Fear not: Weschler is the real deal. Everything grew out of a folder of random essays on artistic associations he'd been collecting. It's a potpourri of works that links the visual associations between Grant Wood's American Gothic and a photo of a father and son outside of the World Trade Center, delves into the implications of the Polish Solidarity movement's logo, and Newt Gingrich and Slobodan Milosevic's physical similarities in the unforgettable "Pillsbury Doughboy Messiahs." After a few essays in Everything, you will notice associations everywhere.
When asked about any hopeful signs he detected for the future of addressing large numbers of readers, Weschler once said, "There is McSweeney's, for example, which is evidence that there is a huge potential readership, in that case largely made up of 25-year-olds.... So the challenge is to create more magazines like that, and to make this rebirth happen. Which is what I'm trying to do." With this perfect introduction to Weschler's formidable oeuvre, he's doing just that.
Lawrence Weschler's reading/event at ripe's Back Room (7 pm Monday, March 13, 2240 N Interstate Ave.) is sold out, but Everything That Rises is for sale at www.store.mcsweeneys.net.