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Oswald Wiener: Die Verbesserung von Mitteleuropa [The Improvement of Central Europe]

I’m not sure whether I would actually recommend this book to anyone unless, perhaps, they were particularly familiar with the works of Wittgenstein. Its central theme is the need for the writer to express himself and the inherent lack of the means to do so properly. Die Grenzen meiner Sprache sind die Grenzer meiner Welt [The boundaries of my language are the boundaries of my world] as Wittgenstein put it so well. The book, written entirely in lower case and with pagination in Roman numerals, consist of thoughts, aphorisms, commentaries on his life, the linguistico-physical relationship between Oswald (presumably the author) and Helga, all with detailed contents and annotations. Make of it what you will. Some have described it as brilliant but, I am afraid, it left me a bit lost but it’s good to know that there are authors willing to push the boundaries even if those boundaries may be pushed too far for most of us.

Publishing history

First published 1969 by Rowohlt
No English translation