Lot 652: Arthur Koestler

RR Auction

RR Auction

2015-08-21 10:52:46

Lot 652: Jewish-Hungarian author (1905–1983) best known for the anti-Stalinist novel Darkness at Noon. Exceptional handwritten manuscript for an article introduced by a TLS from Koestler to his publisher Robert Calmann-Levy, signed "Koestler," one page, February 13, 1974, in part: "Enclosed a recent manuscript for your collection. It is a review of a book on Wittgenstein, published by the Observer and included in 'The Heel of Achilles,' where you will find all the details." The manuscript is Koestler's draft entitled "Wittgensteinomania," unsigned, five pages, lightly-lined, 8.5 x 13, reviewing Wittgenstein's Vienna by Allan Janik and Stephen Toulmin. In part: "The 'Tractatus' became one of the most influential philosophical works of our century, the source of an esoteric cult, the dark oracle from which such diverse schools as Logical Positivism, the Vienna Circle and the Linguistic Philosophers at Oxford drew their inspiration. But unavoidably—as naive non-philosophers would expect—their interpretation of Wittgenstein's message was based on what he had written, and not on that second part which he had not written. And as far as the written text goes, the message could be summed up in a simple slogan: 'metaphysi[ci]ans shut your trap.'" Heavily hand-edited and revised by Koestler throughout. The article was published in the Observer on June 3, 1973. In fine condition. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope. RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 460 Wednesday, 16th September 2015 Estimate: $1500-2000
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