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Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences

by Lawrence Weschler

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3171072,919 (3.77)8
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 (and further) one travels (through geography, through art, through science, through time), the more everything seems to converge -- at least, it does through Weschler's giddy, brilliant eyes. Weschler combines his keen insights into art (both contemporary and Renaissance), 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 articles -- complemented by color photos and illustrations throughout -- that are sure to illuminuate, educate, and astound.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
A collection of Weschler's short essays on "convergences" he's noticed. Some interesting connections, to be sure. ( )
  JBD1 | Jun 22, 2019 |
After the first couple of essays I was forced to conclude that Weschler has an over-active imagination. It's an interesting imagination and he sees lots of interesting connections, but I'm more inclined to credit other reasons to the convergences than he does, such a fundamentals of human aesthetics that we don't understand, not to mention pure coincidence. ( )
  aulsmith | May 14, 2014 |
Once Weschler started seeing relationships between images from disparate sources, he started seeing such relationships, and others (between stories and images, stories and stories, etc.) everywhere. He began to write these 'convergences' up over the years in a series of essays which eventually were collected and published by the good folks at McSweeney's.

Some of the connections seem a bit of a stretch and, at first, simply coincidence. Many may be coincidence, but the characteristics that tie these images and stories together are often numerous and repeated across centuries, leading Weschler (and this reader) to conclude that there are, at least, certain characteristics shared by these tools for passing on human experience which contribute, at least in part, to their power and timelessness.

The first essay, related to 9/11, is a bit too easy, since the emotional impact of this recent event remains strong in most, if not all, of us. But that doesn't minimize the value of what Weschler has to show us in these images (and their stories). After the first three essays, I was sold on the premise and felt that I was reading a book that provided a very special way of looking at the world and its images. Like any collection of essays not originally written as a single work, there are some which don't stand up quite as well as others, but overall, these are a fine collection of observations on today, history, art, image, and how humans percieve their world and the events that surround us.

Highly recommended.

Os.
  Osbaldistone | Apr 25, 2013 |
Really fascinating series of essays about how artists unconsciously echo each other in the images they use. Lots of great illustrations.
My favorite was the photo of the welder guy next to the painting of Mars (the god, not the planet). ( )
  JenneB | Apr 2, 2013 |
For photographers this book can be an inspiration. These essays that make unusual visual connections based on a wide education and awareness, especially in the visual arts lead the way to seeing with an open mind and encouragment to feed that mind with the study of everything, but especially politics and art history.
  j-b-colson | Sep 18, 2012 |
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Epigraph
Tree, always in the middle
of everything that surrounds it [...]
Tree, that (who knows?)
may be thinking there inside
-Rainer Maria Rilke, from "Le noyer"

Useless to think you'll park or capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.

-Seamus Heaney, from "Postscript"
Dedication
For Robert, Toni, and Ray --
my wildly divergent siblings
First words
I don't remember exactly how I got started - come to think of it, it was probably reading John Berger one day in college, the essay on Che Guevara in The Look of Things where he's talking about the famous photo of Che's corpse, gruesomely splayed out like that for public display, his military captors proudly arrayed alongside and Berger in effect says, "We all know what this photo's based on," and then proceeds to tell us: Rembrandt's Anatomy Lesson. And of course he's right, he's dead right..."
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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 (and further) one travels (through geography, through art, through science, through time), the more everything seems to converge -- at least, it does through Weschler's giddy, brilliant eyes. Weschler combines his keen insights into art (both contemporary and Renaissance), 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 articles -- complemented by color photos and illustrations throughout -- that are sure to illuminuate, educate, and astound.

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