As a novelist, art critic, and cultural historian, John Berger is a writer of dazzling eloquence and arresting insight whose work amounts to a subtle, powerful critique of the canons of our civilization. In About Looking he explores our role as observers to reveal new layers of meaning in what we see. How do the animals we look at in zoos remind us of a relationship between man and beast all but lost in the twentieth century? What is it about looking at war photographs that doubles their already potent violence? How do the nudes of Rodin betray the threats to his authority and potency posed by clay and flesh? And how does solitude inform the art of Giacometti? In asking these and other questions, Berger quietly -- but fundamentally -- alters the vision of anyone who reads his work.From the Trade Paperback edition.
In an extraordinary distillation of his gifts as a novelist, poet, art critic, and social historian, John Berger reveals the ties between love and absence, the ways poetry endows language with the assurance of prayer, and the tensions between the forward movement of sexuality.
"There are no photographs which can be denied. All photographs have the status of fact. What is to be examined is in what way photography can and cannot give meaning to facts." With these words, two of our most thoughtful and eloquent interrogators of the visual offer a singular meditation on the ambiguities of what is seemingly our straightforward art form. As constructed by John Berger and the renowned Swiss photographer Jean Mohr, that theory includes images as well as words; not only analysis, but anecdote and memoir. Another Way of Telling explores the tension between the photographer and the photographed, between the picture and its viewers, between the filmed moment and the memories that it so resembles. Combining the moral vision of the critic and the pratical engagement of the photgrapher, Berger and Mohr have produced a work that expands the frontiers of criticism first charged by Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, and Susan Sontag.
Another Way of Telling explores the tension between the photographer and the photographed, between the picture and its viewers, between the filmed moment and the memories that it so resembles.
En Lisboa, un hombre, John, encuentra a su madre sentada en un banco del parque. Ella ríe como una colegiala. Lleva muerta quince años. En un mercado de Cracovia, entre las verduras y las campesinas, reconoce a Ken, la persona más importante de su vida de los once a los diecisiete años. La misma complicidad existe todavía entre los dos. La última vez que se vieron fue hace cuarenta años. En la casa de Hubert en Islington, su compañero de la escuela de arte, John recuerda a una chica que conoció entonces. La solía llamar Tirol... La cantidad de vidas que caben en una sola es incalculable. En este libro nómada, que viaja a través de Europa, historias aparentemente dispares revelan su conexión, y los objetos descolocados encuentran su lugar. Recuerdos sensuales del pasado penetran en la piel del presente como la sal. En su paso a través de fronteras y zonas horarias, Aquí nos vemos es una obra hermosa, radiante e inesperada
In this prescient and beautifully written book, John Berger examines the life and work of Ernst Neizvestny, a Russian sculptor whose exclusion from the ranks of officially approved Soviet artists left him laboring in enforced obscurity to realize his monumental and very public vision of art. But Berger's impassioned account goes well beyond the specific dilemma of the pre-glasnot Russian artist to illuminate the very meaning of revolutionary art. In his struggle against official orthodoxy--which involved a face-to-face confrontation with Khruschev himself--Neizvestny was fighting not for a merely personal or aesthetic vision, but for a recognition of the true social role of art. His sculptures earn a place in the world by reflecting the courage of a whole people, by commemorating, in an age of mass suffering, the resistance and endurance of millions. "Berger is probably our most perceptive commentator on art...A civilized and stimulating companion no matter what subject happens to cross his mind."--Philadelphia InquirerFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
Bento's Sketchbook is an exploration of the practice of drawing, as well as a meditation on how we perceive and seek to explore our ever-changing relationship with the world around us.From the Hardcover edition.pinoza in a narrative that weaves its own surprising, poignant picture, inviting us to contemplate the mystery of what and how we see.From the Hardcover edition.
An exhilarating and engrossing novel about the elderly owner of an employment agency whose romantic yearnings and inarticulate dreams propel him into a world of fantasy. Corker's Freedom displays the storytelling magic that is a hallmark of Berger's acclaimed fiction.
An NYRB Classics Original Winner of the Scott Moncrieff Prize for Translation1915: Jean Dartemont heads off to the Great War, an eager conscript. The only thing he fears is missing the action. Soon, however, the vaunted "war to end all wars" seems like a war that will never end: whether mired in the trenches or going over the top, Jean finds himself caught in the midst of an unimaginable, unceasing slaughter. After he is wounded, he returns from the front to discover a world where no one knows or wants to know any of this. Both the public and the authorities go on talking about heroes--and sending more men to their graves. But Jean refuses to keep silent. He will speak the forbidden word. He will tell them about fear. John Berger has called Fear "a book of the utmost urgency and relevance." A literary masterpiece, it is also an essential and unforgettable reckoning with the terrible war that gave birth to a century of war.n the battlefield? He responds like a man: "I was afraid." Acclaimed as "the most beautiful book ever written on the tragic events that blood-stained Europe" for five years, prosecuted on first publication as an act of sedition, Fear appears for the first time in the United States in Malcolm Imrie's poetic and prizewinning translation on the hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, the conflict with which the twentieth century came into its own. Chevallier's masterpiece remains, in the words of John Berger, "a book of the utmost urgency and relevance."
In this quietly revolutionary work of social observation and medical philosophy, Booker Prize-winning writer John Berger and the photographer Jean Mohr train their gaze on an English country doctor and find a universal man--one who has taken it upon himself to recognize his patient's humanity when illness and the fear of death have made them unrecognizable to themselves. In the impoverished rural community in which he works, John Sassall tend the maimed, the dying, and the lonely. He is not only the dispenser of cures but the repository of memories. And as Berger and Mohr follow Sassall about his rounds, they produce a book whose careful detail broadens into a meditation on the value we assign a human life. First published thirty years ago, A Fortunate Man remains moving and deeply relevant--no other book has offered such a close and passionate investigation of the roles doctors play in their society."In contemporary letters John Berger seems to me peerless; not since Lawrence has there been a writer who offers such attentiveness to the sensual world with responsiveness to the imperatives of conscience."--Susan SontagFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
In this luminous novel -- winner of Britain's prestigious Booker Prize -- John Berger relates the story of "G.," a young man forging an energetic sexual career in Europe during the early years of this century. With profound compassion, Berger explores the hearts and minds of both men and women, and what happens during sex, to reveal the conditions of the Don Juan's success: his essential loneliness, the quiet cumulation in each of his sexual experiences of all of those that precede it, the tenderness that infuses even the briefest of his encounters, and the way women experience their own extraordinariness through their moments with him. All of this Berger sets against the turbulent backdrop of Garibaldi and the failed revolution of Milanese workers in 1898, the Boer War, and the first flight across the Alps, making G. a brilliant novel about the search for intimacy in history's private moments.From the Trade Paperback edition.
El día de su boda, Ninon se quitará los zapatos y bailará para siempre con Gino, cuando la orquesta rompa a tocar: "El lunes está loco, pregúntale al viernes". Una madre y un padre viajan por Europa hacia la boda. Se casa su hija. La madre toma un autobús en Eslovaquia. El padre va en moto desde Francia. Se encuentran después de muchos años, cerca del estuario del río Po. Diversos personajes pueblan las páginas de su historia: Federico, un chatarrero italiano; una pandilla de piratas informáticos; Thomas, redactor de enciclopedias; Gino, el futuro yerno, cuya pasión es la pesca; el doctor Gastaldi, emisario de la mala noticia; una Virgen pintada en una ermita. Ésta es la historia de una boda como sólo podía ocurrir en nuestro final de siglo, contada por un griego que no pierde la ocasión de citar a Sófocles.
No one appreciates the detail of being alive more than the dead. In Lisbon, a city that plays games, a man, John, encounters his mother sitting on a park bench. She laughs with the impudence of a seventeen-year-old schoolgirl. She has been dead fifteen years. In the Islington home of Hubert, his fellow student at art school, John remembers a girl he knew back then. To touch her skin was to sense a horizon, to be transported. He used to call her Oslo . . . ; In this nomadic book which travels through fictions across Europe, seemingly disparate stories reveal themselves to be linked, mislaid objects find their place. Sensual memories from the past penetrate the present like salt. Cities - Madrid, Krakow, Lisbon, Geneva, London - are mapped as redolent hybrids of old world and new. As it passes frontiers and time-zones, Here is Where We Meet is beautiful, playful and unexpected.
From one of the most impassioned of writers of our time, this powerful collection of essays offers a stark portrait of post-9/11 realities. John Berger occupies a unique position in the international cultural landscape: artist, filmmaker, poet, philosopher, novelist, and essayist, he is also a deeply thoughtful political activist. In Hold Everything Dear,his artistry and activism meld in an attempt to make sense of the current state of our world. Berger analyzes the nature of terrorism and the profound despair that gives rise to it. He writes about the homelessness of millions who have been forced by poverty and war to live as refugees. He discusses Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Serbia, Bosnia, China, Indonesia-anyplace where people are deprived of the most basic of freedoms. Berger powerfully acknowledges the depth of suffering around the world and suggests actions that might finally help bring it to an end.
When he stands before Giorgione's La Tempesta, John Berger sees not only the painting but our whole notion of time, sweeping us away from a lost Eden. A photograph of a gravely joyful crowd gathered on a Prague street in November 1989 provokes reflection on the meaning of democracy and the reunion of a people with long-banished hopes and dreams.With the luminous essays in Keeping a Rendezvous, we are given to see the world as Berger sees it -- to explore themes suggested by the work of Jackson Pollock or J. M. W. Turner, to contemplate the wonder of Paris. Rendezvous are manifold: between critic and art, artist and subject, subject and the unknown. But most significant are the rendezvous between author and reader, as we discover our perceptions informed by John Berger's eloquence and courageous moral imagination.From the Trade Paperback edition.
In this book you will be led to a place you haven't been, from where few stories come. You will be led by King, a dog--or is he a dog?--to a wasteland beside the highway called Saint Valéry. Here, at the end of the twentieth century, among smashed trucks, old boilers, and broken washing machines, live Liberto, Malak, Jack, Corinna, Danny, Anna, Joachim, Saul, Alfonso, and Vico and Vica.Listen to King's voice as he tells a different kind of story: twenty-four hours pass and lives are lived. It is good to have survived another winter, for now it is spring, when the nights, though cold, are no longer harsh enough to kill. The wet season is over, and with it the hopelessness of damp. Today the sun will shine: of what else will the day be made?King is at once a furious homage to the homeless and a lyrical meditation on language and experience. The bitter yet celebratory prose speaks to us all.From the Hardcover edition.
Lila y Flag es la tercera entrega de la trilogía «De sus fatigas», (Puerca tierra, 1990 y Una vez en Europa, 1991). Es una obra de gran ambición, centrada en las consecuencias que para la sociedad europea ha tenido el advenimiento de la prosperidad: bajo el esplendor se esconde la tristeza del campesino desterrado a la ciudad y arrancado de su ambiente más feliz. En Lila y Flag, relato de muerte y perdón, auténtica odisea moderna, se condensan todas las cualidades que componen el estilo de Berger: su obsesión por la claridad en el lenguaje, su modo peculiar de entender el marxismo y su extraordinaria sensibilidad para la luz y el color.
In the mythic city of Troy, amidst the shanty-towns, factories, opulent hotels, fading heritages and steadfast dreams, the children and grandchildren of rural peasants pursue meagre livings as best they can. And two young lovers embark upon a passionate journey of love and survival.
A luminous collection of interwoven stories, Once in Europa is a portrait of two worlds--a small Alpine village bound to the earth and by tradition, and the restless, future-driven culture that will invade it--at their moment of collision. The instrument of entrapment is love: the passion of a willful shepard for a shrewd bourgeois housewife; of a vital young woman for a dashing Russian who has come to work in the local factory; of a steadfast son for his aged mother. Lives are lost and hearts are broken, and, always, love is a transcending form of grace. In Once in Europa, it speaks as plainly and as movingly as a remembered language, creating a work of astonishing tenderness.
This visionary first novel by the Booker Prize-winning author of To the Wedding and G. is at once a gripping intellectual and moral detective story and a book whose aesthetic insights make it a companion piece to John Berger's great works of art criticism.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Berger presents a collection of moments, each supremely vivid, that together make up a frieze of human history at the end of the millennium as well as a subtle and affecting self-portrait of their author. Using careful, intensely visual prose snapping frozen vignettes of life, these twenty-nine "photocopies" teach us about lying and self-invention, dignity and tenderness, charity and courage. Overflowing with the sights, sounds, and smells of life, Photocopies is a masterpiece from one of the most important chroniclers of our time.From the Trade Paperback edition.
With this haunting first volume of his Into Their Labours trilogy, John Berger begins his chronicle of the eclipse of peasant cultures in the twentieth century. Set in a small village in the French Alps, Pig Earth relates the stories of skeptical, hard-working men and fiercely independent women; of calves born and pigs slaughtered; of summer haymaking and long dark winters f rest; of a message of forgiveness from a dead father to his prodigal son; and of the marvelous Lucie Cabrol, exiled to a hut high in the mountains, but an inexorable part of the lives of men who have known her. Above all, this masterpiece of sensuous description and profound moral resonance is an act of reckoning that conveys the precise wealth and weight of a world we are losing.
Un viejo artista, una Europa convulsa, una desaparición misteriosa. Londres, 1958. El pintor húngaro Janos Lavin ha huido sin dejar rastro horas después de la inauguración de su primera exposición individual. Ni su mujer ni sus amigos comprenden por qué se ha marchado justo cuando alcanzaba el éxito por el que llevaba luchando tantos años. Sin embargo, todas las claves están en el diario que Lavin ha dejado tras de sí... Un pintor de hoy es el retrato de un hombre atormentado por el recuerdo de un amigo muerto, que se debate entre su fidelidad al arte y a la política mientras intenta mantener la fe en el ser humano. Pero además, y sobre todo, es un viaje apasionante al interior de la creación artística. Pintor y novelista, John Berger, ganador del prestigioso Booker Prize, nos sorprende en la que fue su primera novela con una historia sobre la libertad, el sacrificio y lo que significa ser un artista hoy en día.
"John Berger escribe sobre aquello que es importante, y no simplemente interesante. Es para mí una figura sin rival en la literatura contemporánea en lengua inglesa." Así define Susan Sontag la obra de un escritor que, pese a su adscripción a la izquierda marxista y su constante rechazo a la institucionalización, es ya una figura clásica de las letras británicas. John Berger (Londres, 1926) ha trazado en Puerca tierra "los rasgos de un mundo campesino tan refractario a la historia y tan sensual como el Macondo de Gabriel García Márquez", según destacaba The Washington Post. Los textos que componen el libro condensan todas las cualidades de su autor: claridad en el lenguaje, sensibilidad extrema para la luz y el color y compromiso continuo con aquellos cuyas vidas se han visto sepultadas por la llamada "prosperidad europea".
A work of immense cultural significance and beauty, this long poem became an anthem for the African diaspora and the birth of the Negritude movement. With unusual juxtapositions of object and metaphor, a bouquet of language-play, and deeply resonant rhythms, Césaire considered this work a "break into the forbidden," at once a cry of rebellion and a celebration of black identity.More praise:"The greatest living poet in the French language."--American Book Review"Martinique poet Aime Cesaire is one of the few pure surrealists alive today. By this I mean that his work has never compromised its wild universe of double meanings, stretched syntax, and unexpected imagery. This long poem was written at the end of World War II and became an anthem for many blacks around the world. Eshleman and Smith have revised their original 1983 translations and given it additional power by presenting Cesaire's unique voice as testament to a world reduced in size by catastrophic events." --Bloomsbury Review "Through his universal call for the respect of human dignity, consciousness and responsibility, he will remain a symbol of hope for all oppressed peoples." --Nicolas Sarkozy"Evocative and thoughtful, touching on human aspiration far beyond the scale of its specific concerns with Cesaire's native land - Martinique." --The Times