Wittgenstein

(Terry Eagleton wrote a novel titled "Saints and Scholars" which deals with Wittgenstein's interest in Marxism. Much of it centers on discussions between fictional versions of Wittgenstein and Bakhtin.)

Scott McLemee's comments::

Eagleton also co-authored the script to Derek Jarman's WITTGENSTEIN, an interesting and somewhat theatrical film originally made for BBC's "Bandung File" (I think), produced by Tariq Ali. There is a memorable scene in which Wittgenstein meets with an official at the Soviet embassy to see about emigrating; he wants to give up philosophy and become a manual laborer (something he did at least a couple of times over the years). The official tells him that if he studies Hegel, perhaps they can use him as an academic instructor, but won't admit him if all he wants is to join a labor collective. The scene ends with them yelling at each other.

There are more details about the philosopher's interest in the Soviet Union in Ray Monk's biography, WITTGENSTEIN: THE DUTY OF GENIUS (1990). What Jarman's movie leaves out is that he actually did spend some time there in the mid-1930s, but refused to discuss it afterward. Even after the Moscow Trials and the Hitler-Stalin pact, Monk writes, "Wittgenstein continued to express his sympathy with the Soviet regime-- so much so that he was taken by some of his students at Cambridge to be a 'Stalinist.' ... Wittgenstein's reasons for wanting to live in Russia, both the 'bad and even childish' reasons and the 'deep and even good' ones, had much to do, I think, with his desire to dissociate himself from the old men of the West, and from the disintegrating and decaying culture of Western Europe."