Wittgenstein's Ladder and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $25.00
  • Save: $1.25 (5%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Wittgenstein's Ladder: Po... has been added to your Cart
Condition: :
Comment: Fast Shipping - Safe and Secure Bubble Mailer!
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $2.00
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Wittgenstein's Ladder: Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary Paperback – March 15, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0226660608 ISBN-10: 0226660605

Buy New
Price: $23.75
32 New from $16.14 28 Used from $6.08
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$23.75
$16.14 $6.08
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Spring Books
The Big Books of Spring
See our editors' picks for the books you'll want to read this season, from blockbusters and biographies to new fiction and children's books.
$23.75 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Wittgenstein's Ladder: Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary + The Poetics of Indeterminacy: Rimbaud to Cage (Avant-Garde & Modernism Studies) + Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century
Price for all three: $61.23

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (March 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226660605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226660608
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Wittgenstein's writings, though not themselves poetry, are redolent of poetic elements. Still, perhaps only a poet?or a humanities professor such as Perloff (Radical Artifice: Writing Poetry in the Age of Media, LJ 12/92) with a poetic sensibility?would find the ordinary "strange." Surely Wittgenstein argues philosophically that it is just the non-strangeness of the ordinary that is the key to solving (or dissolving) philosophical problems. Be that as it may, this fine study, in which Perloff disclaims any attempt to explain Wittgenstein and merely wants to "examine the relationship of [his] mode of investigation...to the 'ordinary language' poetics so central to our own time," manages to show a more than elementary understanding of his thinking. Proficient in German, she often gives more accurate translations of certain central passages in Wittgenstein's original than the standard English texts. A welcome addition to Wittgensteiniana from a unique perspective; for academic collections in philosophy, literature, and poetry.?Leon H. Brody, U.S. Office of Personnel Mgt. Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Arch Llewellyn on March 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is an engaging, down-to-earth book about the connections between Wittgenstein's aphoristic philosophy and some of the 20th-century writers who've followed his lead up the 'ladder of the ordinary.' Perloff's at her best with the close readings of difficult writers like Stein, Beckett and Creeley, who magically flower into comprehensibility under her sharp attention and good sense.
The authors she chooses to illustrate Wittgenstein's influence seemed a little arbitrary to me though. She admits that Beckett and Stein didn't read Wittgenstein, and that Wittgenstein would probably have disliked their art. So why put them 'under his sign'? It makes more sense to me to see Wittgenstein as part of a wider generation who felt dissatisfied with the pre-war language they'd inherited. With later poets like Silliman and Waldrop, who explicitly cite Wittgenstein's writings as an inspiration, I think Perloff misses what separates them from Wittgenstein: he had no earlier model to cite. Wittgenstein's faith in ordinary language led to a manner of writing and thinking that was largely self-sufficient--an interested reader can dive right in and think through the problems for herself. His more allusive postmodern heirs rely to a large extent on your prior knowledge of texts like Wittgenstein's for their effects. Where Wittgenstein himself struggled to keep his religious and hierarchical values in check through the discipline of ordinary language--concepts like beauty, God and the self seemed to have some meaning for him, you just couldn't talk about those meanings with language--later writers' easy acceptance of notions like a language game, the 'constructed self' and the fundamental indeterminacy of language seems to drain some of the drama from their writing.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Tim Gerard (tfgerard@aol.com) on October 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
Anyone interested in either Wittgenstein or poetry should read this book. It does a remarkably good job of both philosophical and literary analysis, making the case that poetry, like philosophy as conceived by Wittgenstein, embodies the curious collision of the mystical with the mundane which best demonstrates the limits of language. Tightly reasoned and methodical, the book explains why Wittgenstein has had so much influence on aesthetic and ethical projects of the Twentieth Century, and suggests why that will continue. "The pursuit of the ordinary may well be the most interesting game in town."
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wittgenstein wrote with some of the compression of great poetry but I'm not sure Perloff convinces that he and Gertrude Stein have much to say to each other. Beckett maybe. But some of Perloff's applications of Wittgenstein seemed stretched thin to make the point that we need philosopher as our patron saint of difficulty. W. probably would have preferred Tennyson to Beckett any day.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
While I found myself largely indifferent to Marjorie Perloff's Wittgenstein's Ladder, it did prompt me to ask a particular question: Can one plausibly conclude that there is a certain reflexive property to language as it is used in both ordinary and poetic modes? That is, if it is the case, as Perloff argues, that the poetic use of ordinary language estranges one from its mundanity, is the reverse also true? Does the poetic use of language estrange one from ordinary use? Is it possible that a singular attention to the practical/utilitarian value of language effectively render one purblind to its inherent strangeness, which poetic use brings to the fore? I found this to be the fundamental concern of her work, although it appears that, in the absence of any definitive conclusion concerning the preeminence of ordinary language and the parasitism of poetical language upon it (or vice versa), Perloff maintains that the distinction is ultimately a matter of preference.
To see the above uncertainty regarding the relative primacy of ordinary language over poetic language (or vice versa), as Perloff does, is to accept this uncertainty as constitutive of the inherently aporetic nature of language, particularly semantics. In other words, prior to, during, and long after its instantiation within a given utterance, every word possesses a bivalent potentiality: a certain equal "suitability" toward either ordinary or poetic usage. Thus a word's semantic value within a particular utterance is ultimately a matter of divining the strategy of the speaker in employing that word. This problem, becomes a problem of other minds, then, and not a problem of language. However, I wonder if it is possible return the problem to one of language itself.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Wittgenstein's Ladder: Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary
This item: Wittgenstein's Ladder: Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary
Price: $25.00 $23.75
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com