He was one serious man. I have always had contempt for unserious people, unserious people in philosophy being the very worst. You know the type: the bland and blasé whose civility is not born of wisdom and detachment but is a mere urbanity sired by a jocose superficiality. I have always had the sense that something is stake in life, that it matters what we believe and how we live. What exactly is at stake, why our lives matter, and how best to respond to nihilists and Nietzsche's Last Men are profoundly baffling problems. But that life is serious is a given.
Perhaps unfortunately, Wittgenstein seemed unable to 'punch the clock' and play the regular guy among regular guys for even a short time. Wittgenstein died in the house of Dr and Mrs Bevan, a house that bore the auspicious name, 'Storeys End.' Ray Monk relates the following anecdote:
Before Wittgenstein moved into their house, Dr Bevan had invited him for supper to introduce him to his wife. She had been warned that Wittgenstein was not one for small talk and that she should be careful not to say anything thoughtless. Playing it safe, she remained silent throughout the evening. But when Wittgenstein mentioned his visit to Ithaca, she chipped in cheerfully, 'How lucky for you to go to America!' She realized at once that she had said the the wrong thing. Wittgenstein fixed her with an intent stare: 'What do you mean, lucky?' (Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius, p. 576.)
Poor Mrs Bevan! The first shot depicts LW in 1925, the second on his death bed in 1951.