The Waste Books

By Georg Christoph Lichtenberg; R. J. Hollingdale (Translator); R. J. Hollingdale (Introduction by)
(New York Review of Books, Paperback, 9780940322509, 235pp.)

Publication Date: September 2000

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Description
German scientist and man of letters Georg Christoph Lichtenberg was an 18th-century polymath: an experimental physicist, an astronomer, a mathematician, a practicing critic both of art and literature. He is most celebrated, however, for the casual notes and aphorisms that he collected in what he called his Waste Books. With unflagging intelligence and encyclopedic curiosity, Lichtenberg wittily deflates the pretensions of learning and society, examines a range of philosophical questions, and tracks his own thoughts down hidden pathways to disconcerting and sometimes hilarious conclusions.
Lichtenberg's "Waste Books" have been greatly admired by writers as very different as Tolstoy, Einstein, and Andre Breton, while Nietzsche and Wittgenstein acknowledged them as a significant inspiration for their own radical work in philosophy. The record of a brilliant and subtle mind in action, "The Waste Books" are above all a powerful testament to the necessity, and pleasure, of unfettered thought.



About the Author
Lichtenberg was born in Oberramstadt, Germany. In 1763 he joined the University of Gottingen, where he studied mathematics and the natural sciences and, in 1770, was appointed a professor.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (15 October 1844 - 25 August 1900) was a German philologist, philosopher, cultural critic, poet and composer. He wrote several critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy and science, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and aphorism.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (15 October 1844 - 25 August 1900) was a German philologist, philosopher, cultural critic, poet and composer. He wrote several critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy and science, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and aphorism.
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