How many Tractatus remarks does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

…none, because if you read them right, you’d have to THROW AWAY THE LADDER.

See what I did there?

Hello. Today is Nov. 15, 2015, which is the release date of my first book, Kafka and Wittgenstein: The Case for an Analytic Modernism (Northwestern U Press).  It is also two weeks before the due date for the manuscript of my second book and first book of commercial nonfiction, so shit’s a bit hectic around here.

HOWEVER. The baby and I would like to do a little promotion in honor of K/W’s release, and I do mean “little,” because I only have one book to give away. I got five freebies from the publisher and the other four are spoken for (family, adviser, May who will actually read it, and one to keep), but the fifth, the fifth CAN BE YOURS. (And yes, I will inscribe it, or not, depending on whether you think that would add to or detract from its allure.)

Here’s how to get yours:

Post your best Kafka or Wittgenstein (or Kafka AND Wittgenstein) joke in the comments, on my Facebook author page, or Tweet ’em at me. You have next Friday, Nov. 20. Best one wins. I am the arbiter of “best.” I expect ALL entries to be better than my sample joke.


“Not enough Foucault references.”

“Chapter 3 is a head-scratcher, but largely just because my head itches.”

“Oh, hello. Didn’t see you there. Just contemplating whether to throw up on this copy before or after I try to eat it. Also, that will be the copy my mother gives away.”

12 thoughts on “How many Tractatus remarks does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

  1. Schuman
    von Franz Kafka

    Von Schuman berichten vier Sagen: Nach der ersten wurde sie, weil sie die Mandarine an das Pöbel verraten hatte, am Kaukasus festgeschmiedet, und die Mandarine schickten Tweeter, die von ihrer immer wachsenden Leber fraßen.
    Nach der zweiten drückte sich Schuman im Schmerz trotz der zuhackenden Schnäbel immer weiter aus dem Felsen hervor, bis sie sich von ihm loslöste.
    Nach der dritten wurde in den Jahrtausenden ihr Verrat vergessen, die Mandarine vergaßen, die Tweeter, sie selbst.
    Nach der vierten wurde man des grundlos Gewordenen müde. Die Mandarine wurden müde, die Tweeter wurden müde, die Münder schloßen sich müde.
    Blieb das unerklärliche Felsgebirge. – Die Sage versucht das Unerklärliche zu erklären. Da sie aus einem Wahrheitsgrund kommt, muß sie wieder im Unerklärlichen enden.

    Wen man nicht widerlegen kann, über sie muss man staunen.


  2. For the post-Tractatus Wittgenstein, the answer is: “It takes as many people as the community where the light bulb hangs agrees it would take.” I love Wittgenstein…


  3. Congratulations!!! Whoop! Will be reading soon enough and looking forward to it (obviously not this giveaway copy given the brilliance and wit of the remarks).


  4. Joke/riddle: if something’s weird in the manner of Kafka, we call it kafkaesque. If something’s weird in the manner of Wittgenstein, what do we call it? What-the-fuckesque.


Hello. I "value" your comment. (No, really, I do!) Please don't be a dick, though.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s