There was a brief moment of hilarity today when one of our editors picked up a copy of Tolstoy's Gospels in Brief, which according to the book's back cover was one of Ludwig Wittgenstein's favourite books. So much was he in thrall of this book – according to another of our editors – that when he served in the trenches during the Great War he always kept with him two books: one was the manuscript of what was going to be his masterpiece, the Tractatus Logicus-Philosophicus, the other was Tolstoy's take on the Gospels.
What's so funny about this? What is funny is that to corroborate Wittgenstein's endorsement, the publisher has quoted from a letter the philosopher wrote to his friend Ludwig von Ficker…
I don't know if you have any German, but I'll let you imagine what Ficker means. . . I think I have given you enough clues. . .