Item description for Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences by Lawrence Weschler...
<P>From a cuneiform tablet to a Chicago prison, from the depths of the cosmos to the text on our T-shirts, Lawrence Weschler finds strange connections wherever he looks. The farther one travels (through geography, through art, through science, through time), the more everything seems to converge — at least, it does if you're looking through Weschler's giddy, brilliant eyes. Weschler combines his keen insights into art, his years of experience as a chronicler of the fall of Communism, and his triumphs and failures as the father of a teenage girl into a series of essays sure to illuminate, educate, and astound.</P><P> </P>
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Lawrence Weschler's many books include Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder, Vermeer in Bosnia, and Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences, which won the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism.
Reviews - What do customers think about Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences?
Facinating Mar 3, 2008
I love Weschler's writing and the subjects he writes about, especially on art. He has an interesting way of looking at things, bringing together history and art, broadening our understanding of the visual world we live in. A great book that will get you thinking!
Good but Not Great Dec 2, 2007
Having read reviews on this site and other places, I placed this item on my wish list and received it for my birthday. I was really looking forward to reading it - I love stuff like this and read quite a bit as a diversion from business, fiction, and science reading.
Unfortunately I don't share the same level of enthusiasm for this work as the other reviewers here. While there were times the columnist/blogger/casual-essayist style was entertaining, at many points I found it a bit like listening to someone working hard at making connections because he could, not because they really were all there. If I were speaking with the author at a party, I'm uncertain I would listen to him speak about one of his convergences for very long - not because he lacks education and depth and has some cool ideas - it's just that some of them strain to much to convergence. Is it really convergence when someone forces two things together rather than discovering the intersection?
I guess it felt like naming cloud images. Fun, but not for long, and sometimes no matter how hard you try, the other person can't quite see the pattern you see. But I am only one voice out of many, so take my perspective in stride.
everything that rises---------> Oct 2, 2007
This is what art criticism at its best should do - converge themes from present and our rich history in a clear language.... not obfuscating academic deconstruction but brilliant exposition with beautiful language and so many rich references - it's a joy to read and it actually affirms the fact that you already have very rich knowledge base inside (instead of trying to teach and preach). It weaves our factoids into a beautiful tapestry of human experience, synthesizing and unraveling our time here.
Wonderful Book for Writer's Block Nov 20, 2006
Lawrence Weschler has a powerful mind. The essays in this collection cover such divergent topics as art to politics. The author, however, finds was to connect seemingly unrelated works. The essays are a camera into a very thoughtful mind who looks at the world and tries to connect it to himself and tries to connect the edges to each other.
I personally had purchased this book and was reading it during a time of poetic writer's block and I found the essays so thought provoking that I produced at least 3 new pages of writing.
The only drawback is that a few of the essays are a bit dated. I am referring here to primarily those on Solidarity. I feel to really understand those in better detail I would have to do some more research on that time in our history.
This is a great intellectual read and is a pleasure for the eye as well with great photography and artwork within its' hardcover pages.
Emergence through convergence Aug 30, 2006
For its strange and compelling originality, I gave this book five stars. Author Lawrence Weschler's visual connections are unlike anything I have ever been exposed to. And it was because of this work, that when I was compiling photos for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary, that I began to notice family photographic "echoes."
A picture of my 1-year old brother in his stroller, mouth wide open in toothless glee, reaching toward the camera, echoed a photo taken at family gathering 45 years later in which the only things different are the chair in which he sits and his gleaming teeth. His body language, his expression, even his adult-sized outstretched arm are the same as the boy from the stroller.
These sorts of echoes are commonly seen in your standard `grip-and-grin" shots at traditional events such as birthdays and weddings. But in one-off photos like the baby/adult ones of my brother, there's something more at work. Did a buried memory surface when a similar photographic situation arose that caused him to echo his own pose from 45 years before?
That might explain the same person subconsciously reacting to a similarly presented situation, but it fails to explain completely separate scenes, at different times, featuring a random set of people or circumstances that nonetheless are captured in an eerily identical composition to each another by artists not known to one another.
Not all the connections in this book are photographic. Weschler includes geographical, artistic, scientific, and architectural connections, too, in which human behavior could not have influenced the outcome. This is a provocative look at an unusual and inexplicable phenomenon of things that converge between time and place.