Read Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder Online

Authors: Lawrence Weschler

Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder

BOOK: Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder
5.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
Acclaim for
Lawrence Weschler's
MR. WILSON'S CABINET
of
WONDER

‘A gem of a book … by turns irony-laden and seriously charged … a witty, discursive exploration that manages to encompass the very idea of the museum itself.”

—
Newsday

‘A brilliant meditation on human creativity.”

—
New York
magazine

‘Weschler is a nonfiction writer with a poet's ear.”

—
The New York Times Book Review

‘Teems with ambiguity and amazement.… The more we read of the Museum of Jurassic Technology, the more dizzyingly vague is the border between illusion and reality.”

—
Seattle Times

‘A delightful book whose plot is pure curiosity and whose subject is the beauty of things that can't be known for sure.”

—Ian Frazier

“This is travel literature of the rarest, most elegant sort: a book that recounts a journey of the mind. Lawrence Weschler has ventured into the strange and murky zone between the real and the imaginary … and he proves to be an excellent guide, persuading us to follow him by the sheer force of his wit and an unflagging sense of wonder.”

—Paul Auster

“A small jewel of a book, as intricate and astonishing as the wonders it describes.”

—
Kirkus Reviews

“In this marvelous study of a bizarre museum and its self-mocking, polymath creator, Weschler finds an epiphany of that vast movement of discovery and wonder which created the first museums … and that heady state of mind—compounded of collection mania, mad taxonomy, imaginative exuberance, and naif wonder—which formed the prelude to modern science. I found it enthralling.”

—Oliver Sacks

Lawrence Weschler
MR. WILSON'S CABINET
of
WONDER

Lawrence Weschler has been a staff writer for
The New Yorker
since the early 1980s, and is a two-time winner of the George Polk Award (for Cultural Reporting in 1989 and Magazine Reporting in 1992).
Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder
, which was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, constitutes the latest installment in Weschler's ongoing
Passions and Wonders
series, earlier volumes of which include
Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees
and
Shapinsky's Karma, Boggs's Bills and Other True-Life Tales.
His other books include
David Hockney's Cameraworks
;
The Passion of Poland
; and
A Miracle, a Universe.
He lives in Westchester County, New York, with his wife and daughter.

Also by
Lawrence Weschler

A Miracle, a Universe:
Settling Accounts with Torturers

Shapinsky's Karma, Boggs's Bills
and Other True-Life Tales

David Hockney's Cameraworks

The Passion of Poland

Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees:
A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin

Charles Willson Peale
, The Artist in His Museum (
1822
) (
illustration credit col.2
)

FIRST VINTAGE BOOKS EDITION, NOVEMBER 1996

Copyright © 1995 by Lawrence Weschler
All rights reserved under International and Pan-American

Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto. Originally published in hardcover by Pantheon Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, in 1995.

Portions of this book were previously published, in abridged form, in
Harper's.

Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following for permission to reprint previously published material:
•
RES:
Excerpts from “Inquiry as Collection” by Adalgisa Lugli (
RES
, Autumn 1986). Reprinted by permission of
RES.
•
Jay's Journal of Anomalies:
Excerpts from articles by Ricky Jay (
Jay's Journal of Anomalies
, vol. 1, no. 1, Spring 1994 and vol. 2, no. 1, Spring 1995). Reprinted by permission of
Jay's Journal of Anomalies
, published by W&V Dailey, 8216 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046.

The Library of Congress has cataloged the Pantheon edition as follows:

Weschler, Lawrence.
Mr. Wilson's cabinet of wonder / Lawrence Weschler.
p.     cm.
eISBN: 978-0-307-83398-3
1. Museum of Jurassic Technology—History. 2. Wilson, David. 3. Popular culture—United States—History. 4. Museum—Philosophy. 5. Collectors and collecting—History. I. Title.
AM101.L725W47   1995
069′5—dc20 95-5996

Random House Web address:
http://www.randomhouse.com/

v3.1

For Sara
my own living wonder

Nothing is too wonderful to be true.

—M
ICHAEL
F
ARADAY

PART I
 
Inhaling the Spore
BOOK: Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder
5.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Death Wish by Iceberg Slim
El nazi perfecto by Martin Davidson
Celebrity Bride by Alison Kervin
Love in the Fortress by Caris Roane
Waybound by Cam Baity
Sands of the Soul by Whitney-Robinson, Voronica
No Sex in the City by Randa Abdel-Fattah