), but finds only LW there. They both stay until 1am, LW doing most of the talking (Pinsent, p.40).
Saturday 23rd November, 1912: LW and J.H.Bishop (another undergraduate student) come to tea with Pinsent, since from Pinsent’s descriptions of Bishop, LW had wanted to to meet him. However, Pinsent feels that at this meeting Bishop is ‘lacking in “go” and enthusiasm’, and thus that LW is not favourably impressed. Bishop leaves early, LW stays until 7pm, Pinsent playing some Schubert to him and LW getting ‘most enthusiastic’ about it (Pinsent, p.41).
Tuesday 26th November, 1912: At 2pm LW goes for a ride with Pinsent, ‘round by Cherry Hinton’. They return around 4.30, and have tea in LW’s rooms. Later LW comes back with Pinsent to the latter’s rooms, where Pinsent plays the piano for him, ‘mostly the melodies out of yesterday’s concert’ (Pinsent, p.41).
Thursday 28th November, 1912: At 2pm, LW and Pinsent go for a ride, in cold weather, ‘round by Clayhithe, up by the river and back by the Ely road’. They return around 4pm (Pinsent, p.41).
Friday 29th November, 1912: In his own rooms, and with Moore acting as Chairman, LW presents a very short (four-minute) paper entitled ‘What is Philosophy?’ to the Cambridge University Moral Science Club (McGuinness, pp.143-4; Monk, p.69; Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.35), in which he argues that philosophy is the totality of primitive propositions that are taken as unprovable and basic in science (Kanterian, p.41; Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.35). Moore does not think highly of LW’s performance (McGuinness, p.144). Russell (who had only been able to attend the end of the meeting) talks with LW at length afterwards, until 1.30 in the morning, LW being worried that he was unpopular (McGuinness, pp.144-5).
Saturday 30th November, 1912: After working from 10am to 12 noon, Pinsent visits LW, who makes him stay for lunch. Later they go to Heffers’ bookshop, where they have a bill to pay. Pinsent buys a cheap edition of Pepys’ diary and LW, ‘apparently struck by the idea’, buys a very expensive one. They then go to the Cambridge University Music Club, where Pinsent talks to W.M.Lindley about a quintet by Bohemian composer Josef Labor which LW wants performed. Lindley says he will try to see that it is performed next term, but then he and LW argue about modern music, which Pinsent finds ‘rather amusing’ (Pinsent, pp.41-2).
Russell writes to Ottoline about yesterday’s meeting of the Moral Science Club, declaring that LW ‘is a great task but quite worth it’ (McGuinness, pp.144-5).
Early December 1912: James Strachey writes to his brother Lytton that ‘the Witter-Gitter man is trembling on the verge of resignation’ from the Society of Apostles (McGuinness, p.151).
Early December 1912: Having been warned by his brother James that LW is about to resign from the Society of Apostles, Lytton Strachey writes in alarm to Moore, and to Keynes, offering to come up to Cambridge to see what he might do to persuade LW not to resign (McGuinness, p.151). (McGuinness explains that there had only ever been one event even approximating a resignation from the Society, back in the nineteenth century, and that the person who resigned (or merely declared himself too busy to come to meetings) had henceforth suffered ‘comic execration’ in the Society’s rites).
Early December 1912: Keynes, Moore and another apostle, Gerald Shove (later to become a significant British economist) all try to get LW to change his mind about resigning from the Society of Apostles, but apparently to no avail (McGuinness, p.151).
Sunday 8th December, 1912: Moore writes to Strachey to say that LW has resigned from the Society of Apostles (McGuinness, p.151; Monk, pp.67-8). LW’s (attempted, but not completed) resignation was apparently motivated by his inability to tolerate ‘B’ (F.K.Bliss), the society’s other ‘embryo’ at that time, and his feeling that conversations with either B or Ferenc Békássy were not worthwhile (McGuinness, p.151). (McGuinness reports that Békássy, who was friends with ‘B’, later told others that he had ‘voted against’ or even ‘excluded’ LW (McGuinness, p.151)).
Monday 9th December, 1912: Lytton Strachey comes up to Cambridge to have tea with LW and try to intercede with him in order to avert his resignation from the Society of Apostles (McGuinness, p.151).
Mid-December, 1912: LW goes down from Cambridge and, en route to Vienna, travels to Jena (near Leipzig in Eastern Germany), to visit Gottlob Frege.
Mid-December, 1912: LW visits Gottlob Frege in Jena on his way home to Vienna for Christmas, and discusses what he called ‘our [i.e. LW’s and Russell’s] Theory of Symbolism’ (Monk, p.70; McGuinness, p.76; Sterrett, pp.202-3; Künne 2009, p.28).
Late December, 1912: LW spends the Christmas vacation at the Alleegasse (the Wittgenstein family home in Vienna), and makes progress with his philosophical work (Kanterian, p.48), notably on ‘the complex-problem’, the problem of the nature of the complexes that logic is supposedly about (McGuinness, pp.162-3). But the Wittgensteins’ Christmas is dominated by the fact that their paterfamilias, Karl, is dying (McGuinness, pp.165-6; Waugh, pp.8-9).
Thursday 26th December, 1912: LW writes to Russell, from the Alleegasse, Vienna, explaining that his father is very ill and will not recover. He reports that in his visit to Frege they had ‘a long discussion about our [i.e. LW’s and Russell’s] Theory of Symbolism’, and that the complex problem has now become clearer to him (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.36; McGuinness, p.164).
3rd January, 1913: LW begins to correspond with John Maynard Keynes. In his first letter to Keynes, sent from the Alleegasse, he regrets that he will not be able to come over to England until after the beginning of term, because of his father’s illness (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.37).
6th January, 1913: LW writes to Russell, from the Alleegasse, that he feels ‘von allen guten Geistern verlassen’ (literally: abandoned by all good spirits; figuratively: out of my mind), expresses the hope that Russell will write to him, and mentions that he may not be able to get back to Cambridge in time for the start of the new term, because of his father’s illness (Waugh, p.55; Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.37; McGuinness, p.166 and note). But he is optimistic that the ‘Complex Problem’ is getting clearer to him every day (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.37).
Mid-January, 1913: LW writes to Russell, from the Alleegasse, explaining that he is not yet sure when he will be able to return to Cambridge, ‘as the doctors are still quite uncertain about the duration of my father’s illness’ (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.38). He mentions to Russell that he has changed his views on ‘atomic’ complexes, due to his realisation that there cannot be different ‘Types’ of things (in Russell’s sense), and that any theory of such types must be rendered superfluous by a proper theory of symbolism (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.38; McGuinness, pp.165, 166).
Russell must have recently written to LW and told him that he had been reading some work of Ernst Mach’s concerning matter and sense-data (almost certainly his 1886 book Beiträge zur Analyse der Empfindungen [The Analysis of Sensations]), in response to which LW jibes that ‘Mach writes such a horrid style that it makes me nearly sick to read him’ (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.38).
20th January, 1913: LW’s father Karl Wittgenstein dies of cancer (McGuinness, p.166; Monk, p.72; Sterrett, p.104; Kanterian, p.53; Waugh, p.55). Obituaries soon appeared in various places, including the Neue Freie Presse of Vienna, and The Times of London (McGuinness, p.167).
21st January, 1913: LW writes, from the Alleegasse, informing Russell that his father died yesterday, that he intends to leave Vienna on the 25th, and that he will be in Cambridge on the 27th or 28th (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.39; McGuinness, p.166).
25th January, 1913: Karl Wittgenstein, Ludwig’s father, is buried in the Wittgenstein family plot in Vienna’s Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) (McGuinness, p.167; Waugh, p.57). LW writes to Russell, from the Alleegasse, depressed about being intellectually ‘sterile’, and doubting whether he will ever again get ideas (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.39).
26th January, 1913: LW leaves Vienna, to make the return journey to Cambridge.
27th January, 1913: LW arrives back in Cambridge after his father’s funeral (Monk, p.72). His close friend David Pinsent reports “About 12.15 pm Wittgenstein suddenly appeared – having only just come up. His father – who has always had cancer – has just died after a longish illness – which is of course what has kept Wittgenstein back”. The two have lunch together in Pinsent’s rooms, then Pinsent goes to LW’s rooms and watches him unpack. Keynes appears at about 2.30pm, and Pinsent leaves at 3.30 to return to his rooms, while Keynes remains with LW. At 7pm Pinsent goes with LW to dine at the Cambridge Union, after which they both go back to LW’s rooms, then to Pinsent’s rooms, where Pinsent plays the piano until 10pm, when LW leaves (Pinsent, p.43).
Saturday 1st February, 1913: James Strachey visits G.E.Moore to talk about LW and his resignation from the Society of Apostles (McGuinness, p.151). Pinsent and LW have lunch together, then Pinsent “helped him to sew buttons onto an eiderdown quilt he has for his bed!”. Pinsent leaves at 3pm. At 7pm, he goes to dine at the Union, and afterwards attends a concert of music by Brahms ands Bach at the Cambridge University Music Club, where he meets LW (Pinsent, pp.43-44). In the evening, at a meeting of the Apostles, LW is discussed (McGuinness, p.151).
Tuesday 4th February, 1913: W.G.D.Butcher (a classicist at Cambridge, later killed in the First World War) and R.Q.Gilson (a friend of J.R.R.Tolkien), also later to fall in the Great War (in the Battle of Albert, July 1916)) come to tea with Pinsent, and LW appears before they leave around 6pm. Russell then appears, and talks to LW, the latter ‘explaining one of his latest discoveries in the Fundamentals of Logic’, a discovery which he has had only this morning, and which Pinsent gathers is quite important. Pinsent reports that Russell acquiesced in what LW said, ‘without a murmur’, after which LW and Russell leave together (Pinsent, p.44, McGuinness, p.168).
Friday 7th February, 1913: LW turns up at Pinsent’s rooms, and stays for tea until 5.30pm, at which point Pinsent goes to attend Russell’s lecture. At 6.30 Pinsent goes to LW’s rooms, and the two stay talking there until Hall at 7.45. They talk about Women’s suffrage, and Pinsent reports that LW “is very much against it – for no particular reason except that ‘all the women he knows are such idiots’”. LW expresses his view that at Manchester University the female students spend all their time flirting with the professors, which disgusts him, since he dislikes half-measures of all sorts, and ‘disapproves of anything not deadly in earnest’. Pinsent comments: “Yet in these days, when marriage is not possible till the age of about 30 – no one is earning enough until then – and when illegitimate marriages are not approved of – what else is there to do but philander?” (Pinsent, pp.44-5).
Saturday 8th February, 1913: At 2pm on a ‘magnificently sunny afternoon’, Pinsent and LW again go horse-riding, along the Huntingdon Road and then to Madingley and Coton, returning home via the Barton Road. They have tea in LW’s rooms together on return, after which Pinsent attends Russell’s lecture from 5.30 to 6.30 (Pinsent, p.45).
Tuesday 11th February, 1913: After a concert, Pinsent goes with LW up to the latter’s rooms. LW having been asked to review a traditional logic textbook (The Science of Logic, by Peter Coffey (a Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at Maynooth College, County Kildare, Ireland)) for the Cambridge Review, Pinsent helps him translate his review from German into English, but finds it very difficult, the construction of the sentences being very different in the two languages, and LW insisting on the translation being fairly literal (Pinsent, p.45, McGuinness, p.169).
Monday 17th February, 1913: David Pinsent reads a paper entitled ‘The Limitations of Eugenics Policy’ to the Cambridge Eugenics Society (which he had earlier joined), pointing out the impossibility of distinguishing scientifically between ‘desirable' and ‘undesirable’ types of humans. His presentation produces uproar and a heated discussion LW is not, as far as we know, present (Oxaal p.71).
Wednesday 19th February, 1913: Around this time, LW meets with the mathematician P.E.B.Jourdain in Cambridge to discuss Frege’s Grundgesetze der Arithmetik (McGuinness, p.168, Künne 2009, p.28). This meeting leads to further discussions and collaboration between Jourdain and LW (McGuinness, p.168).
Thursday 20th February, 1913: Pinsent goes to tea with LW at 4.45pm. After Hall at 7.45, the two go to the Guildhall, where there is a meeting in support of what Pinsent calls ‘Woman suffrage’, the speakers including Bertrand Russell’s brother Frank (John Francis Stanley, 2nd Earl Russell), and Helena Swanwick, one of the founding members of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Pinsent reports that “there were scarcely any militants in the house, except two on the platform, who, when Lord Russell deplored very strongly their tactics, got up and left as a protest”. After the meeting, LW and Pinsent both go back to Bertrand Russell’s rooms, where several others, including Frank Russell and J.M.E.McTaggart also appear. Pinsent finds them “a very entertaining lot”, and comments that “Lord Russell is very different to his brother, but very pleasant”. Pinsent leaves at 11.45 pm, but LW comes with him to his rooms before leaving at midnight to return to his own rooms (Pinsent, p.45-46).
Saturday 22nd February, 1913: Pinsent and LW go horse-riding at 2pm, along the Madingley Road, to Madingley, then back home along the Huntingdon Road. “A very good ride with lots of cantering”, Pinsent remarks (Pinsent, p.46).
Sunday 23rd February, 1913: Russell, who is in the midst of going through the early proofs of Principia Mathematica, suggests, in a letter to Ottoline, that it will be LW’s job to put them right (McGuinness, p.167).
Thursday 27th February, 1913: Pinsent goes to LW’s rooms and finds Keynes there. He stays for about an hour, leaving soon after Keynes does (Pinsent, p.46).
Friday 28th February, 1913: LW and W.M.Lindley come to tea with Pinsent, and have an animated discussion about modern music, Lindley definding it against the other two. (This is the second time LW and Lindley discussed this issue, their first discussion having taken place on November 30th in the previous year). They also all discuss ‘Eugenics and many other topics’, Pinsent deeming the event ‘quite a successful tea’. LW and Lindley leave around 7.30pm (Pinsent, p.46-47).
Sunday 2nd March, 1913: At 7pm Pinsent and LW dine together at the Union, and then at 9pm go on to the Sunday Essay Society (of which Pinsent is a member) where W.L.Scott (a member (or an embryo?) of the Heretics Society) reads a paper critiquing G.E.Moore’s book Principia Ethica, a paper Pinsent deems ‘quite good’. Moore himself is also in attendance, and Pinsent reports that he “was very amusing afterwards: he admitted the book was all wrong, but not for the reasons given by Scott: he got very earnest and conscientious in discussing the question and climbed all over the sofa, on which he was sitting, in his excitement” (Pinsent, p.47).
Thursday 6th March, 1913: LW’s first publication, his extremely critical review of Peter Coffey’s The Science of Logic, appears in the Cambridge Review (McGuinness, p.169; Monk, p.74). Russell writes to Ottoline Morrell, complaining that LW’s exclusive devotion to interests like music will always make him a narrow specialist, ‘rather too much the champion of a party’ (McGuinness, pp.115, 172).
Friday 7th March, 1913: Pinsent goes to LW’s rooms, to collect LW in order to go on to dine at the Cambridge Union. But he finds LW in the middle of “a huge discussion with Moore – ramming Russell’s Theory of Classes into his (Moore’s) head!”. This discussion goes on for twenty minutes after Pinsent arrives, before Moore goes away. At 7pm Pinsent and LW go together to dine at the Union. Afterwards LW and Pinsent go back to the latter’s rooms, there performing “all the old Schubert songs”, LW whistling and Pinsent accompaying him (on the piano). LW stays until about 9.30pm (Pinsent, p.47).
Thursday 13th March, 1913: LW is down from Cambridge and in London for the afternoon. Pinsent travels by train from Cambridge to London, takes a taxi from Paddington station to Waterloo, depositing luggage at the cloakroom there. He goes to the National Gallery, where he spends an hour, then strolls around until 1.45, when he meets LW at the Grill Room of the Grand Hotel. They have lunch together, then take a bus to Townshend and Mercer’s, a shop in the City of London, where LW buys some porcelain beakers. “(He uses them instead of cups in his rooms at Cambridge – because they look so much nicer – but they are less convenient!)”. They then take another bus to Oxford Circus, where they search for “a certain marble masonry”. Finding that it has moved to Euston, they take a taxi there, and LW then orders a black marble top for his sideboard (which presently has a white marble top). While there, LW and Pinsent watch marble being cut, polished and carved. They then go on by taxi to the South Kensington Museum (now the Victoria and Albert Museum), where they look at ‘part of the machinery department’, LW explaining the machinery to Pinsent. They leave the Museum around 5.50pm, and take a taxi back to the Grand Hotel, where they have left their coats. LW goes from there to Liverpool Street station, to get a train back to Cambridge, while Pinsent takes a tube train to Moscow Court (Pinsent, pp.47-48).
Wednesday 19th March, 1913: LW, still officially a member of the Society of Apostles, discusses the Society’s members with G.E.Moore (McGuinness, p.152).
Mid-to-Late March, 1913: Having ‘gone down’ from Cambridge at the end of term, LW travels to Vienna.
Tuesday 25th March, 1913: LW writes, from the Alleegasse, Vienna, to Russell, announcing that he himself is intellectually ‘sterile’ at the moment, and that nothing is crystallizing when he tries to think about logic (WiC, p.39, McGuinness, p.171).
Saturday 29th March, 1913: Russell, commenting on LW’s letter to him of March 25th, writes to Ottoline that ‘It is an awful curse to have the creative impulse, unless you have a talent that can always be relied on, like Shakespeare’s or Mozart’s’ (McGuinness, p.171). P.E.B.Jourdain writes to Frege, expressing his and LW’s dismay at the idea that Frege might be writing a third volume of his Grundgesetze der Arithmetik (Basic Laws of Arithmetic) despite not having solved Russell’s paradox (McGuinness, p.168).
Around this time: LW undertakes to revise the translation of Frege’s Grundgesetze der Arithmetik which Jourdain had prepared (McGuinness, p.168; Sterrett 2006, p.99). (In the end, the translation was eventually revised by J.Stachelroth, not by LW, and published in The Monist for 1915-1917 (McGuinness, p.168)).
Early April 1913: LW returns from Vienna to Cambridge, for the start of term.
Saturday 12th April, 1913: After Hall at 7.45pm, Pinsent picks up LW and they go to an ‘informal’ concert at the Cambridge University Music Club, which features fugues by Bach and Chopin, a movement of a Brahms sonata, and a Mozart trio. LW comes up to Pinsent’s rooms afterward, staying ‘til 11.45pm (Pinsent, p.48).
Sunday 13th April, 1913: Pinsent records receiving letters from his father and mother who recently met LW while travelling from London to Cologne on holiday, and who then travelled part of their journey with LW on his way home to Vienna (in mid- to late-March). Pinsent himself goes to the Cambridge Union for lunch, and then goes for a walk with Wittgenstein to Ditton, ‘along the river and back by the Newmarket Road’ (Pinsent, pp.48-9).
Thursday 17th April, 1913: After lunch, Pinsent visits LW and the two go together to the Cambridge University Music Club, there to perform ‘in our usual manner’ several songs by Franz Schubert. Pinsent returns to his own rooms around 4pm (Pinsent, p.49).
Sunday 20th April, 1913: In the afternoon, Pinsent and LW hire a canoe near Trinity College, drag it overland and take it out on the upper river Cam, going almost as far as the University Bathing Place (Pinsent, p.49).
Tuesday 22nd April, 1913: Pinsent attends Bertrand Russell’s lecture from 6 to 7pm, then goes with LW to dine at the Cambridge Union. Afterwards they attend a performance of Handel’s very long oratorio ‘Samson’ at the Guildhall. Pinsent deems it ‘in places quite magnificent’. Then, from 10.30, LW and Pinsent go to the latter’s rooms, LW staying until midnight. Pinsent notes that LW tells him ‘an excellent story of a Scotch prayer beginning “Paradoxical as it may seem – oh Lord”!’ (Pinsent, p.49).
Wednesday 23rd April, 1913: Pinsent and LW go canoeing on the ‘backs’ of the river Cam, returning to their rooms around 4.15pm (Pinsent, p.50).
Russell writes to Ottoline Morrell, reporting on LW’s distaste for Lytton Strachey’s book Landmarks in French Literature, and also on his excessive ferocity with respect to fledgling theories (McGuinness, pp.119, 172).
Sunday 27th April, 1913: Pinsent visits LW around 2 p.m. Later LW comes to Pinsent’s rooms, and they again perform some Schubert songs ‘in our customary manner’ (Pinsent playing piano, LW whistling). At 4.30 p.m. in Pinsent’s rooms they have tea together with Bernard Muscio (who in the previous year had been LW’s collaborator in psychology experiments). Afterwards, all three go together for a walk along the river to the Pike and Eel pub, then travel back the same way (Pinsent, p.50).
Monday 28th April, 1913: LW appears at Pinsent’s rooms, and stays until Hall at 7.45pm. The two have what Pinsent calls ‘a very Philosophical argument – on Logic’ (Pinsent, p.50).
Tuesday 29th April, 1913: Pinsent and LW play tennis from 2 to 3.30pm, Pinsent having to teach LW how to play since he has never played the game before (Pinsent, p.50).
Wednesday 30th April, 1913: From 3.30 to 4.30pm, Pinsent and LW again play tennis, the former deeming the latter ‘much better than yesterday’. But the weather is drizzling and damp. Afterwards, Pinsent goes to tea with LW in the latter’s rooms (Pinsent, p.50).
Thursday 1st May, 1913: Pinsent goes to the Cambridge University Music Club with LW, to listen to a rehearsal of a Brahms sextet (Pinsent, p.51).
Friday 2nd May, 1913: LW tells Russell that logic is driving him to insanity (McGuinness, p.171). Russell mentions this in his letter to Ottoline, records LW’s distracted state, and writes that ‘Logic is hell!’ (McGuinness, p.154, note).
Russell returns to the project of writing an introductory logic textbook (although he didn’t succeed in writing his Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy until 1918) (McGuinness, p.167, Selected Letters, p.456). He also begins to think that the theory of knowledge might be the best subject for a lecture-course he is due to give the following year in the USA, and that he will write a work on that subject (McGuinness, pp.172-3).
Saturday 3rd May, 1913: LW comes to Pinsent with a proposal that they should go on holiday to Spain together in September (for which LW would pay, as he did on their Iceland trip last year). Pinsent records that although he would love to go, he gives no definite answer, partly because he already has plans to go on a walking holiday to Germany with his friend W.G.D.Butcher (the classicist) in the Summer. He is also worried about the time it would take up, since he intends to begin reading for the Bar soon (Pinsent, p.51).
Sunday 4th May, 1913: In the afternoon, Pinsent and LW go on a canoe together on the upper river Cam. A man in a punt ‘succeeded in absolutely sousing Wittgenstein with water (by mistake!)’. Having shaken out his coat to dry it, when they set out to return to the city LW discovers that he has shaken his watch out of his coat. The two return to look for it but, in the long grass there, fail to find it (Pinsent, p.51).
Monday 5th May, 1913: Pinsent has tea chez LW at 4.15pm, then the two go to the new field to play tennis. Pinsent records that LW is off his game, gets sick of it, and stops in the middle (Pinsent, pp.51-2).
Tuesday 6th May, 1913: Pinsent goes to LW’s rooms at 10.30 a.m., then the two travel by taxi to the Cambridge rail station, where they meet Muscio and Russell, all four then traveling by train from there to Ely. On arriving they walk to Ely Cathedral, to hear a performance of Brahms’ Requiem, which Pinsent deems quite good. Afterwards they all catch the train back to Cambridge, Russell cycling from the train station back to college, Pinsent, LW and Muscio going by bus. Pinsent and LW have lunch together around 2 p.m. (Pinsent, p.52).
Wednesday 7th May, 1913: Pinsent notes in his diary that he has heard from his mother today, ‘that Wittgenstein’s offer is too good to refuse – though of course it will be a very exceptional year in the matter of holidays’. He thus anticipates going both to Germany with W.G.D.Butcher, and to Spain with LW over the coming Summer (Pinsent, p.52).
After only a few days of sketching his plan for his work on the theory of knowledge, Russell begins writing the book in question (McGuinness, p.173).
Thursday 8th May, 1913: LW and Pinsent again play tennis together from 2 to 3pm. Pinsent records that LW ‘is not getting on very quickly’ with his tennis-playing, and so ‘is getting a bit despondent’. Afterwards, the two have tea together in LW’s rooms (Pinsent, p.52).
Russell writes to Ottoline that his writing-project is now in full flow, and outlines the 500-page book he has in mind (McGuinness, p.173).
Friday 9th May, 1913: After dining at the Cambridge Union, Pinsent visits LW and the two go to a concert at the Guidhall, featuring Bach’s Chaconne, a Mozart sonata, Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata, and Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Haydn. Pinsent finds the last piece amazing – ‘the most wonderful thing I had heard for a long time’. After the concert he goes chez LW, leaving around 11.30 (Pinsent, pp.52-3).
Sunday, 11th May, 1913: After working from 12 to 1 p.m., Pinsent goes to the Cambridge Union for lunch, then to LW’s rooms and out with him for a walk along the upper river Cam, getting back around 3.45 (Pinsent, p.53).
Tuesday 13th May, 1913: After Hall at 7.45 p.m., LW and Pinsent go together to a debate at the Cambridge Union, where the evening’s speaker is the brother of the current president, H. Grose-Hodge). Pinsent notes that although he spoke well he was ‘very futile’, and that LW took a violent dislike to him. He and LW stay for only two speeches, afterwards dining together chez LW, Pinsent staying with him until 10.30 (Pinsent, p.53).
Russell writes to Ottoline that LW is worried about the book he is writing, thinking it will be like his ‘shilling shocker’, The Problems of Philosophy, which LW hates (McGuinness, p.173).
Wednesday 14th May, 1913: From 3.30 to 4.30 Pinsent and LW play tennis. But Pinsent records that the latter ‘is rather hopeless; he is progressing very slowly at the game’. Later the two go for a cycle ride together, via the local villages of Girton and Histon (Pinsent, p.54).
Thursday 15th May, 1913: Pinsent notes in his diary that LW has recently been having himself hypnotized by a Dr. Rogers in the hope of finding solutions to logical problems. He describes the procedure thus: ‘The idea is this. It is, I believe, true that people are capable of special muscular effort while under hypnotic trance: then why not also special mental effort? So when he (Wittgenstein) is under trance, Rogers is to ask him certain questions about points of Logic, about which Wittgenstein is not yet clear… and Witt. hopes he will then be able to see clearly. It sounds like a wild scheme!’. He records that LW has been twice to be hypnotised already, that only on the second occasion did Rogers succeed in putting him under, but that it then took half an hour to wake him up completely (Pinsent, p.54, McGuinness, pp.171-2; Monk, pp.76-7).
Russell writes to Ottoline Morrell, mentioning that at 4pm on this day “I have to go to a ceremony here, opening a psychological laboratory - (Wittgenstein is exhibiting an apparatus for psychological investigation of rythm [sic].)”. This is the formal, ceremonial opening of the Cambridge University experimental psychology laboratory, founded and headed by C.S.Myers, at which LW exhibits the apparatus associated with the psychological experiments that he has undertaken with Bernard Muscio, for the investigation of rhythm (McGuinness, pp.128, 177; Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.30, note; Sterrett, p.99, plus personal communication with Prof. Kenneth Blackwell of the Bertrand Russell Archives, McMaster University).
Friday 16th May, 1913: At 2 p.m. Pinsent and LW go for a walk together. On the way they meet Russell, who joins them, and takes them into the Fellows’ Garden at Trinity College (Pinsent, p.55).
Sunday 18th May, 1913: At Russell’s invitation, LW lunches with him, Russell’s close friend Charles Percy Sanger, G.E.Moore and J.M.E.McTaggart. Russell notes in his letter to Ottoline that ‘Sanger likes Wittgenstein very much’.
Later that day, the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore ‘and a Hindoo protégé’ arrive at Russell’s rooms to take tea, and Russell records that he now likes Tagore much better than he once had (Selected Letters, p.458).
Monday 19th May, 1913: G.E.Moore has a tea-time conversation with LW about whether Russell’s proposed introductory logic textbook will be good (McGuinness, p.167).
Tuesday 20th May, 1913: LW visits Russell and presents him, for the first time, with an objection to his theory of judgment (McGuinness, p.173).
Wednesday 21st May, 1913: Russell writes to Ottoline that LW’s objection to his theory of judgment is right, but that ‘the correction required is not very serious’ (McGuinness, p.173). By this point, Russell has written six chapters of his book on the theory of knowledge (these chapters appeared as articles in The Monist for 1914-15, although the book they were supposed to contain, Theory of Knowledge, remained unfinished and was not published until after Russell’s death) (McGuinness, p.173).
G.E.Moore writes in his diary about a supper event which he and LW attended, at which Moore sings but is afraid that LW didn’t like it, then they talk about morals, and finally LW walks on ahead of the others when they leave, making Moore feel that LW disapproved of him (McGuinness, pp.142-3).
Friday 23rd May, 1913: Russell writes to Ottoline, confident that he has found a new way of dividing up the subject of judgment, together with lots of important new ideas (McGuinness, p.173).
Saturday 24th May, 1913: After Hall at 7.45 p.m., Pinsent attends a concert by the visiting ‘Oxford and Cambridge Musical Club’ at the Cambridge University Music Club (now the Cambridge University Musical Society), but finds it a very dull programme. He leaves with LW in the middle of the event, and they go on the river in a canoe for half an hour. Then they go to LW’s rooms, where an undergraduate student of music, K.A.J.McClure, arrives and they all have ‘a wild discussion on modern music’, with McClure pitted against LW and Pinsent. Pinsent leaves at midnight (Pinsent, p.55).
G.E.Moore notes in his diary: ‘Music club, behind W. Fancy he is disgusted with me’ (McGuinness, p.142).
Monday 26th May, 1913: Russell, having finished writing his crucial chapter, ‘On the Understanding of Propositions’, is already some way into writing the following chapter, when LW comes to see him to discuss his theory of judgment (McGuinness, p.174).
Tuesday 27th May, 1913: Russell writes to Ottoline, mentioning that LW has put forward an objection to his theory of judgment which, although he could not understand, he feels must be correct (McGuinness, p.174; Monk, pp.81-2; Kanterian, p.47). (Considerably later, in another letter to Ottoline from 1916, Russell explained that he had felt shattered and ‘filled with utter despair’ in the light of LW’s objections (Monk, pp.80-81; Kanterian, p.47)). McGuinness notes that after this event, Russell continued to write his manuscript ‘no more slowly but with less heart’ (McGuinness, p.175).
Sunday 1st June, 1913: Russell writes to Ottoline that LW affects him just as he (Russell) affects her: ‘I get to know every turn and twist of the ways in which I irritate and depress you from watching how he irritates and depresses me; and at the same time I love and admire him’ (McGuinness, p.176).
Wednesday 4th June, 1913: Pinsent and LW canoe up the river to ‘The Orchard’ tea garden at Grantchester, where they have lunch. Pinsent notes in his diary that LW ‘was in one of his sulky moods at first, but he woke up suddenly (as always happens with him) after lunch’. They then go to bathe on the river ‘above Byron’s pool’, without either towels or costumes. Pinsent reports that it was ‘great fun’ (Pinsent, p.55).
Later, between tea and dinner, LW comes to see Russell, in an attempt to analyze, and ameliorate the problems in their relationship (McGuinness, pp.176-7; Kanterian, p.47). After unsuccessfully trying to calm LW, Russell concludes ‘All you want is a little self-control’, upon which LW walks out of the room ‘in an air of high tragedy’, and fails to turn up for a concert they planned to attend together. Russell, fearing that LW might commit suicide, then feels that he has to look for him, finds him in his room, and apologises (McGuinness, pp.176-7; Kanterian, p.47).
Thursday 5th June, 1913: At 10.15 pm, Pinsent goes to Russell’s ‘squash’ (gathering in his college rooms), and finds A.D.Ritchie and Bernard Muscio there. North Whitehead (Alfred North Whitehead’s son) and LW turn up later. After ‘a very amusing evening’, which he anticipates to be the last of Russell’s squashes he will attend, Pinsent leaves at 12.15 (Pinsent, pp.55-6).
Russell writes to Ottoline that he had ‘an awful time’ with LW the previous day, and recounts the incidents (McGuinness, pp.176-7).
Friday 6th June, 1913: Russell pauses in the writing of his Theory of Knowledge manuscript, having finished the parts concerning acquaintance and judgement. He has completed 350 pages in thirty-one days (Selected Letters, p.460).
Tuesday 10th June, 1913: Towards the end of the Cambridge University term, LW and Russell together attend a performance of Beethoven’s Choral Symphony (Symphony no.9), and LW tells Russell afterwards that it was one of the great moments of his life (McGuinness, p.177).
Wednesday 11th June, 1913: LW writes to Russell, inviting him to lunch with him and his mother at the Savoy Hotel, where she will be staying, in a week’s time. LW asks Russell not to mention that he had had an operation on his hernia last July.
He then formulates the ‘exact expression’ of his objection to Russell’s theory of judgment (its first expression in written form): ‘I believe it is obvious that, from the prop[osition] “A judges that (say) a is in the Rel[ation] R to b”, if correctly analysed, the prop[osition] “aRb v ~aRb” must follow directly without the use of any other premis. This condition is not fulfilled by your theory’ (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.40; McGuinness, pp.174, 176).
Sunday 15th June, 1913: Several members of David Pinsent’s family come to tea with him in his college rooms. They then go on the upper river, Pinsent with his younger sister Hester in a canoe, their parents and Hester’s governess in a rowing boat. There they come across LW, in canoe on his own. All of them dine together at the Cambridge Union afterwards (Pinsent, p.56).
Monday 16th June, 1913: Pinsent and those members of his family visiting Cambridge go to tea with LW. He serves them tea in chemical beakers “(as he always has his food – because ordinary crockery is too ugly for him!)”, and proves to be in good form, albeit somewhat preoccupied by his duties as host. Pinsent’s guests leave at 5.30 p.m., he stays and later goes for a walk with LW. LW talks to Pinsent about his character, proclaiming him ideal in every respect except that he fears that with people other than LW Pinsent is lacking in generous (i.e., sympathetic) instincts. Pinsent notes that he disagrees with this verdict, pointing out that LW knows little of his other friends. LW, Pinsent opines, is ‘so different from other people – he is if anything a bit mad – that one has to deal with him differently – superficially at any rate’.
When they get back to Trinity Street they meet Pinsent’s family again, and LW is persuaded to dine with them at their lodgings. Pinsent records that LW ‘brightened up considerably during dinner and we had a very pleasant evening’. They all then go on the river again in canoes and a rowing boat. Afterwards, LW leaves them, and Pinsent returns to his own rooms and plays the piano there (Pinsent, pp.56-7).
Wednesday 18th June, 1913: LW writes to G.E.Moore, telling him that his mother is staying in the Savoy Hotel, London, and that they are expecting to see him there for lunch this coming Friday, around 1pm.
Thursday 19th June, 1913: Having paused in writing his Theory of Knowledge manuscript, Russell writes to Ottoline claiming that ‘All that has gone wrong with me lately comes from Wittgenstein’s attack on my work’, and expressing the realisation that a large part of the book he has been writing is now rendered ‘impossible’. He feels that he has only responded superficially to LW’s objection, and tells Ottoline that he feels that this is ‘the first time in my life that I have failed in honesty over work’, and that ‘yesterday I felt ready for suicide’ (Selected Letters, pp.461-2, McGuinness, pp.175-6).
Russell means to continue the book in the coming Autumn, but in fact no more was written (McGuinness, p.176). He later tells Ottoline that it was at around this time that he realized that he could no longer hope to do ‘fundamental work in philosophy’ (McGuinness, p.176).
Friday 20th June, 1913: LW’s mother comes to London, and Russell and Moore have lunch with her at the Savoy Hotel (McGuinness, p.177).
Sunday 22nd June, 1913: LW, visiting his friend Eccles in Manchester, writes to Keynes, from the Midland Hotel, trying to set up an anonymous donation of £200 per annum that would relieve W.E.Johnson of some of his teaching commitments in order that he might devote more time to his research (McGuinness, pp.99, 140, 177-8; Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.41).
Friday 27th June, 1913: In his letter to Ottoline, Russell mentions ‘Wittgenstein’s attack’ as one of the factors that has been trying him lately (Selected Letters, pp.463-4).
Late-June to mid-August, 1913: LW had told Keynes (in his letter of 22nd June) that his address during this period would be the Alleegasse (the Wittgenstein family home in Vienna (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.41)). In fact, though, he seems to have spent much of this time at the Hochreit (their country home outside the city).
Wednesday 16th July, 1913: LW writes to Keynes from the Hochreit, explaining that he had not seen Keynes much last term because he ‘did not wish our intercourse to continue without any sign that you wished to continue it’ (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.41; McGuinness, p.140).
Tuesday 22nd July, 1913: LW writes to Russell, from the Hochreit, announcing that his work is going well and that ‘All my progress comes out of the idea that the indefinables of Logic are of the general kind’, but expressing sorrow that his objection to Russell’s theory of judgment had the effect of ‘paralysing’ him (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.42).
Summer 1913: LW writes to Russell, from the Hochreit, asking him to forward an enclosed letter to ‘Mrs. W’ (possibly Evelyn Whitehead). LW reports that he has ‘no logical news today’, but hopes to be able to send some soon. He notes that the local weather is abominable, with rain all day, and that at a recent crash of thunder he found himself exclaiming ‘Hell!’, which he takes this to show that ‘english swear-words are well in my bones’. He also asks Russell to let him know how he is (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.43).
Summer, 1913: LW writes to Russell, from the Hochreit, complaining that Russell’s ‘axiom of reducibility’ (which LW had been unhappy with since at least August 1912) is nonsense, indeed that as it stands it is ‘a mere juggling trick’, since it has the nature of a schema, rather than a meaningful proposition. He asks Russell to let him know if there is anything more to it. The real primitive proposition that corresponds to it, he complains, would have no use. He thanks Russell for a recent letter (which has not survived), and reports that he is working very hard. He also says how ‘VERY much’ he is looking forward to seeing Russell in late August, since he has lots of things to tell Russell (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.43).
Late Summer, 1913: LW sends Russell a copy of Ausgewählte Schriften (Selected Writings) by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg. In its dedication to Russell, he apologizes that he has only been able to find a second-hand copy, expresses the hope that Russell will enjoy at least some of it, and asks to hear from Russell again. McGuinness reports that LW had made certain underlinings and marginal comments in the book, and that Russell kept this copy of the book until the end of his life (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.44).
Friday 22nd August, 1913: David Pinsent records in his diary that he heard from LW about a month ago, to the effect that he would meet him in England to travel to Spain together between 25th and 30th August. But he reports that LW has written nothing more definite to him since then, and that he is therefore unsure where they are to meet. He notes that he has written to LW in Vienna, London, and Cambridge, but received no answer (Pinsent, p.57).
Saturday 23rd August, 1913: Pinsent records that at breakfast he receives the long-expected letter from LW, sent from Vienna, asking that he is to meet LW on August 30th, to start their holiday to Spain around then. However, at lunchtime this same day, Pinsent receives a telegram from LW, from Austria, ‘upsetting everything!’. LW’s telegram asks Pinsent to meet him at the Grand Hotel, in London, at 7.30 on Monday August 25th. Pinsent is unsure whether this means they are to embark for Spain then, or simply that they will meet to talk together (Pinsent, p.57).
Monday, 25th August, 1913: Pinsent, who has been staying with a friend in Surbiton, catches a train to Waterloo, arriving around 7.20, and takes a taxi to the Grand Hotel in Trafalgar Square. Having secured a room, he bumps into LW in the hotel’s hall. They proceed to LW’s room to talk things over, LW telling him first that they will not be starting their holiday journey until August 30th, at the earliest. LW explains to Pinsent that he has had ‘flu, this being the reason he could not come to England earlier. He also proposes three alternatives to the Spanish holiday: to holiday instead in Andorra; to take a White Star liner from Malta to the Azores in September; or to to go Bergen (in Norway) and do some short walking tours from there. Although Pinsent reports LW as being anxious to show no preference, he clearly surmises that LW’s preference is for the Bergen trip, so he settles for that. Pinsent records that he himself might well have liked the boat journey to the Azores, but that such a voyage was precisely what LW would have disliked, since ‘we should meet crowds of American tourists, which he can’t stand!’. Pinsent doesn’t understand why LW has changed his mind, but nevertheless expects their trip to Norway to be ‘great fun’. Pinsent records that around 8 pm they go to the hotel’s grill room to have dinner, then take a stroll, returning by tube from Westminster around 10 pm. They then go to LW’s bedroom, where LW explains to Pinsent his ‘latest discoveries in Logic’. Pinsent finds these ‘truly amazing’, and considers them to have solved all the problems that LW has been working on unsatisfactorily for the last year. He notes that LW has upset a lot of Russell’s work on the fundamental concepts of Logic (although not Russell’s purely mathematical work), but feels that Russell would be the last to resent that, since it is obvious that LW is one of Russell’s disciples and owes an enormous debt to him. Pinsent comments: ‘Wittgenstein’s work is really amazing – and I really believe that the mucky morass of Philosophy is at last crystallizing about a rigid theory of Logic – the only portion of Philosophy about which there is any possibility of man knowing anything – Metaphysics etc are hampered by a total lack of data. It is like the transition from Alchemy to Chemistry’. ‘Logic’, he opines in a note, ‘is all Philosophy. All else that is loosely so termed is either Metaphysics – which is hopeless, there being no data – or Natural Science e.g. Psychology’ (Pinsent, pp.58-9, Kanterian, p.43).
Tuesday 26th August, 1913: LW and Pinsent have breakfast together around 9.30, then venture out to Cook’s travel agents, to make enquiries about Norway. They find that there will be a boat sailing from Hull to Oslo at 6.30 pm on the following Saturday. They intend either to catch that and then take a train to Bergen, or to go the whole way by train from Ostende. The decision is to depend on whether LW gets his affairs in England done in time, these being to pay a short visit to Cambridge, to stay a night or two with the Whiteheads near Marlborough, Wiltshire, and to see Russell. At 11.30 the two take a taxi together, Pinsent with his luggage to Euston in order to catch the 11.50 train to Birmingham, LW going on from Euston to St. Pancras to catch a train to Cambridge (Pinsent, p.59).
Friday 29th August, 1913: Pinsent records that as soon as he gets home he has his luggage put on to the car and sets out for Birmingham New Street Station in order to travel to London on the 2.45 train to meet LW, and from there travel on to Norway. From Euston he takes a taxi to the Grand Hotel, where LW has arranged to meet him around 5.15 pm, in order for them to attend a concert together. However, Pinsent finds there no sign of or message from LW, so after waiting in the hotel until 7 pm he goes to have dinner in the Grill room. He attends the concert (a proms concert at the Queen’s Hall) but leaves before it ends, around 10 pm, taking a tube back to Trafalgar Square. At the hotel he finds a note from LW, who had arrived around 7.30, to the effect that he had been with Russell all afternoon, and was dining with him, but would return to the hotel around 11 pm. In fact LW arrives around 10.30, and takes a room for the night close to Pinsent’s room. They sit up together in the latter room until midnight, talking. Pinsent gets the impression that both Russell and Whitehead are very enthusiastic about LW’s recent work in logic, that the first volume of Principia Mathematica will probably have to be re-written, and that LW himself may write the first eleven chapters - ‘That is a splendid triumph for him!’ Pinsent notes (Pinsent, p.60).
Saturday 30th August, 1913: LW and Pinsent breakfast around 9 am, then go to Cook’s to book their passages on the S.S.Eskimo, sailing from Hull this evening and due to arrive on the morning of Monday September 1st in Christiania (then spelt ‘Kristiania’, and later restored to its original Norwegian name, Oslo). After an hour at Cook’s, they go by bus to Regent’s Park to visit the Zoo for about 45 minutes, Pinsent deeming it very interesting. They leave around midday, and take a bus back to their hotel, quickly pack their belongings and set out around 1 pm in a taxi for King’s Cross station. From there they travel First class ‘in a special through boat-express carriage’ to Hull, taking lunch in the train’s dining car on the way. Pinsent records a comfortable journey, during which he reads much of Jane Eyre. The train gets to Doncaster around 5 pm, and Pinsent and LW take tea from the station’s refreshment room to eat on the train. They reach the Quay station at Hull around 6.15 pm, and board the ship with their luggage. Each of them has a two-berth cabin, ‘very comfortable’. Soon after the ship sails, at around 6.30 pm, LW appears, in a panic, ‘saying that his portmanteau, with all his manuscripts inside, had been left behind at Hull’. After an unsuccessful search for it in the ship’s hold, LW is in an awful state, but just as Pinsent is thinking of sending a wireless message about it, it is found in the corridor outside somebody else’s cabin. Pinsent and LW dine in the saloon around 7 pm, then sit on the deck together and have a long philosophical discussion about probability. Pinsent then goes to his rooms and writes a letter home. Both he and LW go to bed around 10.30 pm. Pinsent also reports on the S.S.Eskimo itself, a comfortable vessel of about 3500 tons, with ‘a very roomy smoke room, and a big lounge with a grand piano, and a very roomy top deck’. It is carrying about 40 saloon passengers, mostly English. Pinsent complains, though, that the ship’s hooter makes an awful and frequent row (Pinsent, pp.60-61; Monk, pp.84-5; Kanterian, p.48).
Sunday 31st August, 1913: On board S.S.Eskimo, Pinsent gets up at 8 am. LW, despite the sea being completely calm, says he feels queer, but then gets up and soon feels better. They have breakfast together, then pace the deck. Although it is calm, it is foggy almost all day. Pinsent writes his diary entry, then has lunch in the saloon at 1.30 pm. For the rest of the day he continues reading Jane Eyre, has tea on deck around 4.30 pm, and dinner in the saloon at 7. Around 9 pm he could see lighthouses off the port side of the ship. He goes to bed around 11 pm. During the night the ship calls at Christiansand, Norway, but does not stay long (Pinsent, p.62).
Monday 1st September, 1913: Pinsent and LW breakfast in the saloon at 9 am, the fog having delayed their boat’s scheduled 8 am arrival in Oslo. Pinsent reads and paces the deck with LW in the morning, and the two have lunch at 1.30 pm as usual. They then find their vessel in the fjord nearing Oslo, the fog having cleared. Pinsent, a frequent sailor, explains to LW all the different kinds of sailing boats they can see, with their different rigs. Their ship arrives at its quay at 4.30 pm, by which time it has begun to rain. They get their luggage off, have it examined by customs, and take a cab to the Grand Hotel, where they take two single rooms for the night. They go to the Post Office to leave instructions for post to be forwarded, return to their hotel, dine around 7.30 pm, and go to bed around 10. Pinsent somewhat sheepishly mentions in his diary entry that LW is paying his expenses on this tour exactly as he had done in Iceland the previous year, although they are not taking as much money with them – around £70 to share between them (approximately £6,800 in today’s money). But LW also has a letter of credit to draw on if the need arises. (Pinsent, pp.62-3). In Cambridge, Russell begins writing his Lowell Lectures (to be delivered to the Lowell Institute, Boston, Massachusetts), based on that part of his Theory of Knowledge manuscript which escaped Wittgenstein’s criticism, the theory of acquaintance. These lectures were published in 1914 as his book Our Knowledge of the External World (McGuinness, p.176). Nicholas Griffin, the editor of Russell’s Selected Letters, reports that ‘Russell said that he found writing [these lectures] unexciting, since they did not involve much original work and the main difficulty was to make clear ideas he had already had. Still, after the traumas of the previous summer, a quiet month writing must have been agreeable’ (Selected Letters, p.476).
Tuesday 2nd September, 1913: Pinsent gets up at 6 am, packs, and has breakfast at 6.30. After paying the bill he and LW then set out in a taxi to the station, register their luggage to Bergen, and catch the train there at 7.35. They travel Second class, there being no First class carriages on the line in question. Pinsent then mentions that on the previous evening and this morning there has been ‘a terrific business between me and Wittgenstein’ which thankfully is now reconciled. To LW’s suggestion that they had ‘got on splendidly so far’, Pinsent had responded flippantly, thereby offending LW, who did not say another word all evening. Pinsent finds him ‘sulky and snappish’ this morning, too. On the train they have to change their seats because LW insists on keeping apart from other tourists. Pinsent reports that a very genial Englishman came along, talked to him, and insisted that they join him in his carriage, but that LW refused to move. Pinsent, considering it would have been rude to refuse, goes for a short while but returns to find LW in an awful state. He then has to force LW to ‘have it out’, thereby bringing him around to a normal state of mind. He remarks that LW ‘is a chaotic person. I have to be frightfully careful and tolerant when he gets these sulky fits’ He is – in his acute sensitiveness – very like Levin in Anna Karenina, and thinks the most awful things of me when he is sulky. The only other person in the world whom he knows as intimately as me – is Russell: and he has the same scenes periodically with Russell. I know that both from Russell and himself’. Pinsent reports that he and LW go along to the restaurant car and have a second breakfast, and that they spent the whole day in the train. He calls it ‘the most wonderful railway journey I have ever made’. The train takes 14 hours to travel 320 miles, stopping frequently. LW and Pinsent have lunch in the dining car at 2 pm, tea around 6, and supper at 7.30. After supper they talk about how they get on together, and this diary entry, one of Pinsent’s longest, continues with more thoughts on their relationship. LW distresses himself very much with his sulky fits, Pinsent gathers, and ‘he is very anxious that we should have less friction this time than last year in Iceland’. Pinsent, who himself thinks they got on very well on that previous trip, reports LW as saying that at that time he was uncertain whether to like Pinsent or dislike him. To LW saying that he enjoyed their Iceland trip ‘as much as it is possible for two people to do, who are nothing to each other’, a rather bruised Pinsent adds in a footnote ‘I certainly enjoyed it more than that’. They reach Bergen at 9.15 pm, and take the hotel bus from the station to Hotel Norge, where they take two single room for the night. They leave the hotel for a short stroll later, then return and go to bed (Pinsent, pp.63-5).
Wednesday 3rd September, 1913: LW and Pinsent breakfast around 9.30, then go to make enquiries at Bergen’s Beyer Tourist Office. What they are searching for he describes as ‘a small place – where there is a small hotel – somewhere on a Fjord, amongst pleasant country – and where we can be quite alone from Tourists (upon this Ludwig is very firm)’. They intend to settle in such a place for about three weeks, for Pinsent to work on law and LW to work on logic, but also to do some walking and sailing. They arrange to call back later, after Beyer have made enquiries. They return to the hotel, where LW works and Pinsent writes his diary. Pinsent notes that LW mutters to himself in a mixture of German and English while working, and strides up and down the room all the time. They return to the Beyer office at 1.30 and, from the three places they are offered, prefer Öystese (then sometimes spelt ‘Öistesö’) on the Hardangerfjord. The tourist office try to phone the hotel at Öystese, but the line is closed until 4pm. So Pinsent and LW arrange to call back there around 5.15. First they return to the hotel to have lunch, then they go for a drive in an open ‘victoria’, taking in the views, have tea in a restaurant, and they arrive back at the Beyer Office around 5.15. On telephoning Öystese they find they can get the accommodation they want, and that although there are other tourists there at the moment, they will soon have gone. So they decide to go to Öystese, and buy tickets on the steamer for the following day. They then do ‘a lot of shopping and odds and ends’, return to the hotel for supper, and go for a short walk. Pinsent strums on the hotel piano. They go to bed around 10.30 pm (Pinsent, pp.65-6).
Thursday 4th September, 1913: Pinsent and LW get up at 6.30, breakfast at 7.15, pay their hotel bill and take a cab to the quay to catch the steamer to Öystese. It departs at 8 am, and they have a second breakfast on board at 8.30. The boat journey takes them all along channels between islands, with good weather and good views. They lunch on board at 2 pm, and reach Öystese around 6 pm. Pinsent sleeps for a good part of the journey. The hotel landlord meets them off the steamer, and conducts them to the hotel Öystese. Pinsent describes him as ‘a quiet man – very pleasant’. At his hotel they take two single rooms and another large room which they then have converted into a private sitting room. All their rooms look out onto the fjord. Pinsent remarks on the excellent views, and deems Öystese ‘the ideal place we want’. Later they take a stroll, but Pinsent’s decision to take his camera with him upsets LW, who becomes silent and sulky when Pinsent leaves him for a moment to take a photo. His keenness to take a photo disgusts LW, who remarks on Pinsent being ‘like a man who can think of nothing – when walking – but how the country would do for a golf course’. Pinsent talks to LW about the matter, and they make up. But he also remarks that LW is later in an awful neurotic state: ‘this evening he blamed himself violently and expressed the most piteous disgust with himself. At first I was rather annoyed with him – it seemed to me that his feelings were silly and rather selfish. But afterwards I could only pity him – it is obvious he is quite incapable of helping these fits’. He hopes that an outdoor life there will make LW better, since at present ‘it is no exaggeration to say that he is as bad – (in that nervous sensibility) – as people like Beethoven were. He even talks of having at times contemplated suicide’. On returning to the hotel they have supper at 8 pm, then encounter the hotel’s other occupants, almost all ten or so of whom seem to be Norwegians. After supper they go for a stroll, later returning to their hotel to play dominoes in the sitting room. At around 10.30 pm they turn in (Pinsent, pp.66-68, Kanterian, p.49).
Friday 5th September, 1913: LW and Pinsent have breakfast at 9, then Pinsent makes some diary entries. They ask their hotel manager whether they could hire a small sailing boat, he finds one for them, and Pinsent goes to inspect it. ‘It was an open boat – about 18ft long – with no keel or centre-board – and rigged with a foresail and mainsail (the latter very primitive, with no boom or gaff, but a spar going diagonally from the bottom of the mast)’. They agree to hire it for the duration of their stay in Öystese, at 1 Krone per day. They take some lunch from the hotel and go out in the boat, but do not get far, there being no wind. They have their lunch on board, while the boat drifts. Pinsent does all the sailing, since ‘Ludwig knows nothing about it’ and they have no paid hand with them to help. They return to shore around 2.30 pm. Pinsent writes more diary entries, then plays on the hotel’s piano. He and LW go for a stroll along the shore together around 6, returning to the hotel for supper at 8. After supper they go for another short stroll, and then play dominoes again (Pinsent, p.68). LW writes to Russell, from the hotel in Öystese, preoccupied with ‘the beastly theory of types’. He reports that there are still some very difficult and fundamental problems to be solved, and that he will not begin writing until he has solved them. But he does not think this will affect what he calls ‘the Bipolarity business’, which he still considers ‘absolutely untangible’ (untouchable, presumably). He tells Russell that he finds Pinsent to be an enormous comfort to him, and reports that they have hired a sailing boat, in which LW does his logical work while Pinsent sails the fjord. He then asks himself ‘Shall I get anything out??!’ and muses that it would be awful if he did not and all his work was lost. But he tells Russell that he is not losing courage, but is going on thinking, and says to Russell ‘Pray for me!’. He then asks Russell to remember him to the Whiteheads, and notes that the hotel he is staying in will be his address for the next three weeks. He asks Russell to write to him ‘If you’ve nothing better to do’, and reports ‘I very often now have the indescribable feeling as though my work was all sure to be lost entirely in some way or other’, but hopes that this will not be so. ‘Whatever happens’, his letter ends, ‘don’t forget me!’ (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.45, Monk, pp.84-5).
Saturday 6th September, 1913: Pinsent and LW breakfast at 9:30, after which Pinsent spends the morning writing his diary, while LW works. Around 1pm taking lunch with them, they walk for about an hour up to a small lake in the hills behind their hotel. Pinsent reports that it is another fine and sunny day, and that the view by the lake is ‘quite gorgeous’. They have their lunch near the lake, then walk back down to the hotel. Then they go out in their sailing-boat, finding only a little bit more wind than yesterday. They return to their hotel around 5:30, and have tea. LW then does more work, while Pinsent does ‘odds and ends’. After supper at 8 they go for a short stroll together, then return and play dominoes, turning in around 11 pm (Pinsent, pp.68-9).
Sunday 7th September, 1913: LW and Pinsent breakfast at 9:15, then Pinsent writes his diary entry. Around noon they go out in their sailing boat, there being a little bit more wind than they have had so far, albeit still not much – ‘it was very variable and came only in occasional puffs’. Coming ashore at 1:45, they have lunch in their hotel, then go out again in their boat, this time rowing her quite a long way out (as opposed to trying to sail her), finding there quite a lot of wind, and having a good sail. They have to row back to shore again, though, arriving there around 7. Pinsent works on law for half an hour between then and suppertime at 8. After supper he and LW again go for a short stroll and play dominoes. Pinsent reports: ‘We always begin by playing proper dominoes, and end by building wonderful systems with the domino-pieces – with ingenious arrangements for knocking them down – also constructed out of domino pieces!’ (Pinsent, p.69).
Monday 8th September, 1913: Pinsent and LW breakfast at 9:30, then Pinsent writes his diary entry. The fine and cloudless weather they have had until now has broken, and it is now cloudy, though not actually raining. Pinsent does quite a lot of his law work later in the morning, and LW also spends time working. They lunch at the hotel at 2 pm. Afterwards they go for a walk along the coast road to Nordheimsund, which is about four miles away, and then back over the hills. It rains quite a lot during their walk, but since they have overcoats they don’t get very wet. At Nordheimsund they go to the hotel and have tea. They spend quite a lot of time talking about Logic, especially the Theory of Types, which LW is working on. They arrive back at their hotel in Öystese at 8, to have supper. Afterwards they play dominoes, as usual (Pinsent, pp.69-70).
Tuesday 9th September, 1913: After breakfast Pinsent receives two forwarded letters from his mother. He writes his diary entry in the morning, then works at law, while LW also works. Around 12:30 they take lunch and set out in their boat for an island at the mouth of the bay of Öystese. They have to beat out all the way against the wind, since there is a fair breeze, and take some time getting there, although the journey is only 3.5 miles as the crow flies. They get to the island and land around 3:15, then have lunch there. They set out for their hotel again around 4, but find that the wind has completely changed direction, so they have to beat all the way back again, arriving by 6:30. Pinsent reports: ‘Our little boat is somewhat clumsy – very slow in the stays – and carries an appalling lot of lee-helm: she won’t sail very close to the wind: but we get on with her very well considering. Distances here look so much less than they really are, so that one seems to be going much slower than one is really’. On return, they have tea in their hotel, after which Pinsent does his law work for about half an hour. They have supper at 8 pm, as usual, and afterwards go for a short stroll, subsequently returning to the hotel to play dominoes again (Pinsent, pp.70-71).
Wednesday 10th September, 1913: Pinsent rises at 8 and goes for a walk by himself along the shore before breakfast, taking his camera. He takes two photos. On his way back he gets attacked by a small dog, which tears his trousers but does not hurt him. He gets back to the hotel and has breakfast with LW around 10 am. From 10:30 until 2 pm he works at law, while LW also works. They then have lunch in their hotel. Afterwards they go for a walk, but although the weather has been sunny in the morning, it now clouds over. On their walk they scramble along a stream-bed, ‘jumping from rock to rock’, the water flowing among the many boulders. Pinsent notes that ‘Ludwig was very clumsy and fell into the water several times and got very wet: however it was great fun’. They return to their hotel by 5:30 and take tea. Pinsent then does his law work and plays on the hotel piano. They have supper at 8, then go for a stroll and play dominoes (Pinsent, p.71).
Thursday 11th September, 1913: On a wet, drizzly and misty day, LW and Pinsent breakfast at 9:45. After breakfast LW suddenly decides to leave Pinsent in Öystese to go to Bergen for two days, in order to buy some things which can’t be found in the few local shops. Pinsent doesn’t say what these things are, but notes: ‘It is a nuisance, our having to separate: but we are very much in need of the things Ludwig is going to buy, and there would be no point in our both going’. LW decides to leave by the 12:30 steamer which will arrive in Bergen at 8 pm, to stay the night in Bergen and return on tomorrow’s 4 pm steamer, sleeping on board and arriving back in Öystese at 11 am on Saturday. He and Pinsent spend most of the morning thinking and making a list of the things LW should do in Bergen. The steamer is late and does not leave until 1:30 pm. Pinsent sees LW off from the quay, has lunch in the hotel, then works on Roman law. He has tea around 5 and then plays the piano. Later he converts his bedroom into a dark room, and makes preparations for developing his photographs after supper. He notes that all the original visitors to the hotel have now left, so there is now nobody but himself. After supper at 8 pm he develops one spool of six films, one of which was taken at a place in Bavaria he calls ‘Hirnsbirg’ (there is no place of that name, but perhaps he meant the Hirschberg), the other five being from Norway. Then he washes them and hangs them up to dry before going to bed (Pinsent, pp.71-2).
Friday 12th September, 1913: LW spends the day in Bergen, finding the things that he and Pinsent need back in Öystese. Pinsent gets up and has breakfast by 8:45, then writes his diary entry. He later goes for a walk by himself, but a cloudy day eventually yields rain, and he gets soaked and has to change all his clothes when he gets back. He works on law until lunch at 2 pm, and then again afterwards until teatime around 4:30. He then plays the piano for a while. After that, because conditions on the fjord are squally and sailing is impossible, he borrows a small rowing-boat belonging to the hotel, and goes out rowing. He returns to the hotel and has supper around 8, then does ‘odds and ends’ and turns in around 10:30 (Pinsent, pp.72-3).
Saturday 13th September, 1913: After breakfast Pinsent works on law until 11 am, when he meets LW off the steamer from Bergen. LW has brought all the things they want, together with two volumes of Schubert’s songs, some of which they later perform ‘in our customary manner’ (i.e., Pinsent playing piano, and LW whistling). They lunch in the hotel at 2 pm, then do odds and ends and perform more Schubert songs. They have tea in the hotel around 4:30, then go for a walk along the coast in the opposite direction from Nordheimsund (there being no rain, despite it being a cloudy and stormy day). They return to their hotel around 8 for supper, then play dominoes. Pinsent records: ‘We are now quite alone in the hotel except for the Hotel proprietor and his wife (and the servants etc.). The hotel man and his wife are both very pleasant people. They have lived for 19 years in Chicago in America, and speak very good English with a strong American accent’ (Pinsent, p.73).
Sunday 14th September, 1913: Pinsent and LW breakfast around 9:45, then make ‘a terrific fuss’ trying to destroy a wasps’ nest. Pinsent recalls that twice yesterday he had a wasp crawl up his trouser leg, resulting in him being stung once. So they search for the nest, find it in the roof of a ground-floor balcony, and try to stuff up its entrance with cotton wool soaked in petrol and methylated spirits. Pinsent is unsure how much success this yields, there being lots of wasps still buzzing around the nest when they leave it. Later he writes a letter home, then works at law. He and LW lunch in the hotel at 2 pm, then go for a walk to Porsmyr and back, a round-trip of eight miles. It is a fine and sunny day, and Pinsent deems the views magnificent. Porsmyr is ‘on a long narrow inlet of the Hardander-fjord – with high precipitous mountains on either side’. They return to their hotel around 7, have supper at 8, then perform some Schubert songs and afterwards play dominoes (Pinsent, pp.73-4).
Monday 15th September, 1913: After breakfast Pinsent and LW make a second onslaught on the wasps’ nest. After a great fuss they succeed in getting benzine in the village, and try to pour it into the nest, but with not much success since they are without a ‘squirt’. Pinsent later works on law, and then plays the piano a lot, lunching in the hotel at 2 pm. After lunch LW stays in and works, while Pinsent goes for a walk by himself, up to the same lake they both went to on Saturday September 6th. He gets back around 5 and has tea with LW in the hotel. He then does ‘odds and ends’ until supper at 8, after which he and LW go for a stroll and then play dominoes (Pinsent, p.74).
Tuesday 16th September, 1913: After breakfast Pinsent gets a card from his mother, then later he receives a letter from her which encloses two letters that had been sent to him at his family home, Lordswood, in Birmingham. One is from a Birmingham acquaintance who runs a play-reading group, the next meeting of which Pinsent thinks will be ‘inexpressibly edifying!’. They intend that each member of the group should research one aspect of the 17th century, Pinsent to cover astronomy or mathematics. He notes that ‘most unfortunately I shall not be returned to England in time for it’. Pinsent writes his diary entry during the morning, then plays the piano. He and LW lunch in the hotel at 2 pm, then Pinsent again makes his bedroom into a dark room and prepares to develop film. They take tea around 5 pm, then Pinsent develops a spool of six photos which he has taken over the last few days, and which turn out quite well. Around 7 pm he and LW go for a stroll together, and they return to the hotel for supper at 8. Afterwards they play dominoes as usual (Pinsent, pp.74-5). Leopoldine Wittgenstein writes to her son, LW, from the Hochreit, near Vienna (Gesamtbriefwechsel).
Wednesday 17th September, 1913: In the morning, Pinsent writes several letters to members of his family, and also plays the piano. He and LW have lunch in their hotel at 2 pm. Pinsent notes that ‘During all the morning and most of the afternoon Ludwig was very gloomy and unapproachable – and worked at Logic all the time. He had been quite cheerful of late up till today’. In the afternoon Pinsent goes for a walk alone into the hills behind Öystese, returning around 5 and taking tea with LW in the hotel. He somehow succeeds in cheering LW up, ‘back to his normal frame of mind’, and after tea they go for a stroll together. From their conversation it emerges that LW has been depressed by some very serious problem with the Theory of Types. Pinsent records that LW ‘is morbidly afraid he may die before he has put the Theory of Types to rights, and before he has written out all his other work in such a way as shall be intelligible to the world and of some use to the science of Logic. He has written a lot already – and Russell has promised to publish his work if he were to die – but he is sure that what he has already written is not sufficiently well put, so as absolutely to make plain his real methods of thought etc – which of course are of more value than his definite results. He is always saying that he is certain that he will die within four years – but today it was two months’. They return to the hotel around 8, have supper, perform a lot of Schubert afterwards, then play dominoes (Pinsent, p.75, McGuinness, p.158).
Thursday 18th September, 1913: After breakfast Pinsent writes his diary, then plays the piano ‘a lot’. He and LW have lunch in the hotel at 2 pm, then perform ‘a lot’ of Schubert. Around 4:30 they set out driving along the coast-road to to Nordheimsund in ‘a queer two wheeled vehicle we hired in the village – an open one with seats for two in front – and a little seat behind for the driver’. It is a cloudy day and it rains a little, but they don’t get wet since they have their oilskins. In Nordheimsund they go to the hotel and have some tea, then do a little shopping. They arrive back at their hotel in Öystese around 6:30, and then make another assault on the wasps’ nest, having bought some more benzine and a ‘squirt’ in Nordheimsund. Pinsent says: ‘This time I really think we did get the benzine into the nest and kill some of the wasps’. They have supper at 8, then return to their wasps’ nest, around which they find the ground ‘swarming with half-stupefied crawling wasps – which we killed by the dozens. They were huge and enormous wasps and terrifying to watch’. Later Pinsent and LW perform more Schubert, play dominoes, then turn in (Pinsent, p.76).
Friday 19th September, 1913: In the morning, Pinsent works on Roman law, and plays the piano. He lunches in the hotel with LW at 2 pm. After lunch, it being a sunny day, he sits out in front of the hotel and reads George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda, which he has just begun. He has recently finished reading Jane Eyre, which he has enjoyed, although he comments ‘I don’t know that it is a very great work – it is apt at times to be crude and unconvincing – but still it is very good’. He and LW have tea in the hotel around 5 pm, and later go for a stroll together, the fjord looking ‘perfectly wonderful in the evening light’. They return to the hotel for supper at 8, then perform some Schubert, and play dominoes as usual (Pinsent, pp.76-7).
Saturday 20th September, 1913: In the morning, Pinsent does a lot of work on Roman law, then plays the piano. He lunches with LW in the hotel at 2 pm, then sits outside and continues reading Daniel Deronda until about 5 pm, when he has tea with LW. Afterwards they go for a stroll together, but Pinsent finds LW horribly depressed all evening, and speculates that his recent hard work may be the cause. He then notes that LW talked again this evening about his impending death, about not being afraid to die, but being very worried that the remaining moments of his life will be wasted. ‘It all hangs on his absolutely morbid and mad conviction that he is going to die soon – there is no obvious reason that I can see why he should not live yet for a long time. But it is no use trying to dispel that conviction, or his worries about it, by reason: the conviction and the worry he can’t help – for he is mad. It is a hopelessly pathetic business – he is clearly having a miserable time of it. This evening too he was horribly worried that his work in Logic was no real use: and then his nervous temperament had caused him a life of misery and others considerable inconvenience – all for nothing’. Pinsent tries to convince LW that his work could not be useless, and that it is not yet possible for anyone, least of all LW himself, to judge its worth. He feels he at least partially succeeded, since LW goes to bed fairly cheerful (Pinsent, p.77, McGuinness, p.158). LW writes to Russell again from Öystese, noting that while he has not yet solved the issue of logical types, he has had ‘all sorts of ideas which seem to me very fundamental’. He also reports the continuing feeling, growing stronger every day, that he might die before these are ever published. He therefore expresses the wish to meet Russell in order to communicate these ideas ‘as soon as possible’, and to ‘give me time enough to give you a survey of the whole field and of what I have done up to now and if possible to let me makes notes for you in your presence’. To this end, he announces to Russell that he will arrive in London on October 1st, and will be there again in the evening of October 3rd, staying (again) at the Grand Hotel, Trafalgar Square. He closes his letter by noting that it may be arrogant and silly to ask these things of Russell, but that ‘such I am and think of me what you like. I will always be yours’. (Russell himself noted that he had endorsed this letter ‘October 4th, 1 p.m.’, meaning that they had met in London at that time. But a letter to Ottoline Morrell Russell also reveals that LW had already come to see him in Cambridge two days prior, on October 2nd) (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.46).
Sunday 21st September, 1913: Pinsent writes his diary after breakfast, then works on law and plays the piano. He has lunch with LW at 2 pm, then they perform some Schubert, then Pinsent does more work on law. They have tea in the hotel around 5 and then, in their sailing boat, Pinsent rows them to the same island in the bay of Öystese that they visited on September 9th, and back. Early on during their journey they discover that their boat is leaking badly, so LW has to bail out water. When the reach the island they find that a bung has come out of a hole in the bottom of the boat, so they stuff the hole with LW’s handkerchief. They get back around 8, have supper, and later perform some Schubert, then play dominoes. Pinsent comments: ‘We have now a repertoire of some 40 Schubert songs – which we perform – Ludwig whistling the air and I playing the accompaniment’ (Pinsent, pp.77-8).
Monday 22nd September, 1913: Pinsent does a lot of work on law during the morning, but also plays the piano. He has lunch with LW at 2 pm, after which they perform some Schubert. They take tea around 5:30, then go for a walk together ‘up to the woods and back on the non-coast road to Nordheimsund’. They return to their hotel for supper at 8, after which they again perform Schubert and subsequently play dominoes (Pinsent, p.78).
Tuesday, 23rd September, 1913: In the morning, Pinsent works on law and plays the piano. He and LW go for a short stroll, have lunch in their hotel at 2 pm, perform some Schubert and then, around 4.15 pm, take their sailing boat and row out to another large island, just beyond the one they have already twice visited, and back. This time they take two pairs of oars, Pinsent rowing all the way there and back, but LW helping him for part of the return journey. They land on the island around 5:15 and, Pinsent says, ‘fool about’ for an hour or so. While on the island they have a long conversation about their holiday, and holidays in general. LW says he has never enjoyed a holiday as much as this one. Pinsent comments: ‘He is almost certainly speaking the truth – but it is curious, considering how depressed he has been at times lately: but I suppose these fits of depression are always with him and nothing exceptional. He has certainly been very cheerful indeed when he is not depressed. As regards myself I am enjoying myself pretty fairly – there is just enough to do to keep one from being bored. But living with Ludwig alone in his present neurotic state is trying at times – though when he is nice he is charming’. They get back to their hotel around 7:30, have supper at 8, and later play dominoes. Pinsent receives a letter from his mother, with another one from his sister Hester enclosed. He reports that he and LW have had no other rows than the two he has mentioned, but that he has always to be very careful to avoid friction. This, he feels, is what makes it sometimes so trying to live alone with LW, but even so, he says, ‘there is not much to complain of – as he is a very charming companion so long as friction is avoided’ (Pinsent, pp.78-9).
Wednesday 24th September, 1913: This morning, Pinsent writes a letter home, but also does some work on law. He reports that LW, who is very cheerful, suddenly announces ‘a scheme of the most alarming nature’, namely that he should exile himself and live away from everyone he knows, in Norway, for example, living the life of a hermit and doing nothing but work on logic. Pinsent finds LW’s reasons for this proposal very queer, albeit ‘very real for him’. These are, first, that he will do infinitely more and better work than at Cambridge, where he finds interruptions and distractions (like concerts) a terrible hindrance. Second, that he feels he has no right to live in an antipathetic world, where he finds himself feeling contempt for others and irritating them by his temperament, without any justification for that contempt, e.g., his ‘being a really great man and having done really great work’. Pinsent remarks that he cannot understand the first of these reasons, since he himself would go wild with boredom and be unable to work if he had no distraction. However, he judges that LW is quite different in this respect, and could easily stand the isolation. The second reason Pinsent deems Quixotic, although he recognises that LW feels it very strongly. Pinsent reports that LW has not yet made up his mind about this scheme, but that there is a high probability of him adopting it eventually. The two have lunch at their hotel at 2 pm, then perform some Schubert. Pinsent gets stung by a wasp crawling up his leg. He does more work on law, then has tea with LW around 5:30. Afterwards they go for a stroll together, it being fine and sunny, and they return to their hotel for supper at 8. More Schubert is performed after supper, and more dominoes played (Pinsent, pp.79-80).
Thursday 25th September, 1913: Pinsent writes his diary after breakfast, then begins packing, does some law, and helps LW with a paper on philosophy that he is writing and which he is due to present to the Working Men’s College in London. This is the introductory lecture of a course on philosophy that LW is scheduled to give there in Autumn 1913. (By the time they are due to take place, though, LW is already out of the country (McGuinness, p.170)). Work on the paper is interrupted by their performing some Schubert, but then resumed. They have tea at 6 pm, then go for a stroll together, returning to their hotel for supper at 8. More Schubert and dominoes follow. In the evening, despite LW being cheerful rather than depressed, they talk about suicide. LW tells Pinsent that all his life ‘there had hardly been a day, in which he had not at one time or other thought of suicide as a possibility’. LW expresses surprise when Pinsent says he has never thought of suicide in that way and that, given the chance, he would not mind living his life so far over again. He reports that LW would not do so, for anything (Pinsent, pp.80-81).
Friday 26th September, 1913: In the morning Pinsent continues packing, doing odds and ends, and playing the piano. He lunches with LW at 2 pm, then reads more of Daniel Deronda and plays the piano again. In the afternoon he receives a letter from his mother. He and LW take tea around 5, then go for a stroll together, avoiding the impending rain. They return to their hotel around 7, and from then until 8 Pinsent helps LW pack his bags. After supper they pay the bill for their three weeks’ stay at the hotel, then perform some Schubert and play dominoes until 10:30. At 11 pm, there being no convenient steamer from Öystese, they set out driving to Nordheimsund, in the same open trap they had used on September 18th. It is raining hard when they depart, but they have their coats and an umbrella borrowed from the hotel. ‘It was pitch dark and rather enjoyable driving’, Pinsent notes. They reach Nordheimsund around 11:45 and shelter in the porch of the hotel there from the rain. The landlady later comes out and invites them to shelter inside, which they gladly do. The steamer, due to arrive at midnight, arrives half an hour later. They board, taking a two-berth cabin since separate cabins are not available, and go to bed almost immediately (Pinsent, pp.81-82).
Saturday 27th September, 1913: The steamer on which LW and Pinsent are travelling gets to Bergen at 8 am, by which time they have both got up. They get its captain to telephone for a cab for them, and take the cab with their luggage to Hotel Norge. There they immediately have breakfast and secure two single rooms. It is a drizzly, misty day, but later they go out into town and do ‘odds and ends’ and shopping, returning to their hotel around 11. Pinsent sits and reads for the rest of the morning. He lunches with LW at 2, then goes for a short stroll on his own, then takes another stroll with LW. They go to bed around 9:30 (Pinsent, p.82).
Sunday 28th September, 1913: Pinsent and LW breakfast in their hotel in Bergen around 9:45 am. In the morning Pinsent plays the hotel piano, writes his diary and then, between 1 and 2 pm, goes for a short stroll with LW. At 3:15 he sets out for a walk alone along the shore to a village about three and a half miles away, returning by a different road. He has tea in a restaurant on his way back, arriving back at Hotel Norge around 6. Later he and and LW go for a short stroll, have supper at their hotel, and play dominoes (Pinsent, pp.82-3).
Monday 29th September, 1913: After breakfast Pinsent and LW go out shopping, then return to their hotel and pack their things in order to board a steamer for Newcastle. Pinsent notes: ‘At the last moment a rug of Ludwig’s was found missing – but it was eventually found after a lot of fuss’, having been taken to another hotel by another hotel guest who thought it belonged to him. They take a cab to the quay and board the S.S.Vega around 12:30, the ship sailing at 1:15. Since the ship is full they find they cannot get two separate cabins, so have to occupy a two-berthed cabin. They have lunch in the saloon around 2:30. Their ship sails in sheltered waters among islands and the views are good, it being a fine and sunny day. From 3 to 5 pm Pinsent again helps LW write his paper for the Working Men’s College. They then pace the deck, and visit the engine rooms, which Pinsent deems ‘interesting but greasy’. The ship makes a single stop to take on and put off passengers and mail. Pinsent and LW have supper in the saloon at 8, their ship reaching Stavanger around 9 and mooring there. They go ashore and stroll around town, coming back on board at 10:15. Their ship leaves Stavanger around 11, a crowd of people on the shore and on the ship waving and singing ‘a curious sort of chant’ as it leaves the quay. LW and Pinsent go to bed soon after the ship sails (Pinsent, pp.83-4).
Tuesday 30th September, 1913: Pinsent and LW get up around 8 am to find their ship in the open North Sea. It is a fine and sunny day. The sea is not really rough, but their ship pitches and rolls a bit, although neither of them is seasick. Pinsent has breakfast in the saloon and then sits on deck and reads, or paces up and down. He finds the day intensely boring, there being nothing to do. He reports that the S.S.Vega is a small Norwegian ship, around 1200 tons, with very little accommodation by way of smoking room, lounge, etc., and whose cabins are very small. Its passengers are half and half Norwegian and English. He and LW have lunch in the saloon at 1:30. For most of the afternoon Pinsent lies down, sleeps, reads, or paces the deck. He and LW have supper in the saloon at 8, Pinsent going to bed almost immediately afterwards (Pinsent, p.84).
Wednesday 1st October, 1913: The S.S.Vega reaches Newcastle around 3 am. Pinsent gets up at 7 am (6 am by British clocks), and LW does so soon afterwards. Pinsent finds a customs official on board, who examines none of their luggage but passes it all. Pinsent comments: ‘He was the nicest douanier I have ever met – extremely apologetic and affable’. He and LW go ashore with their luggage around 7:15 and take a taxi to the railway station, there catching an 8 am train for London, travelling First class. Being very hungry, they have a large breakfast on the train. They continue work on LW’s paper for the Working Men’s College, and play dominoes. They lunch on the train around 12:30, and it arrives at Kings Cross around 2 pm. From there they take a taxi to the Grand Hotel, Trafalgar Square, where they secure two single rooms. At the hotel LW receives a letter which, Pinsent reports, ‘finally settled his scheme for exiling himself’. He recalls that LW has been talking a lot about this idea, and thus that it has been gradually crystallizing. Pinsent mentions that although when LW first revealed the idea he found it absurd, he has gradually come to think differently about it, and that LW seems certain that once settled and working well, he will be happy. To the suggestion that at Cambridge he could do equally good work, as well as good work in teaching others, LW responds that ‘he can never do his best except in exile: and it is better to do good research and not teach – than to do indifferent research and also teach’. ‘The great difficulty about his particular kind of work’, Pinsent says, ‘is that – unless he absolutely settles all the foundations of Logic – his work will be of little value to the world’. He reports that while LW has settled many such difficulties, others remain unsolved, and that a merely partial clearing-up of so abstract a subject probably would not carry conviction, would not be clear, and would perish with him. So ‘There is nothing between doing really great work and doing practically nothing’. The news that LW has received in his letter was that his sister Margarete and her husband Jerome Stonborough, neither of whom he can stand, are coming to live in London. So instead of continuing to live in England he will be off, in about 10 days time, to live in Norway in a small village at the bottom of the Molde-fjord – about which he had made enquiries in Bergen. There he will stay in a little inn and ‘probably be quite alone’. Pinsent reports that LW intends going to Cambridge tomorrow, to see Russell and others and to put his affairs in order there, but that he will then come to stay for two nights at Lordswood (the Pinsent family home in Birmingham). He comments: ‘It is all very wild and sudden – I can’t imagine how things will work!’. He and LW have tea in the hotel around 4:30, then take a bus to Marble Arch and walk around Hyde Park, returning by bus from Hyde Park Corner. They have supper in the hotel’s grill room at 7:30, then go for a short stroll by the embankment, returning to the hotel and going to bed by 10 pm (Pinsent, pp.84-6).
Thursday 2nd October, 1913: Pinsent and LW get up at 7 am and breakfast at 8. At 8:15 they leave with their luggage in a taxi, Pinsent being set down at Euston (to travel by train to Birmingham), and LW going on to Kings Cross to catch the 9 am train to Cambridge (Pinsent, p.86). Arriving back in Cambridge, LW goes to see G.E.Moore (Potter, p.264), and also has a meeting with Russell. He and Russell spend part of their meeting reading the manuscript of Alfred North Whitehead’s latest work on space, and part of it discussing LW’s plans to spend the coming year in Norway (Potter, pp.33, 263). But LW also stays late, and begins reading to Russell some parts of the work he has done on logic (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.46). In a letter to Ottoline Morrell from the following day, Russell declares this work ‘as good as anything that has ever been done in logic’. However, Russell also finds it ‘difficult to grasp and remember what Wittgenstein told him’ (McGuinness), and pleads with LW to write some of his ideas down. LW does not seem to have done so at this point, although he does promise Russell that he will ‘leave a written statement of what he [had] already done before he start[ed] for Norway’ (Potter, p.264).
Friday 3rd October, 1913: LW sees G.E.Moore in Cambridge. In the afternoon, Russell travels to London, returning on Sunday (Potter, p.264).
Sunday 5th October, 1913: LW sees G.E.Moore in Cambridge, and Russell returns from London to Cambridge (Potter, p.264).
Monday 6th October, 1913: LW travels from Cambridge to Birmingham, in order to stay at the Pinsent family home, ‘Lordswood’ (no.44, Lordswood Road, Birmingham) for two nights. After tea, Pinsent goes by bus to Birmingham New Street station to meet him. They take a taxi to Lordswood, have dinner at 7:15, then talk, and Pinsent plays the piano. Pinsent recalls: ‘It seems that Russell and others at Cambridge, though much surprised by Ludwig’s sudden Norway scheme, have made no objection and been in no way unpleasant about it: so he is off by boat to Bergen on Saturday next’. LW has dreaded talking to Russell about this, ‘fearing that Russell might be unpleasant and think him a silly ass: but nothing of the sort seems to have happened’. He reports that LW is pretty cheerful this evening, though somewhat restless, and speculates that he is longing to get everything done and be settled in Norway, since he naturally doesn’t like parting with all his friends in England and will find these last few days disagreeable (Pinsent, pp.86-7).
Tuesday 7th October, 1913: After breakfast Pinsent and LW go into Birmingham by bus and do a lot of shopping, LW buying clothes for his Norway trip. They return by taxi to Lordswood in time for lunch. After lunch Pinsent writes a letter and LW plays on the player-piano. The Pinsents being in the course of moving from Birmingham to Oxford on the retirement of David’s father, they have recently given two large parties. Several people call on Pinsent’s mother during the afternoon, but he reports that he and LW escaped from them and have tea separately with his siblings Hester and Richard, and Hester’s Swiss governess Zelle. In the afternoon, the telephone at Lordswood being out of order, Pinsent and LW go to the post office to try to telephone the Whiteheads in London in order for LW to arrange to see Alfred North Whitehead before he departs for Norway. Although he gets through to the number, the Whiteheads are out (Somehow, though, LW does get to see them before he leaves for Norway). After tea LW and Pinsent perform some Schubert ‘in our usual way’ (Pinsent on the piano, LW whistling), then at 5:30 LW goes into town on his own to the Berlitz language school, next to New St. station, where he has earlier arranged to dictate a lot of his work on logic, in German, to be typewritten for Russell (Most of the ‘Notes on Logic’ that we have comprises Russell’s ‘translation, copying and classifying’ of this German-language material, the original of which does not survive (see Potter 2009, p.265)). He does not return until after the Pinsents have had dinner, around 8:30, but then eats some dinner they have kept for him. Afterwards Pinsent and LW sit and talk, the former finding the latter ‘quite cheerful and in very good form tonight’ (Pinsent, p.87).
Wednesday 8th October, 1913: Pinsent gets up at 6:15 am to see off LW, who has to return to Cambridge, having lots to do there. LW takes a taxi from Lordswood at 7 am to catch the 7:30 train from Birmingham New Street Station. Pinsent says: ‘It was sad parting from him – but it is possible he may pay a short visit to England next summer (remaining in Norway till then and going back thither afterwards) when I may see him again. Our acquaintance has been chaotic but I have been very thankful for it: I am sure he has also. On the whole I enjoyed our Norway holiday very much and I know he did – as he says it is the best he has ever had’. He notes that he is sure that LW does not feel the same way as he had felt about their Iceland holiday in the previous year, of which LW had recently declared that ‘he had enjoyed it as much as two people could who were nothing to each other’. Finally, he records that the expenses for their Norwegian holiday, which LW paid, came to about £80 (approximately £7,800 in today’s money). (Pinsent, p.88, Monk, p.92). LW arrives back in Cambridge some time before lunch. He spent most of the afternoon with Russell, then Russell had arranged to walk with him out to P.E.B.Jourdain’s home before tea, then they were together for most of the rest of the day. Around 9:30, LW met G.E.Moore for an hour, but then returned to see Russell again and stayed until nearly midnight. On the following day Russell recounted to Ottoline Morrell that LW had presented him with newer things than he had dictated in Birmingham, and ‘things not sufficiently explained. He said he would make a statement of them, and sat down to do it. After much groaning he said he couldn’t. I abused him roundly and we had a fine row. Then he said he would talk, and write down any of his remarks that I thought worth it, so we did that, and it answered fairly well. But we both got utterly exhausted, and it was slow’ (Potter, p.264).
Thursday 9th October, 1913: Although Russell had anticipated that yesterday’s talk would be ‘a last dose’ of LW, the two meet again to talk. In the meantime, Russell has secured the services of Jourdain’s secretary, a Miss Harwood, who now takes down LW’s explanations of his ideas (in English) so that the process of recording them is quickened (Potter, p.264). This typescript Russell labelled as a ‘Summary’ of LW’s ideas, and it survives as one part of the ‘Notes on Logic’ (Potter, pp.265, 275, 286-9, plus Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.47, note, and Monk, pp.88, 92).
Around Tuesday 14th October, 1913: Having put his effects (including his furniture and his notebooks) into storage (Potter, p.49, Kanterian, p.51), LW leaves for Norway, intending to live there and to work on logical problems (Monk, p.93). He intends to live as far north as Molde (just south of Trondheim).
Thursday 16th October, 1913: LW writes to Russell from on board a boat to Bergen, but leaves the letter on the boat. He later telephones to ask that the letter be posted (but the letter seems not to have survived) (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.49).
Friday 17th October, 1913: LW, still en route to his Norwegian destination, writes to Russell from Bergen, announcing that his address will soon be ‘c/o Halvard Draegni, Skjolden, Sogn, Norway’. (Draegni is the relatively well-off owner of a local crate-factory (Monk, p.93)). He reports that he is unable to travel as far north as he had intended, to Molde, since ‘the Inn I intended to stay at is closed during the winter’. He reports being frustrated with the notion of identity (‘Identity is the very Devil!’) but feeling that the issue of logical types has become clearer to him on his journey. He hopes that Russell has received what he calls the ‘typewritten business’, that is, the typescript of the dictation that Russell had had prepared from their conversation in Cambridge on Thursday October 9th. He then recalls having seen Alfred North Whitehead before he left, and finding him ‘charming as usual’. He asks to hear from Russell ‘as soon as possible; I want it badly!’, and signs himself ‘Yours as long as there is such as thing as L.W.’ (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.47 and note).
(Around this time) LW writes to William Eccles, sending him a cheque for 23 Norwegian Kroner, and asking Eccles to convert it into sterling and use it to pay a bill from Goodalls (a store, presumably. There was a furniture manufacturer, E.Goodall, in Manchester, the city in which Eccles lived). He asks to be remembered to Mrs. Eccles (Gesamtbriefwechsel).
In Skjolden, Norway, LW lodges with the postmaster Hans Klingenberg, and makes several friends in the community, including Halvard Draegni’s son Arne, and Anna Rebni, a local farmer (Monk, p.93, Kanterian, p.51).
Wednesday 22nd October, 1913: LW writes to Gottlob Frege, asking for Frege’s permission to visit him again (Künne 2009, p.28; McGuinness, pp.75-6).
Thursday 23rd October, 1913: LW writes a picture-postcard to Moore from Skjolden, giving his address there, indicating his rooms on the postcard’s picture, and noting that the place he is staying is very nice and that he has plenty of time to work. Identity, though, is still ‘playing hell’ with him. He asks Moore to ask Russell whether he got LW’s letter (of October 16th), since he is still not certain that it had been posted. He also asks Moore to let him know ‘EXACTLY how you are’ (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.48). LW also writes to John Maynard Keynes, giving Keynes his new address and remarking that he did not go as far north as he thought he would, but that ‘this is a splendid place’ (Gesamtbriefwechsel).
Saturday 25th October, 1913: Russell sends to LW the typescript that Jourdain’s secretary had made of their discussion on Thursday 9th October, in order for him to correct it. He also sends LW a list of questions that had occurred to him since they met (Potter, p.265).
Wednesday 29th October, 1913: LW writes (but does not yet send) a letter to Russell, from Skjolden, expressing the hope that Russell got his letter of October 16th. He records feeling that Skjolden is ‘an ideal place to work in’, but mentions that he got violent ‘flu soon after arriving, which has prevented him working until recently. Again he declares that ‘Identity is the very Devil and immensely important’, more so than he thought. It hangs together, he claims, with the most fundamental questions, especially with those concerning the occurrence of the same argument in different places of a function. He reports having all sorts of ideas for a solution, not yet being able to arrive at anything definite, but not losing courage. As for his surroundings, LW says he has two nice rooms in the postmaster’s house, and is being looked after very well indeed. He asks Russell to send him two copies of Moore’s 1906 Aristotelian Society article ‘The Nature and Reality of Objects of Perception’, but does not disclose to Russell the reason he wants two copies. Finally, he reports that because he meets so few people there, his Norwegian is only coming along exceedingly slowly, so much so that he has not yet learnt a single swear-word. He asks Russell to remember him to the Whiteheads, and to write to him ‘SOON’. In a postscript to the letter, he asks how Russell’s conversation-classes are going, and whether Russell got a copy of his manuscript (not the typescript of the conversations he and Russell had had, but rather a four-part document, written in German, which LW had sent to Russell after their meeting in Cambridge in early October). His letter encloses a roseleaf as a sample of the local flora (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.49, plus p.47 note).
Thursday 30th October, 1913: In a second postscript to the previous day’s letter to Russell, LW reports quite new ideas having come into his head: ‘new problems have arisen in the theory of molecular prop[osition]s and the theory of inference has received a new and very important aspect. One of the consequences of my new ideas will – I think – be that the whole of Logic follows from one P.p. [primitive proposition] only!!’ (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.49, Monk, p.95). This letter, its final postscript being completed, is now posted to Russell.
Between October 25th and November 28th, 1913: LW writes to Russell, from Skjolden, thanking Russell for his letter and ‘the typed stuff’ (that is, the English-language typescript of the conversations he and Russell had had in early October). But he also mentions ‘the manuscript’, this being the four-part document, written in German, which LW had sent to Russell after that meeting. He then answers (partly in terms of his new ab-notation) several of Russell’s questions on the typescript material. To Russell’s request that LW give him an account of general indefinables, though, he responds ‘Oh Lord! It is too boring!!! Some other time!!! – Honestly – I will write to you about it some time, if by that time you have not found out all about it. (Because it is all quite clear in the manuscript, I think)’. He reports that he is currently so troubled by identity that he cannot write ‘any long jaw’, but he notes that ‘all sorts of new logical stuff seems to be growing in me’ although he can’t yet write about it. At the end of the letter, he asks Russell to do him a favour, to book two season tickets for the chamber concerts of the Cambridge University Musical Society, one for Russell himself, and one for Russell to give to ‘somebody else’, but to charge both tickets to him (i.e., LW). His letter ends ‘Pray for me and God bless you! (If there is such a thing). Yours as long as (Ǝx).x = L.W.’ (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, pp.50-51).
November, 1913: LW writes to Russell, from Skjolden, paying him for and thanking him for buying the concert tickets, and with a list of questions that Russell asked him in his letter to LW from October 25th (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.52).
November, 1913: LW writes a long letter to Russell, from Skjolden, in English, because although he had intended to write in German, he does not know whether to call Russell ‘Sie’ or ‘Du’. He then tries to explain (in terms of his ab-notation) why there must be a single proposition from which all logic follows, why the axioms of Russell and Whitehead’s Principia Mathematica cannot be propositions of logic, and outlines his decision procedure for the propositional calculus. He makes a disparaging comment about Norbert Wiener, who was studying with Russell at the time: ‘As to Wiener, I can only say that, if he is good at Math., Math. isn’t much good’. LW also asks Russell to remember him to Cambridge mathematician G.H.Hardy (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, pp.53-54).
Wednesday 19th November, 1913: LW writes, from Skjolden, to Moore, who had evidently told LW he was feeling miserable about his own work. LW diagnoses as cause the fact that Moore doesn’t regularly discuss his material with ‘anyone who is not yet stale and is really interested in the subject’, and volunteers himself in this capacity, since there is currently no such person up at Cambridge. His letter implies that Moore is already scheduled to come to see him in Norway at Easter 1914. LW does not claim to be any good at ethics (the subject Moore is then engaged with), but does claim not to be stale, and to be very interested in it. He expresses the view that such discussions with him would make Moore lose his feeling of sterility (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.55).
Saturday 22nd November, 1913: The Cambridge Magazine publishes a letter by Bertrand Russell in which he protests against a recent proposed change to the requirement that those being ordained by the Church of England should declare their ‘unfeigned belief’ in all the canonical scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. The proposed changed weakened the requirement in a way that Russell found objectionable, since he considered that it would either be intended to deceive some, or would imply that passages such as Genesis xix (destruction of the cities of the plain) were divinely inspired (Yours Faithfully, Bertrand Russell, pp.28-9).
November or December, 1913: LW writes, from Skjolden, to Russell, reiterating what he had said about logic in his previous letter. He explains that all the set of propositions of logic and the set of generalizations of tautologies are co-extensive, takes issue with Russell’s axioms of infinity and reducibility on the grounds that they are not logical propositions, and tries to give a ‘rough explanation’ of what tautologies really are, viz., propositions whose truth or falsity can be seen in the very propositional sign itself. He is dismayed that Russell had not understood material from his last letter. He deems the question of how a system of signs must be constituted so that every tautology is recognizable as such in one and the same way ‘the fundamental problem of logic’. On the personal front, LW feels that his work is not progressing rapidly, and expresses disappointment that he must go to Vienna at Christmas, but feels he is constrained to do so because his mother will be offended if he does not. But he plans to return to Skjolden soon after Christmas, since ‘being alone here does me no end of good’. Finally, in a postscript, LW adds that Russell’s ‘Theory of Descriptions’ is ‘quite CERTAINLY correct’, although the individual primitive signs in it will not be the ones Russell had in mind (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, pp.58-9).
Saturday 29th November, 1913: LW writes to Gottlob Frege, presenting arguments against Frege’s theory of truth, ‘especially against the stipulation of meaning [Bedeutung] for function[-expression]s’ (Künne 2009, p.28, Floyd, p.9). This letter no longer survives.
Monday 1st December, 1913: LW’s brother Paul makes his debut as a concert pianist in the Grosser Musikvereinsaal, Vienna (McGuinness, p.30; Waugh, pp.4-7, 57). LW remains in Norway, though, despite his family’s entreaties to attend (Waugh, pp.7-8).
Early December, 1913: LW writes again to Frege, announcing that he will visit Frege this coming Christmas. His letter also discusses ‘the drawing up of a set of fundamental concepts of logic and the requirements that are to be imposed on them’ (Floyd, p.9). This letter no longer survives.
December, 1913: LW writes, from Skjolden, to G.E.Moore, thanking him for a recent letter, and looking forward to regular discussions when Moore comes to visit him. He tries to assuage Moore’s worries that he will not be able to work while staying with LW, and asks after W.E.Johnson, and his own former collaborator Bernard Muscio (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.60).
Monday 15th December, 1913: LW writes, from Skjolden, to Russell, noting that the nature of tautology has to be explained before the question of the nature of identity can be answered. He also notes that his day ‘passes between logic, whistling, going for walks, and being depressed’, and wonders at the ‘huge and infinitely strange science’ that logic is, which neither of them suspected a year and a half ago (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.61).
pre-Christmas 1913: LW travels from Skjolden to Vienna to see his family at Christmas, visiting Gottlob Frege in Jena on the way (Kanterian, p.53) and having lengthy conversations with him there. This seems to have been the last time that he and Frege met (Künne 2009, p.29, Floyd, p.9). LW later recalled: ‘The last time I saw Frege, as we were waiting at the station for my train, I said to him “Don’t you ever find any difficulty in your theory that numbers are objects?” He replied “Sometimes I seem to see a difficulty – but then again I don’t see it”’ (McGuinness, p.84).
Christmas 1913: LW writes from the Alleegasse to Russell, unhappy that he is at home in Vienna, and complaining that he is unproductive while there. He notes that ‘deep inside me there’s a perpetual seething, like the bottom of a geyser, and I keep on hoping that things will come to an eruption again, so that I can turn into a different person’. He suspects that Russell will consider this sort of thinking about himself to be a waste of time, exclaims ‘how can I be a logician before I’m a human being!’, but explains that the most important thing is to come to terms with himself (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, pp.62-3 (Russell had dated this letter to ‘Spring 1914’, but that dating seems to be ruled out by various bits of evidence (See Monk, pp.97-8)).
January 1914: P.E.B.Jourdain asks Gottlob Frege for permission to publish a translation of parts of his Grundgesetze der Arithmetik, and adds that ‘Wittgenstein has kindly offered to revise the translation’ (Künne 2009, p.29). Frege gives his permission. (Whether LW did indeed help revise this particular translation is not known).
January 1914: LW, having by this time returned from Vienna to Skjolden, writes to Russell, thanking him for a recent letter, but noting that ‘It’s VERY sad but once again I’ve no logical news for you’. He explains that things have been going very badly for him in the past few weeks (‘as a result of my “holidays” in Vienna’), that he had been tormented by Angst and depression every day while there, and had only resumed his work a couple of days ago. He recommends to Russell the work of German poet Eduard Mörike, but wonders whether Russell will enjoy it. He asks Russell whether the ‘principle of sufficient reason’ (or ‘law of causality’) doesn’t simply say that space and time are relative, which he himself now thinks is obviously the case. Finally, he wishes Russell the best for his lecture course in America (a course that Russell was to give at Harvard later that year) (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, pp.64-6; McGuinness, p.116).
January 1914: Bertrand Russell writes his paper ‘The Relation of Sense-Data to Physics’, to be published in Scientia, vol.16, 1914, pp.1-27 (and subsequently reprinted in his 1917 book Mysticism and Logic, and other essays) (McGuinness, p.159).
January or February 1914: LW probably writes to Bertrand Russell (in a letter that no longer survives) ‘attempting to settle open issues in their relationship’ (Kanterian, p.54). Russell is offended, and a quarrel breaks out (see Wittgenstein in Cambridge, pp.67-8, Monk, p.98, and Russell’s letter to Ottoline Morrell of 19th February).
Friday 30th January, 1914: LW writes to G.E.Moore, complaining that Moore had not yet given him an account of W.E.Johnson’s lecture to the Cambridge Moral Science Club last December, and noting that he himself is now bothered about the nature of a tautology, and is enjoying learning to ski (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.66).
Late January or Early February 1914: Gottlob Frege writes to LW, from Brunshaupten, continuing an oral conversation the two had over Christmas 1913, in a four-page letter that no longer survives (and may not even have been sent or finished) (Floyd, p.9).
Mid-February 1914: LW writes, from Skjolden, to Russell, thanking him for his recent letter, but declining to accept Russell’s suggestion that they act as if nothing had happened in the wake of their quarrel. That, he writes, ‘would go clean contrary to my nature’. Having over the past week thought about their relationship, LW concludes that they don’t suit one another, being of different natures. He diagnoses their latest quarrel as having its roots in something deeper, ‘how totally different our ideas are, e.g., of the value of a scientific work’. ‘Now’, he says, ‘as I’m writing this in complete calm, I can see perfectly well that your value-judgements are just as good and just as deep-seated in you as mine in me, and that I have no right to catechize you. But I see equally clearly, now, that for that very reason there cannot be any real relation of friendship between us. I shall be grateful to you and devoted to you WITH ALL MY HEART for the whole of my life, but I shall not write to you again and you will not see me again either’ (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, pp.67-8; Monk, pp.98-9).
Wednesday 18th February, 1914: LW writes to G.E.Moore, thanking Moore for the long account of W.E.Johnson’s paper to the Moral Science Club which Moore must have recently sent him, and again urges Moore to come to Norway immediately the Cambridge term ends. He reports that he himself is ‘bothered to death with Logik (sic) and other things’, but in a postscript LW plans Moore’s journey from Newcastle to Bergen, and asks after R.R.Sedgwick, another Trinity College undergraduate, who G.H.Hardy had evidently proposed as a member of the Society of Apostles (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.69; Monk, p.101).
Tuesday 3rd March, 1914: LW writes, from Skjolden, to Russell, thanking him for his recent letter, and breaking his resolution (of mid-February) to cease all contact with him. He diagnoses their quarrels as lying in a deep-rooted difference between their ideals (rather than their natures), and berates himself for having a life ‘FULL of the ugliest and pettiest thoughts and actions imaginable’. On the grounds that ‘a relationship should be confined to areas where both people involved have clean hands, i.e., where each can be completely frank without hurting the other’, LW determines that they shall correspond with one another only about their work, ‘the communication of facts capable of being established objectively’, but avoid any communication concerned with value-judgments, on any subject whatever (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, pp.70-1).
Thursday 5th March, 1914: LW writes, from Skjolden, to G.E.Moore, asking him to write soon, to visit him soon, to give W.E.Johnson his regards, to tell Muscio he’s ‘a beast’, and noting that he is now in the right mood for work and has produced ‘LOTS of new logical stuff’ (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.72).
Saturday 7th March, 1914: In his diary, David Pinsent records that he receives a letter from LW in Norway today. He notes that they have been corresponding ever since they parted (on October 8th in the previous year), and that LW seems to be tolerating his solitary life in Skjolden quite well. He mentions that LW is planning to build himself a small house there, ‘which is to be finished about next Autumn – so he must intend living there pretty permanently’. But he also records that LW intends to come back to England to see him for a couple of months in the Summer of 1914, and that he has once again suggested that they holiday together to Andorra ‘or some such place’ (in August 1913, they had previously considered going to Andorra). Pinsent is undecided whether to accept or not, and determines to talk it over with his father and mother. He records that ‘Last September, when [LW] was so terribly difficult to get on with, I remember swearing to myself that never again would I go on a holiday alone with him’, and he worries that he would be sacrificing his entire Summer holiday to such a trip. But he also confesses that ‘it would be immensely interesting to go to Andorra’, and muses that on balance he expects that he will accept LW’s proposal, not least because he would very much like to see him again (Pinsent, pp.89-90).
March 1914: LW writes to G.E.Moore, from Skjolden, explaining that instead of writing the paper he is working on in Cambridge, Moore could write it in Skjolden, and assuring him that ‘you shall have a sitting-room with a splendid view ALL BY YOURSELF and I shall leave you alone as much as you like (in fact the whole day, if necessary)’. He implores Moore to take the boat from Newcastle on the 17th, sending a telegram from Bergen when he arrives on the 19th. He notes that his own ‘Logic’ (sic) is very nearly finished, if not already finished. In a postscript, he implores Moore to buy Johannes Brahms’ Schicksalslied in an arrangement for four hands, and bring it with him (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.72).
Tuesday 24th March, 1914: G.E.Moore leaves England for Norway, for a two-week visit, to get a progress report on LW’s work (Monk, p.102). David Pinsent records in his diary that he has indeed decided to holiday with LW in the coming summer, ‘to Andorra or some such place’, and that he has written to LW saying that he could come for 2-3 weeks. In fact, he expects to have a slightly longer holiday than this, since he intends to spend some time with his mother and father as well (Pinsent, p.90).
Sunday 29th March, 1914: G.E.Moore arrives in Skjolden to begin his two-week stay with LW (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.74).
Wednesday 1st April, 1914: LW begins to dictate notes on logic to Moore (later published as ‘Notes dictated to G.E.Moore’ (now published as Appendix II of LW's Notebooks 1914-1916)) (Monk, p.102). In these notes, a distinction between saying and showing emerges (Monk, p.102). (Despite later being sceptical about whether he had ever invented a line of thinking, LW later writes that ‘when I was in Norway during the year 1913-1914 I had some thoughts of my own, or at least it seems to me now. I mean that I have the impression that at that time I brought life to new movements of thinking’ (Culture and Value, p.20)).
Thursday 9th April, 1914: LW’s brother Kurt Wittgenstein, aged 36, arrives in New York, with the aim of ‘exploring opportunities for investment in the American and Canadian steel business’ (Waugh, p.68).
Tuesday 14th April, 1914: G.E.Moore leaves Skjolden, to return to Cambridge after his two-week stay with LW (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.74).
Spring 1914: construction of LW’s wooden hut on the side of Sogne fjord, a small lake near Skjolden, ‘miles from anywhere’, begins (Monk, p.104; Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.74). (LW was not to see the finished building until after the war, though).
Wednesday 29th April, 1914: David Pinsent records in his diary that after supper he ‘wrote out some research I have just begun on the question “What is Truth”’, ideas for which came to him in the course of a conversation with George Thomson and N.K.Adam (both also undergraduates at Trinity College). He considers that the result of his research, ‘if correct – is amazing. I seem to have answered Pilate’s question, and incidentally to have settled the Theory of types difficulty as well’. He notes parenthetically that about a month ago LW had written to him that he himself had settled the Theory of types, put the whole of Logic in order, and was writing a book on the subject, but Pinsent deems the general question of Truth ‘not exactly part of Logic’. He realises that he cannot say how good his own research is, that he must consider and digest it before he can feel confident, but that if he does come to feel thus he might send the material to Russell, along with some other research he has done on the logical nature of probability, which seems to him to settle that issue, too (Pinsent, pp.90-91. Von Wright notes that the manuscripts of these papers on truth and probability no longer exist, and that it is not known whether Russell ever saw them).
Thursday 7th May, 1914: LW writes to G.E.Moore, replying curtly to a recent letter in which Moore had explained that LW’s document ‘Logic’ had been deemed unsuitable for submission as a BA thesis at Cambridge (since it hadn’t been put in the right format). He begins “Your letter annoyed me. When I wrote Logik I didn’t consult the Regulations, and therefore I think it would be only fair if you gave me my degree without consulting them so much either!”. He sarcastically remarks that his examiners will easily see how much he has cribbed from Bosanquet. Declaring that he had expected exceptional treatment, LW then says “If I’m not worth making an exception for me [sic] even in some STUPID details then I may as well go to Hell directly; and if I am worth it, and you don’t do it then – by God – you might go there”. This letter, to which Moore did not respond, ended his friendship with Moore (a friendship which was only resumed in 1929) (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.73; Monk, p.103).
Sunday 14th June, 1914: Bertrand Russell arrives back from his trip to the USA (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.74).
Mid- to late-June, 1914: LW writes to Russell, from Skjolden, saying that his own work has made great progress in the last four or five months, but that he has now ‘relapsed into a state of exhaustion’. He advises Russell to find out about his recent work from Moore, to whom he has explained it in detail (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.74).
Late June – Early July 1914: To avoid the impending tourist season (Kanterian, p.58), LW leaves Norway to spend the first part of the Summer in Vienna (Monk, pp.104-5, Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.74). (He was not able to return to Skjolden until 1921).
Friday 3rd July, 1914: Having come across G.E.Moore’s letter of late April or early May again while clearing up his papers, LW writes to Moore from Neuwaldegg, admitting that he did not have good enough reason to write as he had, and hoping that they could still be friends. But he also mentions that if Moore doesn’t answer this letter, he won’t write to him again. (Moore does not reply) (Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.75).
June or July 1914: David Pinsent writes the first in a surviving sequence of short letters to LW, from 105 Harborne Rd, Edgbaston, Birmingham, where he is lodging while working for his father’s firm, Pinsent & Co, and studying Law. He addresses LW as “My dear Ludwig”, thanks him for a recent letter, and expresses the hope of seeing him in Birmingham around August 13th. He asks LW to let him know exactly when he will appear. He then remarks that “G’Log is quoted as follows: ‘6⅞-7 1/32nd ex. Div’ and if you don’t understand that, I shall be delighted to give you a long lecture on the custom and usage of the Stock Exchange when you come to Birmingham! How goes G’Log.?”, and he signs himself “David H. G’Pymph”. [Von Wright remarks that he has not been able to provide an explanation of ‘G’Log’, or of Pinsent’s ‘G’Pymph’ signature. Given the references to the stock-market and the fact that ‘ex. Div’ means ‘excluding dividend’, presumably they are all parts of a humourous private code in which Pinsent and LW discuss how their work fares by giving these matters stock-market quotations (so ‘G’Log might well refer to the ‘Logic’ that LW is writing). See also the entry for Tuesday 7th July] (Pinsent, p.95).
Tuesday 7th July, 1914: Pinsent writes to LW, from Edgbaston, thanking him for a recent letter, and specifying some days and times when he would be available to meet with LW. Pinsent proposes that they meet in Cambridge, at a weekend, but says “It would be very nice indeed if you came to Birmingham – so long as you wouldn’t be bored to have nothing to do all the time I was at that Bloody G’off” (the offices of Pinsent & Co, presumably). He suggests that LW put a brass plaque on the door of his hut, reading “‘G’ LOG LIMITED – REGISTERED OFFICE”, and records that “G’Log is pretty high”. Finally, he again signs himself “David H. G’Pymph” (Pinsent, pp.95-6).
July 1914: LW writes, from Neuwaldeggerstrasse, Vienna, to his friend William Eccles, in Manchester. (This is the second of his surviving letters to Eccles). He tells Eccles that he is again in Vienna for a holiday, and thanks him for a recent letter, the furniture designs contained in which he deems “splendid as far as I can judge”. He makes critical remarks upon the planned wardrobe, but approves of the medicine chest, and the dressing table. LW advises Eccles that if he buys a bed from a furniture manufacturer, he should “insist that they cut off all those measly fancy ends”, as well as its rollers. LW notes that he is going on a journey in mid-August, and will come to see Eccles around September 10th (in fact, this visit never took place). He asks Eccles to remember him to his wife and Aunt, and remarks that he will have lots of thing to talk about when he next sees Eccles (Eccles, pp.58-9).
Tuesday 14th July, 1914: LW writes from the Hochreit to Ludwig von Ficker, editor of Der Brenner, giving 10,000 Austrian crowns to that publication, and offering von Ficker 100,000 crowns to distribute among impecunious Austrian artists (including Rainer Maria Rilke, Georg Trakl, Carl Dallago, Oskar Kokoschka, and Adolf Loos (Luckhardt, p.83; Monk, p.106; Waugh, p.63). He has chosen Der Brenner because Karl Kraus had called it ‘Austria’s only honest review’, and Ficker had championed Kraus in his publication.
Sunday 19th July, 1914: LW writes again from the Hochreit to von Ficker, trying to convince him that he is sincere in his offer of funds, and explaining that he has inherited a large sum. He expresses the hope that they might meet soon (Luckhardt, p.84).
Pinsent writes to LW, asking that he send any letter in reply not to Edgbaston but to Glenfield, Foxcombe Hill, Near Oxford (the new home to which his parents had moved earlier in the year). He thanks LW for a letter, and agrees to meet him at the Grand Hotel in London, on August 24th, from 5pm onwards. He then discusses some possible holiday destinations: Andorra (which they had previously talked about, in both August 1913 and March 1914) and the Faroe Islands (which LW seems to have recently suggested). Pinsent worries that they will be unable to find anywhere to stay on the Faroes, but agrees that “it would be rather fun to go there however if it could be managed”. He then asks LW whether Madeira wouldn’t suit him, it being reachable in four days by a steamer from Southampton. He advises that they should not stay in Funchal, “which is crowded with Tourists” but might cross the island to Santa Anna (sic), “where there is a tiny but quite comfortable inn – and very few tourists”. Having been there before (during March-April 1913), Pinsent declares that he would love to revisit it. He then considers the possibility of their visiting some “out of the way places in the British Isles”, including islands around Scotland (Orkney, Shetland or the Hebrides), but not Ireland, “as there will almost certainly be riots and civil war of a sort there soon!” Finally, he remarks that “Perhaps - in view of this European war business we had better not to go Andorra – it might be difficult to get back”. He signs off “Ever yours, G’Dave” (Pinsent, pp.97-8).
Wednesday 22nd July, 1914: David Pinsent writes to LW, from Edgbaston, thanking him for a letter, and saying it would suit him just as well to begin their holiday on 25th August, returning around 15th September. He declares that he will assume that this is the plan unless he hears to the contrary from LW. He asks LW to let him know when and where they are to meet, and again signs himself “G’Dave” (Pinsent, p.96).
Sunday 26th – Monday 27th July, 1914: Ludwig von Ficker travels to the outskirts of Vienna, where at Neuwaldegg he meets LW (Monk, pp.107-8; Wittgenstein in Cambridge, p.75). von Ficker introduces him to the renowned architect Adolf Loos, at the Café Imperial, Vienna (Monk, pp.107-8).
Late July 1914: In a ‘supplement’ to his diary, David Pinsent records that he recently wrote to LW in Vienna about their intended holiday together during late August and early September. They have still not settled where they will go, but because they have little time they have considered going somewhere nearer than Spain, which is where they had previously thought about going. Pinsent notes that he himself suggested Scotland, but not Ireland, “in view of the possibility of civil war there” (Pinsent, p.91).