One of my favorite parts of this book is its epigraph, by physicist Michael Faraday: “Nothing is too wonderful to be true.”

A few more bits and pieces from Lawrence Weschler, before we dig into the weirdness that is this book:

First, in this interview, Weschler says (near the end),

“I write books, but what really turns me on, what really captivates my thinking, is magazine culture. That’s a difficult thing, because magazine culture is in big trouble. If I write a book, it gets read by ten thousand people, if I write a magazine article it gets exposed to a hundred thousand people who are reading about something they didn’t know they had any interest in. The kind of writing I love comes at things from the side, and it relishes narrative itself. You find yourself reading, and about halfway along, you realize that what you’re reading is the most important thing in the world.”

original (and better?) hardcover image

original (and better?) hardcover image

In this ‘manifesto’ and subsequent conversation with readers of Transom, you can learn more about Weschler’s ideas, one of which is:

“If it is at least in part true that everything is random chaos, it is also true that the writer’s task is to discern, to discover–or, perhaps, to impose–order on all that chaos: a form, in other words, that in turn rings true. To what extent is that necessarily a fictive enterprise?”

Perhaps you’ve just finished reading the first part of Cabinet, and you’re thinking to yourself, what does this have to do with blogs? Well, these two comments should get us thinking about how blogs organize the ‘random chaos’ that is the internet, and the arguments, fictive or otherwise, that they make. The Museum of Jurassic Technology is at one end of this spectrum. My questions, therefore, are first, what is the different between the authority of a museum exhibit and the authority of a blog post, if any? And second, what do you think of the epigraph in relation to the internet?

Lawrence Weschler

Lawrence Weschler

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