Vermeer in Bosnia by Lawrence Weschler
Cultural Comedies and Political Tragedies

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From the master chronicler of the marvelous and the confounding–author of Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder–here is a much-anticipated new collection of more than twenty pieces from the past two decades, the majority of which have never before been gathered together in book form.

Lawrence Weschler is not simply a superb reporter, essayist, and cultural observer; he is also an uncanny collector and connector of wonders. In Vermeer in Bosnia, whether he is reporting on the aftermath of the Yugoslav wars (and noticing, for example, how centuries earlier Vermeer had had to invent the peace and serenity we so prize in his work today from a youth during which all of Europe had been as ravaged as Bosnia) or dissecting the special quality of light in his beloved hometown of Los Angeles, Weschler’s perceptions are often startling, his insights both fresh and profound.

Included here is Weschler’s remarkable profile of Roman Polanski–written years before the release of The Pianist, yet all but predicting the director’s confrontation with the Holocaust in that film–alongside an equally celebrated portrait of Ed Weinberger, a young designer crushed and yet hardly bowed by an extreme form of Parkinson’s disease. Here is Weschler limning his own experience as the grandson of an eminent Weimar-era composer, and then as the befuddled father of an eminently fetching daughter. Here is Weschler on Art Spiegelman, David Hockney, Ed Kienholz, and Wislawa Szymborska.

Here, in short, are some of the most dazzling pieces from Lawrence Weschler’s own brimming cabinet of marvels.

About Lawrence Weschler

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Published July 6, 2004 by Pantheon. 432 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Vermeer in Bosnia

Kirkus Reviews

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Fugitive essays that touch on the sublime beauty of the world—and its naked weirdness, and the strangeness and murderousness of humans, and other such tropes.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Vermeer in Bosnia: Cultural C...

Publishers Weekly

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This volume collects two decades' worth of longtime New Yorker staff writer Weschler's original meditations on the arts and current events.

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BC Books

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Moving from art for art's sake to money for art's sake, Weschler's 1999 book Boggs: A Comedy of Values follows the case of a talented provocateur, more conceptual artist than con artist, who draws his paychecks by drawing paper money to barter to merchants as arguably non-counterfeit depictions t...

Dec 12 2005 | Read Full Review of Vermeer in Bosnia: Cultural C...


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NPR's Scott Simon talks to Lawrence Weschler about his new collection of essays Vermeer in Bosnia. Weschler's topics range from the war crimes trials in Bosnia to the unique quality of light in the paintings of Johannes Vermeer, and in Los Angeles.

Oct 02 2004 | Read Full Review of Vermeer in Bosnia: Cultural C...

Entertainment Weekly

Weschler, who pulled back the curtain on ''Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder'' in 1995, has an unbeatable eye -- and heart and writerly panache -- for human oddity and invention.

Jul 09 2004 | Read Full Review of Vermeer in Bosnia: Cultural C...

Austin Chronicle

You might call Lawrence Weschler's most recent collection of peripatetic musings, Vermeer in Bosnia, a series of tangents or digressions, but this would ignore the fact the tangent is often the tale.

Aug 20 2004 | Read Full Review of Vermeer in Bosnia: Cultural C...

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