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Wednesday
Oct282009

Joan Bevan's Account of Wittgenstein

 John Bevan was Dr. Edward Bevan's wife. Wittgenstein had taken residence with Dr. Bevan after his cancer had reached a severe stage. Following his death, Mrs. Bevan had the following to say: 

 “My husband Edward met Maurice Drury in the war and they became very friendly, and in the course of their conversations he told Edward about Professor Wittgenstein …  Shortly after his [Wittgenstein’s] return from America in the autumn of 1949 where he had been staying with the Norman Malcolms and had been taken ill – he sent for my husband – and from this encounter our friendship and close contact originated … . It was remarkable that he never discussed or tried to discuss with me, subjects which I did not understand, so that in our relationship I never felt inferior or ignorant. He was completely unconscious of his own appearance, he was very fussy about his personal cleanliness – but it was utterly without vanity. He seemed to know what was going on in the world though he never ever read the papers or listened to the news on the wireless. He was very demanding and exacting although his tastes were very simple. It was UNDERSTOOD that his bath would be ready, his meals on time and that the events of the day would run to a regular pattern."

 -- Joan Bevan [allcaps substituted for italics in original; Paragrpahs condensed into one -sw]

Sources: Michael Nedo, Michele Ranchetti, “Ludwig Wittgenstein, Sein Leben in Bildern und Texten, Suhrkamp,” 1983 at p. 475;  and Michael Nedo, Guy Moreton and Alec Finlay, “Ludwig Wittgenstein, There Where You are Not,” 2005, at p. 85.

Regards and thanks,

Dr. Sean Wilson, Esq.

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