Mark S. Weiner

Archive for the ‘Autobiographical’ Category

Maine Meets Maine

In Animals, Autobiographical, Books and libraries, Environment, State development, Video on June 26, 2013 at 12:16 pm

My new video is about an ancient institution. You can view it below, or you can watch it directly on YouTube by clicking here.

Tomorrow, I’ll be visiting the rare books room at Yale Law School, where my friend Mike Widener will be showing me some of his treasures, including the library’s collection of Blackstone—the subject of a future video. Stay tuned. And thanks for your comments and support.

Giving Away My Library

In Autobiographical, Books and libraries, Guest Posts, Rule of the Clan on April 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm

It was great. You can read about it on FSG Work in Progress, here.


A Writing Playlist

In Autobiographical, Guest Posts, Rule of the Clan on March 12, 2013 at 8:45 am

Here is a piece that appeared on Farrar, Straus and Giroux’s The Hive about the music I listened to while writing The Rule of the Clan—which is out today!

Object Lessons

In Autobiographical, Rule of the Clan on March 4, 2013 at 3:09 pm

With just eight days to go until the release of The Rule of the Clan, I’ve created an autobiographical photo essay for my publisher. You can access it on Flickr here. You can become part of Farrar, Straus and Giroux’s online Facebook community, The Hive, here.

P1020145 copy

An Update from Europe

In Autobiographical, Europe on November 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Greetings from lovely Würzburg, Germany, where I arrived earlier today on a high-speed train from Luxembourg—and immediately made plans to visit the Christmas market. I’m in a nice hotel, and I’m surrounded by clothes I’ve washed in the sink and strung about the room to dry. Tomorrow I begin teaching an intensive class on U.S. constitutional law to students who are enrolled in a university program on intercultural competence.

Thanks to everyone who wrote to ask when the next post is coming and to give me a nudge. It really means a lot to me. I’ve had only spotty internet service since arriving in Europe, but in a few days I hope to post some reflections on my trip so far.

And it’s been quite a trip.

Over the past eleven days, I’ve spoken about The Rule of the Clan at Erasmus law school in Rotterdam (gleaming, vibrant, international, and peppered with campus construction projects); interviewed numerous students and faculty there about their views of modern Dutch law (question: if your law were a composer or a style of music, which would it be and why?); strolled all afternoon through beautiful, stately Maastricht while conversing with a friend about the legal systems of the world (and sampled an everyday Dutch delight: veal-filled croquettes); donned Dutch academic robes to attend a surprisingly dramatic dissertation defense on Roman legal history at Tilburg law school (in the midst of the candidate’s discussion of the praetor urbanus, someone fainted!); decided how much I really, really like the Netherlands; the next day visited the ruins of the Black Gate in Trier, Germany and contemplated Rome’s glory; wandered through the EU quarter in Luxembourg on a drizzly morning, slowly getting wet as I snapped pictures of the European Court of Justice (see below); interviewed a Danish and a German member of the office of legal advisor for the European parliament (lunch in the EU cafeteria was grand—red and white wine was on offer by the glass!); walked for two solid days through Brussels looking at EU institutions, including a brand-new museum devoted to the development of parliament; attended a lively rally of farmers demanding higher milk subsidies and suffered a bit of smoke inhalation from the billowing red and green smoke bombs strewn about the cobblestoned plaza; interviewed a Dutch member of the parliament’s office of legal advisor who eloquently explained why European Union law is like jazz; stumbled upon a noisy and cheerful rally celebrating one-hundred years of Albanian independence; observed a Belgian court case in the Palace of Justice and learned that family law disputes take on a special air when held beneath a 20-foot mural depicting a nineteenth-century cavalry regiment; wandered through the Museum of Fine Arts amidst a hundred attentive French-speaking schoolchildren; and, tonight, ate bratwurst and drank mulled wine in a Christmas market with four young German legal scholars.

Plus I’ve seen old friends and made many new ones. And began learning a whole lot more about my camera.

It’s been a great trip so far, and I’m hopeful that what will come out of it is lots of stories to share on this blog and in my next book.

But the stories will have to wait for just a little while. Until next time, I wanted to share a few pictures from my travels, which I’ve been undertaking with all of you always on my mind.

Read the rest of this entry »

An ending, a beginning, an invitation

In Autobiographical, Wales, Welcome on September 13, 2012 at 8:28 pm

The stout man in the beekeeper’s outfit waved as we approached him on the trail from Machynlleth to Llanbrynmair. “You must be the Weiners,” he said as he took off his helmet and smiled.

“We—we are,” I replied, dumbfounded to be recognized on a secluded byway in the Welsh midlands. “How on earth did you know?”

“Who else could you possibly be, then? Only one or two people pass by here every day. You’ll be staying with me tonight. I’m your innkeeper.”


It was another typical encounter in Wales—a warm welcome extended in a remote, green landscape. This summer, my wife and I walked 350 miles through that lush country, roaming over hill and dale, or bryn and cwm, just after lambing season, when the fields echoed with the sweet, insistent bleating of sheep and their young.

The walk marked both an ending and a beginning for us, and we walked with a purpose. Read the rest of this entry »