Winner of the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize 1990
Ray Monk is the author of Ludwig Wittgenstein- The Duty of Genius for which he won the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the Duff Cooper Award, and Bertrand Russell- The Spirit of Solitude.
According to Monk, philosopher and reluctant Cambridge don Wittgenstein (1889-1951) was driven by spiritual as much by intellectual concerns, exchanged academia for solitude whenever possible and was drawn to brilliant younger men. ``Monk has done an excellent job of elucidating the twin journeys of an extraordinary mind and soul,'' said PW. Photos. (Nov.)
The veritable flood of writings about Wittgenstein--fiction as well as nonfiction--continues unabated, and this is a worthy addition. Monk gives a more balanced account of Wittgenstein's life and personality than does Brian McGuinness ( Wittgenstein: A Life; Young Ludwig, 1889-1921, LJ 9/15/88), insofar as he deals with Wittgenstein's homosexuality and goes into considerable detail about the three main relationships in Wittgenstein's life. Monk has done a great deal of research; what emerges is a portrait of a troubled, restless, creative mind, one destined, it seems, to be forever dissatisfied. Though not the last word on Wittgenstein's life--something on the order of a ``psychobiography'' must someday be written--this book is highly recommended.-- Leon H. Brody, U.S. Office of Personnel Management Lib., Washington, D.C.
Monk's energetic enterprise is remarkable for the interweaving of
the philosophical and the emotional aspects of Wittgenstein's life
* Sunday Times *
Ray Monk's reconnection of Wittengenstein's philosophy with his life triumphantly carries out the Wittengensteinian task of "changing the aspect" of Wittgenstein's work, getting us to see it in a new way * Sunday Telegraph *
This biography transforms Wittengenstein into a human being * Independent on Sunday *
It is much to be recommended * Observer *
Monk's biography is deeply intelligent, generous to the ordinary reader... It is a beautiful portrait of a beautiful life * Guardian *