Word Book

Badlands Unlimited, New York.



96 pages

5 3/4 x 8 1/2 in.


Artist Page

Paul Chan

Word Book, illustrated by Paul Chan, is the first-ever English translation of Wörterbuch. This publication aims to encourage and reinvigorate interest in one of the greatest modern philosophers by introducing this gem of a work to a wider audience. Word Book also explores how Wörterbuch portends Wittgenstein's radical reinvention of his own philosophy and the enduring influence his thinking holds over how art, culture, and language are understood. Word Book is translated by writer and art historian Bettina Funcke, with a critical introduction by scholar Désirée Weber, and accompanied by Chan’s art. Chan carried out each illustration with his non-dominant hand, the left, motivated by “the notion that one’s strength is really one’s weakness, which makes possible the idea that one’s weakness—given the right circumstances or frame of mind—may be one’s real strength.” Chan also feels that drawing with his left hand “feels as if different stakes about what matters on paper become visible to [him].”


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