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Ludwig Wittgenstein and the Tractatus of talkative Geordies | Letter: Joan Hewitt


“Geordies like to talk … allow at least 10 minutes just to buy a newspaper,” advises Harry Pearson (The UK’s best city: in praise of Newcastle upon Tyne, theguardian.com, 22 November). Wittgenstein worked as a lab assistant in Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary during the war. His Jesmond landlady said he was chatty in the morning, to the annoyance of the other lodgers, but morose in the evenings. From the poem “Geordie Henderson replies to the biographer of Ludwig Wittgenstein” (Mugs Rite, Bay Press, 1996), by the recently late poet, eccentric and bibliophile Mike Wilkin: “Div aa knaa oot more / aboot him? Fella, arl else / aa remember, is that / the only gala time / aa got im near a pint, / knaaing he was a Delphi / Oracle, aa askt him / if the Magpies would ever / climb back to the Shangri-La / of Division One. And he wrote / doon arl magisterially / on a raggy beer mat / (which is clagged-up / in wor netty yet!) / “Whereof one cannot spowt / Thereof one must say nowt.”
Joan Hewitt (@TurkishBathsNCL)

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