The Waste Books
The most celebrated of Lichtenberg’s works, The Waste Books demonstrate an unflagging intelligence and encyclopedic curiosity. Wittily deflating the pretensions of learning and society and examining a range of philosophical questions, he tracks his own thoughts down hidden pathways to disconcerting and sometimes hilarious conclusions. The Waste Books have been greatly admired by writers as different as Tolstoy, Einstein, and Andr 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, they are above all a powerful testament to the necessity, and pleasure, of unfettered thought.