Trifles Make Perfection: The Selected Prose of Joseph Wechsberg

Overview

A Moravian by birth, a musician by avocation, a writer by choice, and a bon vivant almost by instinct, Joseph Wechsberg was among a generation of writers that included M. F. K. Fisher, A. J. Liebling, Waverly Root, and Ludwig Bemelmans. Many of them found a home for their work at The New Yorker and were given carte blanche to tackle any subject they found appealing.. "Wechsberg was a connoisseur in the old Continental sense of the word, a man who valued perfection for its own sake, seeing its quest as worthy and ...
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Overview

A Moravian by birth, a musician by avocation, a writer by choice, and a bon vivant almost by instinct, Joseph Wechsberg was among a generation of writers that included M. F. K. Fisher, A. J. Liebling, Waverly Root, and Ludwig Bemelmans. Many of them found a home for their work at The New Yorker and were given carte blanche to tackle any subject they found appealing.. "Wechsberg was a connoisseur in the old Continental sense of the word, a man who valued perfection for its own sake, seeing its quest as worthy and its attainment as eminently possible. Born in 1907 into a wealthy, assimilated Jewish family, he saw his comfortable life threatened by World War I and then extinguished by Hitler's annexation of his native Czechoslovakia. He came to America with only a basic command of English but an impressive understanding of what was happening in Europe. His most powerful essays, describing the tragic political fragmentation of Europe at the end of World War II, are never strident or bitter; his appreciations of Europe's finer offering are a sheer delight.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781567920925
  • Publisher: Godine, David R. Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/1999
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.44 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
I Conclusive Characters
Henri Soule: The Ambassador in the Sanctuary 3
Warburg: The Nonconformist 30
Albert Schweitzer: Toccata and Fugue 76
II Preferred Places
The Bois de Boulogne 95
Vienna: An Introduction 106
Perfect Service: London's Savoy Hotel, and Others 122
III Perfect Pitch
The Vienna Staatsoper: A Question of Reverberation 135
The Budapest String Quartet 157
Stradivari: Ne Plus Ultra 188
IV Timeless Taste
Fernand Point: The Finest Butter and Lots of Time 217
Afternoon at the Chateau d'Yquem 233
V A Lyric Life
A Very Late Confession 241
My Father's Cuff Links 251
No Obstetrician in Our Quartet 258
VI The Bund Deutscher Madel
The Children of Lidice 271
Acknowledgments 289
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