The philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) – in particular the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (pub. 1922) and the Philosophical Investigations (pub. 1953) – was decisive for English-language ‘analytic philosophy’ in the post-war period. At the same time, French-language interest in Wittgenstein (as well as the ‘analytic’ tradition) was restricted and politically charged, in particular among French 1960s philosophers. Wittgenstein’s influence has waned in the last quarter-century amongst philosophers working in English. In French, however, his reputation has grown considerably. This special issue of Paragraph brings together articles by scholars working in France, the UK, and North America around the questions of language and canon-formation in philosophy and ‘theory’. In addition, Wittgenstein’s current pertinence to literary and historical interpretation are explored, as are the connections between Wittgenstein’s philosophy and contemporary trends in interpretation theory, such as cognitive approaches to interpretation.